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The pyrotechnic-heavy performance began with small flames, via Swift carrying a burning rose and then holding some of the fire in her hand, before she was framed by huge bursts of flames shooting up from bushes in the backdrop during the chorus, creating a particularly appropriate backdrop when she sang, “They’ll tell you I’m insane.”
The performance, which featured several callbacks to her video for the second single, opened with a re-creation of the dining room table scene from the video inside of a frame. Swift, wearing a short gold shimmery dress later was pursued by and fought off a suitor inside another frame. Her dancers also carried large picture frames and incorporated those into their routines.
In the video, Swift is seen interacting with portraits of her exes in the hallway of her lavish mansion.
The performance ended with a man — a new suitor — walking through the door carrying flowers, just as one arrives in the video.
Swift later took home the first-ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence, making some remarks that could stoke the fires of her ongoing Spotify feud.
“Blank Space” is the second single off Swift’s new album 1989, which sold nearly 1.287 million copies in its first week, the most for any album since 2002.
The video for “Blank Space,” which has racked up more than 82 million views on YouTube since it was released almost two weeks ago, shows Swift going from infatuation to romance to a violent break-up over the course of day.
Designed to poke fun at rumors about her love life and being a crazy ex-girlfriend, the “Blank Space” lyrics include such memorable lines as “Got a long list of ex-lovers/They’ll tell you I’m insane” and “Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
See more American Music Awards: Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, Katy Perry Among Nominees
The Pitbull-hosted show also featured performances from Ariana Grande, 5 Seconds of Summer, Iggy Azalea, Mary J. Blige, Charli XCX, Fergie, Lorde, One Direction, Sam Smith, Garth Brooks, Selena Gomez, Imagine Dragons and Mr. Worldwide himself.
Azalea was the most-nominated artist, with six nods. Other multiple nominees included John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams, who had five each, and Lorde, with four.
The AMAs, produced by Dick Clark Productions, are airing live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live from 8 to 11 p.m. on ABC.
Dick Clark Productions is a sister company of The Hollywood Reporter.
Read more AMAs coverage:
–American Music Awards: Best and Worst Moments
–Pitbull Pokes Fun at Hispanic-Skewing Ratings, Obama’s Immigration Address
–Taylor Swift Plays With Fire in “Blank Space” World Premiere Performance
–Iggy Azalea Wins First-Ever Award With Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album Trophy
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