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Billboard Music Awards 2014: Highs and lows of BBMA performances (Photo)

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Pitbull opened the Billboard Music Awards 2014 on May 18 with the help of several scantily-clad backup dancers dressed in bright green short shorts and half tops. (Other BBMA 2014 performers included One Republic, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Jessie J, Shakira, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus via video feed from the UK, and Jennifer Lopez to close the show.)

Unfortunately, Pitbull really wasn't in top form vocally, and Jennifer Lopez really didn't improve the situation when she came out to sing back-up in her gold fringed bodysuit. (She was far more impressive in her solo closing performance three hours later.) For an opening number, it just wasn't working.

Billboard Music Awards: BBMA 2014 Performances - Hits and Misses

For her performance, Shakira appeared to be lip synching, though we can't be sure. (But we're pretty sure.)

Throughout the evening, the musical acts were hit and miss. Miley Cyrus and one of The Flaming Lips covered the LSD-laced Beatles hit, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," from clear across the pond, and we actually didn't hate it.

Some new boy band who dressed punk but played pop sang about their rich-boy underwear. (That, we did kind of hate.)

Rock act Imagine Dragons put on an okay show, but otherwise we were really getting very, very tired.

Then, the 2014 BBMA awards busted out the Michael Jackson hologram and woke us right up. Backup dancers dressed as storm troopers launched the set, giving way to the 3-D image of Michael. The King of Pop appeared - in a manner of speaking - sitting in a throne before performing an elaborate dance routine to "Slave to the Rhythm," a track recorded back in 1991. It was...bizarre.

Get more details on how the posthumous Michael Jackson performance was produced via Billboard.com here now.

Another stand-out act of the evening was Lorde. The teen goth-pop (is that a thing?) sensation performed a new single called "Tennis Court" in what was the only moderately original thing we saw during the whole three hours. We're not always sure how we feel about her, but she's definitely got her own unique thing going on, which we fully endorse. In addition to giving an arresting BBMA 2014 performance, young Lorde took home Top Rock Song and Top New Artist Sunday night.

What did you think of the BBMA 2014 performances in Las Vegas on May 18? Did you have a favorite act? Sound off in the comments below!

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