The 2009 American Music Awards, at Nokia Theatre L.A., had the boldfaces: Rihanna, Reba, Paula, Shakira, Alicia, Kelly and hundreds more. And it had clothes: amazing and bizarre. And, oh yeah, it had Bobby Trendy.

Know what's great about Carrie Underwood's dress? You just know from sense memory that it feels like one of those Barbie gowns.

Don't worry, Selena Gomez, there's enough glitz to go around!

So, over the weekend I was considering the purchase of a pair of silk tap shorts. And the saleslady said to me, "the great thing is, when you can't decide between a skirt or pants, you reach for the shorts." Wonder if that was Chani Christie's process.

I like how Melissa Etheridge always puts just enough thought into her selections to make you think. Think And sequins.

Ah, the barber pole. The last refuge of a scoundrel.

Reba McIntyre may or may not have ridden here. Through a briar patch. Western-style, presumably.

Shakira looks adorable, is apparently going to walk through a Medieval town square filled with excrement for an audience with the king.

That's good: otherwise we might not have been sure where Kelly Clarkson's breasts were.

It's like Toni Braxton's leg is about to perform a Gypsy Rose Lee-style striptease.

What Phoebe Price has to do with American Music, I can't say. What she has to do with "never disappointing" is a lot.

Oh, but you know what's apparently over my head? Leona Lewis's dress.

Paula Abdul, once again, dressed for a ball that only she is attending. This may be genius. It may be tragic.

Rihanna's die-cut doily: the evening's most creative - and prettiest - look.

Is Alicia Keys' frock a) for a figure-skating engagement later in the evening b) a bet she lost c) Andy Kaufman-style performance art or, and I very much fear it's this, d) none of the above?

Kristen, psst...there's a strip missing from your dress. Oh, it's supposed to be like that? I'll just...walk over here. There's Val Kilmer. In a hat.

Remember those weird "toys" where there were a bunch of pins in a box and you stuck your hand or, if you were brave, your face in, and it sort of hurt, but at the end you had a really neat, ephemeral impression of it? Fergie does!

I'll say this for Bobby Trendy. He's gotten his picture up on Getty.

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