Well, big thanks to Taylor Swift for walking the red carpet, because two of the other big performances of the night — Madonna and Mariah Carey — did not, but at least we have the press room (Mariah) and the show cam (Madge). Madonna sang her new single “Medellin” alongside Maluma — he of the paint-splattered leather suit — and several holograms of herself, because who better to share the stage with a legend than other versions of that legend:

I had a clip of Kelly Clarkson, too, but I guess it got pulled from the Interwebs for copyright reasons. Basically, there was a gag that opened the show in which Florida-Georgia Line tried to evict her as a seat-filler (I think this ties into something that actually happened at another awards show, perhaps?), and she proved herself by singing a medley of a bunch of hit songs from the year — which is how we got to see Cardi B applauding Kelly singing Cardi B. I will keep looking for the clip to resurface; in the meantime, trust me that it was charming. I am pretty sure the fastest way to improve every situation in the world is to add Kelly Clarkson.

[Photos: Rex/Shutterstock]