I got downtown to the Nokia Theater at 3:45. After picking up my credentials, I immediately went out to the red carpet and stood behind the beautiful Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls and watched her interview celeb after celeb (and if you happened to watch the pre-show, I’m proud to say I wrote many of the interview questions). Saw Taylor Swift, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Annie Lennox, Chris Brown, David Cook, David Archuleta, Natasha Bedingfield and Ne-Yo while standing there from 4:15 to 4:45 but the highlight was when Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith stepped up on the platform. It was like seeing royalty.

During the actual AMA’s, I hung out with Craig, a guy working party security (for about twenty years now, I’ve helped out with security for the after-party, usually confirming that celebrities without party tickets are actually who they say they are and are important enough to let in). Craig had one goal: to get a photo of himself with the Jonas Brothers to show his two young daughters. So we hung out outside the Jonas Brothers dressing room for a while. He snapped a photo of them with his phone when they went to the rest room, but they had a big bodyguard so he didn’t ask if they’d stop to take a photo with him, at least not then. Afterward, we went outside to wait for them after they finished their performance, figuring they’d be going directly to their limo. Hilariously, my friend went back into the building to use the rest room for a moment and a minute later, out came the Jonas Brothers. Fortunately a professional photographer had gotten the brothers to stop so he could snap a few shots. Craig came out a second later and the boys were nice enough to take a photo with him.

We may have been waiting for the Jonas Brothers, but it was the perfect vantage point as we also spotted such artists as Coldplay, Leona Lewis, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Alicia Keys, Pink, Sarah McLachlan, Rihanna and Daughtry.

By 8:00, I was stationed at the entrance to the party to help out there. There were hardly any problems with people without tickets trying to lie their way into the party, although one guy did try to say he put his ticket down in the restroom and someone just happened to mark it with a Sharpie (obviously he had found a ticket someone had already used to get into the party). Probably a lot of the stars went through the VIP entrance as just one celeb came through to go to the party without a ticket: Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge on “Dancing With The Stars.” Jordin Sparks, who won “American Idol” two years ago also walked past us to get to her car in the parking garage.

After years of having a band play at the AMA after-party (one year Stevie Wonder even went up and did a song with them), last year they had a DJ for the first time. There was a DJ again this year and it seems like more people were dancing than ever. I saw the producer and the writers of the AMA’s at the party and they were all very happy with the show, even if it did ruyn three minutes over the allotted three hours…


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