It was meant to be a joyous night and it was for most, especially crooner Robin Thicke and hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who had just received multiple Grammy nominations.
But every party needs a scrooge, and at KIIS FM's Jingle Ball on Friday night, it appeared Selena Gomez was taking on that role during the radio station's annual holiday concert at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The event featured a hefty lineup that also included Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony, Travie McCoy, Jason Derulo, Austin Mahone, Enrique Iglesias and New Politics.
Things seemed to be going off without a hitch until Gomez took the stage halfway through the show and claimed to be having technical difficulties.
After ripping her ear monitor out, it got caught on her clothing and dangled awkwardly throughout the performance as she kept trying to untangle it. A backup dancer appeared to try to help her, only to be shoved away by the singer as she sang “Birthday” — though it didn't seem like much singing was actually being done, with Gomez relying heavily on her backup track.
But that wasn't the worst of it. After the first song, Gomez rushed off stage and someone — possibly Gomez, possibly not — yelled “What the (expletive)” into the microphone. Gomez came back out, apologized for the technical issues and said she'd like to sing two more songs for the crowd. She sang one, her hit “Come and Get It,” and then rushed off stage without a word.
It wasn't the only time sound issues would impact a performance.
Ariana Grande sang almost an entire song with the microphone not working until she ran off stage during an instrumental sequence in the song to get a new microphone. Unlike Gomez, it was clear Grande was performing live and the 20-year-old upcoming starlet handled it endearingly.
“I'm sorry, my mic was off the entire time. At least you know I don't have a track,” Grande told the crowd. “I was nervous enough as it is and then it didn't work.”
But she went on to give a beautiful vocal performance of her song “Honeymoon Avenue,” despite having bronchitis, which she later revealed.
“P.S. I have bronchitis ya'll,” she said as she coughed into the mic and took a sip of water.
Despite technical issues, there were a number of highlights throughout the evening.
Robin Thicke had just wrapped up performing at the Grammy Nominations Concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. where he found out he is nominated for three Grammys, including record of the year for “Blurred Lines,” best pop duo/group performance and best pop vocal album.
“That's the first time that's ever happened to me and I've been making music since I was 11 years old,” Thicke told the packed stadium on his Grammy noms. “Dreams do come true, sometimes they just take a little longer for some of us.”
The singer went on to perform his summer hit “Blurred Lines,” with special guest performer T.I. It was obvious the singer was in great spirits and was happy to perform, though his set was short with only two songs.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis rang up seven nominations including song of the year, best new artist and album of the year.
After passionately performing the record up for song of the year, “Same Love,” with featured artist Mary Lambert, Macklemore addressed his Grammy noms.
“We just got nominated for song of the year for ‘Same Love,' I never thought I would say that out loud so thank you to everyone who has supported us this past year,” Macklemore said. “And now it's only right that we celebrate with a song about cadillacs, Ryan Lewis let's go.”
They went on to perform an entertaining set with pyrotechnics and confetti sprayed into the crowded.
But never one to be upstaged, Miley Cyrus ended the night with confetti, balloons, Santa Claus, dancers in reindeer antlers and a person in a large Christmas tree suit. While Cyrus twerked on Mr. Claus briefly during “We Can't Stop,” her set was mostly free of any outrageous behavior. Instead, Cyrus showed a more demure side with her emotional hits “Summertime Sadness” and “Wrecking Ball.”
By the end of her set, the pop star had mascara streaming down her face from tears. One would hope they were happy ones since her vocal performance was pretty much spot on. Plus, who can be sad singing into a giant candy cane microphone?