Suggesting that not even “the people” give an actual fuck about what the people want anymore, last night’s American Music Awards ended up being the least-watched outing in the popular-vote-based event’s history. Not even the pull of a Cardi B performance, or the final, inescapable cultural ascendancy of Taylor Swift, could lure audiences in to watch the special, which drew in a meager 1.8 rating among the fabled “demographic.”
And if you’re sitting here wondering “What the fuck are the American Music Awards?”, well, you’re not alone, friends. (See, for instance, the entire previous paragraph about how no one watched the damn things.) Spawned from the most noble of motives—i.e., Dick Clark trying to shank the Grammys in 1973 after they bailed on ABC—the award show distinguishes itself mostly by dint of having all of its categories determined by votes from regular people, and not the opinions of critics and other musical elitists.
Of course, at least one news source—guess who!—has managed to blame the ratings downturn, not on the fact that the AMAs are just sort of generically superfluous in a world where the opinions of the average person are not just easy to access, but are, in fact, oppressively difficult to avoid, but on the idea that T-Swift has been talking about politics too much. Per Fox News, “The politically charged 2018 American Music Awards produced dismal viewership,” implicitly linking that lack of interest to the fact that Swift took like 40 seconds out of her multiple award acceptances to take a big political swing and say “You all should really try voting this year.”