When Mendes won the award for favorite adult contemporary artist, the screams of teenagers in the crowd raised the question: why was Mendes nominated for adult contemporary if teenagers make up the bulk of his fanbase?
As Christina Aguilera made her way to the stage for a show-stopping tribute to Whitney Houston, nearby stagehands were overheard mistaking her name for "Selena Aguilera."
As Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds spoke to accept the first award of the night — "This is the country that I know which is one of powerful women" — the lack of women in the category, and in many other categories including artist of the year, seemed particularly eerie.
Here is what you didn't see on your TV screen: Luckily, Variety was there to capture all of the behind-the-scenes action. Sunday night's American Music Awards were packed with big stars and even bigger performances, but if you were watching from home, you might have missed some of the more subtle (and not-so-subtle) highs and lows that were not televised.
Deafening screams emanated from the audience every time there was a mention of BTS — which was often, seeing as ads for the K-pop band’s AMAs merch played repeatedly throughout the night.
Host Tracee Ellis Ross clowned around and struck poses when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Shawn Mendes was spotted backstage running over for a quick hello to fellow Canadian Alessia Cara. Mendes is busy in the studio working on new songs, Variety hears, and is aiming for a new album in the first quarter of 2018.
Presenter Viola Davis earned one of the most enthusiastic standing ovations of the night for simply being present.
​Post Malone was looking toasty at the end of the show smoking a cigar outside, which the "Rock Star" rapper pulled out of a toolbox that he was carrying all night.
At the end of Portugal. The Man’s performance of "Feel It Still," the band flashed an invitation onscreen: "Meet us on Wilshire after the show, drinks on us."” />
The two acts were seeing hugging and speaking enthusiastically backstage. Is a collaboration between Khalid and BTS in the works?
DJ Khaled's toddler son Assad was a big hit in the greenroom, where he spent much of the evening taking in the sights and smells of the VIP life.
Cara and Zedd high-fived each other and shared a hug after performing a stripped-down version of their hit "Stay."