"Idol" worship at American Music Awards
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The American Music Awards resembled a greatest-hits version of "American Idol" on Sunday, as two former contestants of the hit talent show, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood, each won three prizes.
Daughtry's eponymous rock band and country singer Underwood overshadowed the likes of superstars Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, possibly with some help from new voting rules.
In a move that mimicked the fan-based element of "American Idol," the producers of the ratings-challenged awards show allowed fans to vote online. Winners were traditionally determined by an opinion poll of 20,000 music buyers.
Producers said about 1.2 million people voted online at a Web site established by the show's U.S. broadcaster, ABC. By contrast, 74 million votes were cast by telephone for the grand finale of "American Idol" on Fox in May.
Daughtry, a finalist on the fifth season of "American Idol" in 2006, won for favorite breakthrough artist, favorite adult contemporary artist, and favorite pop/rock album for their chart-topping self-titled release.
While he thanked the English creator of the "Idol" format, Simon Fuller, Daughtry noted that he was an artist before he entered the show.
"The show didn't make me who I am. It just gave me an opportunity to show everybody else who I was," he told reporters backstage.
"HECK OF A NIGHT"
Underwood's American Music Award honors were for favorite female artist and favorite album, both in the country category. She also won a special award determined by text messages.
She received the album award for her debut release "Some Hearts."
"This is one heck of a night," Underwood said.
She won the fourth season of "American Idol" and went to No. 1 last month with her second album, "Carnival Ride." Earlier this year, she won two Grammys, including the coveted best new artist award.
Also receiving three nominations each were pop star Justin Timberlake, R&B singer Beyonce and rock band Linkin Park.
Timberlake won for favorite male artist in the pop/rock category, and favorite soul/R&B album for "FutureSex/LoveSounds." He sent in an acceptance speech from Australia, where he is on tour.
Beyonce was snubbed in the competitive races but was given a special "International Artist Award of Excellence" prize.
Los Angeles rockers Linkin Park, who did not show up at the event, were named favorite alternative rock artist.
Another multiple winner was rapper T.I., who won for favorite male artist and favorite album in the rap/hip-hop category. He is confined to his Atlanta home, awaiting trial on federal weapons charges.
Rascal Flatts was named favorite band, duo or group in the country category. Tim McGraw, another no-show, was named favorite male artist in that category.
Winners were announced during a ceremony held at the new Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. For the fourth year, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the show.