Little Mix – Move (from The X Factor)
Move was the first time Little Mix sounded like the natural heirs to the thrones previously occupied by Girls Aloud. This performance only backed up this theory. On point dancing, on point singing and on point styling surprisingly makes an on point performance. Their arena tour is going to be really good isn’t it?
Beyonce – ‘Medley’ (from The Superbowl)
This performance was so good that it blew the power in the stadium. Almost everything was perfect. Except for her missing her spot on the video floor :(. Regardless of that, the whole world was talking about how perfect she is as soon as she finished the final bar of Halo. This would have been 2013’s defining moment in a live medium if it wasn’t for a pesky tongue. But we’ll get to that.
Icona Pop – I Love It (from Dancing With The Stars)
Purveyors of subtle, melancholic pop Icona Pop turned the Dancing With The Stars set into a neon glow rave earlier in the year. It was all just very fun, which is really what pop should be. Even Len Goodman was raving.
Leah McFall – I Will Survive (from The Voice)
original re-think of I Will Survive cover of the Chantay Savage cover was brilliant. Mostly because unlike Purple Rain and Listen, we’ve not heard it five times at varying degrees of ‘good’. Fortunately, she sang it well too, and it remains the only real moment from the shows two series.
Ariana Grande – Tattooed Heart (from The American Music Awards)
Ariana Grande overshadowed everyone at The American Music Awards by singing the hell out of a good song (from an incredible album).
Ciara (feat. Nicki Minaj) – I’m Out/Body Party (from The BET Awards)
Ciara overshadowed everyone at The BET Awards by singing and dancing the hell out of two good songs (from an incredible album).
Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko) – Stay (from The Grammys)
Rihanna silenced her critics (the people that complain about a woman under thirty showing her shoulders) by standing there and singing Stay very well. Everyone loved it. So much so that it went 4x platinum in the USA. Props to whoever did her hair too.
Robin Thicke & Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop/Blurred Lines (from the VMAs)
2013’s defining pop moment. It’s a terrible performance. But incredible at the same time. The tongue was iconic. The twerk was iconic. Miley wanted everyone to talk about her after the show and we still are so mission accomplished. It’s kind of a shame that this happened because it doesn’t look like she’s going to tone it down any time soon (Adore You was crying for subtlety), but still, it was good.
Jennifer Lopez – Live It Up (from Britain’s Got Talent)
A masterclass in how to create a spectacle. The foot-clapping was the all-conquering dance craze of 2013 that never was. The fur sleeves were the fashion trend of 2013 that never happened. Jennifer Lopez becoming God was the moment of 2013 that never happened :(.
Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Stronger (live from Scala)
Sometimes something happens in the live medium that is just so right. When Siobhan sang Heidi’s part in Stronger, the crowd at Scala went so crazy that you couldn’t hear Siobhan. I was there. It was a surreal moment. And my favourite live performance of 2013.