The American Music Awards, created in 1973 by Dick Clark, is an annual award show that celebrates and honors the best of the best in the music industry and, unlike the Grammy Awards, the results are decided by a poll of the public. While deciding who we want to be Artist of the Year is fun, deciding who won and who failed miserably on the Red Carpet can’t be beat. Take a look at some of the best (and worst!) dressed from the 2012 American Music Awards.

 Carly Rae Jepsen in Gomez Garcia, Edie Parker clutch

Looks like someone went shopping in Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood’s laundry. This sugary sweet, sparkly gown was the perfect choice for Carly. The dress looks great on her and, while it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it stands out and reminds me of Carly herself — grown up (she turned 27 today!) but still wanting a little young, sparkly fun. I do have to say, though, that I absolutely hate this woman’s hair. I’m not a fan of the blunt bang on most people, and Carly is no exception.

Amy Heidemann in Falguni & Shane Peacock 

OK, I’ll tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell. I had absolutely no idea who this woman was, but due to the sheer hideousness and train-wreck factor of this ensemble, I had to include her in this list. She’s actually one half of the pop rock duo, Karmin (the other half is her fiance, Nick Louis Noonan). Now that I know who she is, I’m so upset I didn’t know about her earlier because she is adorable and Karmin is awesome. But I digress. No matter how cute this girl is, I cannot have pity on her for this look. The hair is just a mess of braids that honestly reminds me of a wicker basket/challah bread and the dress is a mess. I could definitely get behind the print if it weren’t for the other terrible features of this dress–the awkward almost-peplum, the black band, and the random chest cutout. They’re all competing with each other and with a loud print like this, the whole dress just looks weird.

Carrie Underwood in Abed Mahfouz 

YES. Finally,  Carrie is diverging from her usual sparkly, sparkly, sparkly (which I love, don’t get me wrong) and doing something different. The silhouette of this dress simply makes her look statuesque and the color and detailing is unique and dramatic. I can’t help but think that perhaps a sleek up-do would’ve completed this look, but Carrie looks simply stunning either way. Love!

Christina Aguilera in Pamella Roland

I kind of love and hate this at the same time. While I think the dress is incredibly flattering and looks amazing on her, and her matching eye makeup is gorgeous, there are few things I do hate about this. For starters, the hair. Again, I just don’t think the blunt bangs are flattering for her face, nor do I love the sharpness of the cut or the length. I much prefer Christina’s hair long and loose and I think a style like that would’ve suited this gown much better. Additionally, while I find the jewelry and shoes a bit gaudy, that’s Christina and I love it. The one other thing I just have to mention is how bronze she looks. How bronze does she look, you may ask? TOO BRONZE. She looks ENTIRELY TOO BRONZE. Overall, though, a definite win for Christina–she looks beautiful. Bronze and beautiful.

Elisha Cuthbert in Editions by Georges Chakra, Jimmy Choo clutch

To paraphrase Russell from Almost Famous, Elisha Cuthbert is a golden god. She looks so awesome and so radiant. Her makeup is flawless and the dress is amazing. Love the simple accessories, love the sleek hair, love it all.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Oscar de la Renta, Jimmy Choo shoes, Judith Leiber jewels

I’m shocked at myself for thinking this right now, but Ginnifer Goodwin looks awesome. Wow, that felt weird. I’m actually loving everything about this dress. It’s cute and delicate, but it still comes across as mature and high fashion. The strappy shoes are equally delicate looking and fit the dress perfectly. Ginnifer’s dark and short hair complements the dress as well, and while I don’t love her somewhat over-the-top makeup (look at those bottom lashes!), this look is still amazing. Now if she’d just crack a smile….

Gwen Stefani in Balmain

Love! This look is so quintessential Gwen. The exposed bandeau, the leather leggings, the glam blazer–I love it all. I love that she didn’t wear a gown and left her hair down and loose, and the red lipstick definitely adds a great pop of color. Total rock star chic.

Hayden Panettiere in Armani dress and clutch, JN jewels, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes

Looks like someone’s getting ready for the winter Olympics. Or for her role in Ice Princess 2. No, but seriously, Hayden looks stunning. I love the minimalist look of this. The dress is so delicate, she’s wearing almost no jewelry, and her makeup looks fresh and clean with just a pop of fun color. I would’ve preferred more delicate shoes, but other than that, so perfect.

Heidi Klum in Alexander Vauthier Couture, Lorraine Schwartz jewels, Christina Louboutin shoes

Ugh, Heidi. Lately I just hate everything this woman puts on. Personally, I think this dress is just ugly, especially with those sheer strips at the top. The cut of this dress isn’t flattering on her–and that’s saying something for someone whose dinner is probably a baby carrot. Also, why do the shoes look like they were covered in the same fabric as this dress?! No, Heidi. NO.

Jenny McCarthy

There’s no doubt that Jenny looks great here, but I just don’t love this. It’s perfectly OK–the fit is great and there’s nothing actually terrible about it. I guess I just don’t love the boring black top paired with the loud and glamorous skirt. Also, take your hair back to the 80s, Jenny. It is not welcome here.

Jordin Sparks in Etro

Why, Jordin? Why? I just want an explanation. I almost can’t even find the words to describe my feelings about this dress. Almost. Jordin definitely looks great–her body, her makeup. Blah blah blah. The bottom line is that this dress is terrible. The various crazy patterns are all clashing with each other and the black sheer lining is atrocious and unneeded. Who thought this dress was a good idea? I want names.

Kerry Washington in Stella McCartney

Here’s another one who always looks miserable on the red carpet. Besides for Kerry’s apparent inability to smile for all us little people, she’s also wearing a rain poncho/your grandmother’s house dress with fabulous shoes.

Ke$ha

Oh…kay. This is Ke$ha, right? Why isn’t she wearing a garbage bag or covered in glitter or wearing a tail?! I’m freaking out, you guys. She looks amazing. Who would’ve thought? Her face alone is boggling beyond words here and she looks gorgeous. I’m intensely loving the platinum hair on her. The shoes are fierce and the dress is very sweet, but still a bit edgy as well (she’s showing major skin!). Ke$ha definitely wins most shocking transformation of the night. I seriously hope this isn’t just a phase for the queen of dirt and glitter.

Kimberly Cole

Not to be the millionth person to say this or anything, but who else thought this was J.Lo at first?! It’s okay, though–that’s definitely a compliment. Kimberly Cole, who was recently interviewed for Love Twenty by yours truly, looked absolutely glittering on the red carpet. Even though this is yet another apparently figure skating-themed dress, it does look great on her and I can’t resist a sparkly dress (see: every dress review I’ve ever given to Taylor Swift). The hair is a little out there, but it’s a twist on Kimberly’s classic high pony and I love that she stayed true to her own style.

Lucy Hale in Elizabeth and James, Brian Atwood shoes, a Lulu Guinness clutch, Bauble Bar necklace, Le Vain ring and earrings

I’ll make this review short, sweet and to the point–kind of like Lucy’s dress! She looks so great, from her hair to her jewels, to the cute silhouette of this classic LBD. The matching red lip and shoes just pull everything together. Way to go, Lucy!

Nicki Minaj in Monique Lhullier

This is slightly awkward. Nicki looks great… but so did Julie Bowen when she wore the same dress to the Emmys about two months ago. Love when this happens. But putting the focus back on Nicki, I have to say that I’m pleasantly shocked by this ensemble. Nicki actually looks normal for a change–she’s not wearing any stuffed animals, animal print, or anything that remotely looks like an arts and crafts project. She still has her wild, platinum hair and the color of the dress (highlighter green, in case you were wondering) couldn’t be more perfect for her. Amazing!

Pink in Catherine Deane

Sigh. I so want to like this and I’ve tried–really, I have–but I just can’t. I love the top of the dress. The bronze color is fierce and so is the intricate laser cutout design. There’s just something about the metallic bronze color becoming brown in the boring skirt that I hate. I don’t think the color is all too flattering on her and I wish she’d been able to find something edgy and ladylike without being boring. Her makeup is great, though, and she really does look so pretty–I just can’t get behind this dress.

Stacy Keibler in Collette Dinnigan   

Oh, wow. So absolutely and completely loving this dress, but utterly hating the fact that it’s so short. The length of this dress-shirt is distracting me from all the other great things about Stacey’s look! First of all, how does one sit in such a short dress? Second of all, I hate to say this looks trashy, but it looks really trashy so short. It’s a stunning dress and all I can think about is her imminent wardrobe malfunction when she tries to sit down. Yes, Stacey, you have awesome legs, but do we really need to see that much of them on a red carpet? Who do you think you are, J.Lo? (See: Jennifer Lopez at the 2011 Grammys.)

Taylor Swift in Zuhair Murad, Jimmy Choo shoes, Neil Lane jewels

Last but certainly not least, Taylor Swift. The dress itself is absolutely stunning and I’m loving the sexy shoes, smokey makeup and, yes, even the blunt bangs. There’s no denying she looks amazing and she is without a doubt my best dressed of the evening! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Honorable Mention:

Cyndi Lauper, who arrived in style via the crazy train in Hot Topic rejects

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below!