Is there anything more fun than watching a youth-oriented broadcast and slowly realizing you are not the plucky 22-year-old you still fancy yourself to be? Such was the case last night when I found myself viewing the iHeart Radio Ultimate Pool Party courtesy of The CW network. Now, to be fair, this wasn’t a totally accidental occurrence. I did receive compensation to watch the show, which of course sounds shady, but daddy’s gotta earn some money! It’s all good though because just as Jewel’s hands are small but still her own, so are my thoughts about this daffy concert.
Now, in case you weren’t part of the .82 million people who watched the show last night, fear not. I’m happy to fill you in on everything you missed. Soon, you too will feel as if you were right there — (and by right there, I mean sitting on my couch, watching this show at midnight while you battle a taco-induced food coma).
The “pool party,” which took place at Miami’s storied Fontainebleu hotel, was curious for many things — perhaps mostly the lack of a pool. Yes, this was a pool party sans pool. For a moment I thought there might be a clever spin on the concept — like, perhaps, a stage in the shape of a pool table. Or maybe even a cameo from Mrs. Poole herself, Edie McClurg. But no. There was no pool except for brief interstitial segments throughout the ninety minute broadcast. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but as a stickler for the pool party genre, I simply cannot abide by a pool party without a pool. SHOCKING, I TELL YOU.
This, however, was far from a dry party. The humid Miami weather had all performers spraying so much sweat off their bodies that I nearly thought I was watching an old Slice commercial.
Nevertheless, the concert began in earnest with a sweaty, armpitty, and overall fun performance by Lil’ Jon, who amped up the crowd with his seminal anthem “Get Low.” Fun fact: I used to listen to “Get Low” on repeat for hours at a time. And to this day I still occasionally will blast it in my car… at least until I arrive at an intersection at which point, the volume drops to low and I merely mumble the lyrics, lest any nearby eyes see me in my Lil’ Jon glory. This, of course, answers the seminal question: turn down for what? Evidently, I turn down for other drivers.
Anyway, Lil Jon segued into this summer’s aforementioned club hit “Turn Down For What?” and lo and behold, I found myself falling into the vortex that was the iHeart Radio Ultimate Pool Party. I don’t know if it’s because the kids looked like they were having a blast or simply the joyful emceeing of Nick Cannon, but I kind of got into this whole concert experience. We had spirited performances from Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande (both separate and together), Neon Trees, Magic, and the one and only J-Lo (who admittedly put me to sleep, but only because it was 1 AM, and, as previously mentioned, I was doing some hardcore taco digesting).
Even host Nick Cannon got into the act by performing his new single called… I don’t know. It’s called something. I have to admit that I curled up into a fetal position the moment he said “This is my new single with Pitbull.” Thankfully, Mr. Worldwide was nowhere to be found in this concert, which is shocking considering that a) this was all happening in Pitbull’s backyard of Miami, and b) I’ve never seen a televised event that he was reticent to appear at. But no, despite guesting on half the songs performed, the diminutive rapper never graced this (pool-less) stage.
As for Nick’s song, it was decent. This may surprise some, but I am an unabashed Nick Cannon fan. I mean, the guy can do it all: act, rap, host, marry Mariah Carey. I support all his smiley endeavors. That being said… about three quarters of Nick’s performance was him playing the hype man to his own music. I can’t really say I got a grasp on the song unless, of course, the lyrics to his new single are actually just “EVERYBODY JUUUUUMP!!!” or “MAKE SOME NOOOOIIIISE!!!” or the welcome variation, “IF YOU GOT A DREAM, MAKE SOME NOOOOOoooooise!!”
iHeart Awkward Dance Moves
Amidst the performances, we had middling interstitial entertainment, most of it provided by someone named Paul The Web Guy, who looked like a long-lost Jonas Brother from the Jersey Shore. The guy managed to talk over half his interview subjects, culminating in a cringe-inducing segment with Tiësto. This was a total breakdown in Dutch-American cultural relations.
Also chiming in between songs was British chanteuse Katy Tiz, who sings one of the most aggressively annoying songs on the radio right now (“The Big Bang”). Ms. Tiz lorded over a bizarre and fleeting water balloon game that momentarily made me nostalgic for the antics of MTV’s “Spring Break.” Oh, to be lathered up in oil, stuck in a car, and forced to change bathing suits with a member of the opposite sex. Those were the days.
Amping up the fun even more was Jake Miller, who galavanted around the Fontainebleu taking selfies. It was an amiable segment; although, I couldn’t help but wonder who the HELL Jake Miller was. Does this mean I’m getting old? I REFUSE.
Nevertheless, for all its silliness, I couldn’t help but feel the vicarious pull of the iHeart Radio Ultimate Pool Party (or iRUPP, as I like to call it). And is it sad that my favorite performance of the night was Ariana Grande singing “Problems?” I don’t even like that song. Clearly I’m grasping at my youth.
Now excuse me while I place my imaginary iHeart Radio headphones over my ears and apply seal fetus cream to my cheeks. Wrinkles be gone!