2016 American Music Awards
Photography by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

American Music Awards 2016: 7 Highlights From the Show

OTT sets, nose-picking, a mini Degrassi reunion and more!

If there was one thing we took away from the 44th annual American Music Awards, it’s that it should’ve been dubbed the Canadian Music Awards, given the solid presence of Canucks in the house: Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber (via Zurich)… hell, even Nina Dobrev was there.

Model Gigi Hadid and comedian Jay Pharoah did a decent job co-hosting the fan-voted ceremony, making jabs at Melania and Donald Trump, respectively, which generated a lot of heat on Twitter. (What else is new?). Although pretty much a repeat of the MTV VMAs, there were still a handful of key moments that went down. Here, the major highlights from the 2016 AMAs.


Niall Horan serenading the audience

Irish sweetheart Niall Horan (of One Direction fame) took to the stage to perform his debut single, “This Town.” And although his set had us swooning, we must say the the performance was rather tame. Also, can we just point out that he performed without his signature Ireland earpiece?! Shame. Still love you though, Niall.


Fifth Harmony’s Mad Max-esque costumes

With Lauren Jauregui coming out as bisexual just last week (get it, girl!), all eyes were on Fifth Harmony and their performance. Turns out they didn’t disappoint. FASHION’s former cover stars performed their hit “That’s My Girl,” decked out in Mad Max-meet-Pirates of the Caribbean-esque costumes and hair extensions galore, on a set that screamed post-apocalyptic-dystopian weirdness. Long story short, it was freaking fantastic!


Drake’s adorable Degrassi shout out

Actress Nina Dobrev presented the award for Best Rap/Hip Hop Album to fellow Degrassi-alum, Drake. “Me and Nina were on Degrassi together, by the way,” the rapper announced during his speech, which brought out the giggles in both parties. Views, what? More like feels. And all of them!

Shawn Mendes’ surprising advice to his 12-year-old self

In his red carpet interview with E!, the Pickering-raised singer revealed that he’d totally date a fan, and that he’d tell his 12-year-old self to stop picking his nose in public. L-O-L, Shawn. Just, LOL.


Ariana Grande’s Survivor-inspired performance of “Side To Side”

Seriously though, was anyone else wondering if Jeff Probst was going to make a surprise appearance? Ariana Grande put on quite the show, with her performance of “Side To Side” with Nicki Minaj. And the tribe had definitely spoken: Grande ended up nabbing the award for Artist of the Year.


The Chainsmokers and Halsey being cute… again

Although it may have lacked the adorable-factor of their MTV VMAs act earlier this year, The Chainsmokers and Halsey‘s performance of “Closer” was still cute. Seriously though, could they be any more cute?!

Selena Gomez’s speech on validation

Selena Gomez took to the podium after receiving the award for Best Female Artist with a short but sweet, and absolutely powerful speech on validation. “I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram, I want to see what’s in here,” she said, patting her chest. “I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore.” The singer’s voice then began to quiver as she went on to thank her fans: “You guys are so damn loyal, and I don’t know what I did to deserve you.” We love you, Selena!

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