Pitbull brought some Latino flavor when he took the stage to host the American Music Awards for the second consecutive year. But for some viewers, the Miami rapper left a sour taste in their mouths.
The show started with a burst of energy thanks to Taylor Swift’s on fire, almost literally, performance of “Blank Space,” but when the Cuban-American rapper took the stage for his intro, it just fell flat.
“Mr. Worldwide” spent a good portion of his introductory monologue with Latino-themed jokes including poking fun at President Obama’s recent immigration action.
“Now, you all know I’m Cuban, but remember America, not all Latinos are Mexican,” Pitbull said. “We got everybody here tonight – black, white, pink, purple, orange, Asian, Latino – and guess what, President Obama said we can all stay. God Bless America.”
He also joked about speaking Spanish to improve the show’s ratings.
“ABC found out last year that when I spoke just three Spanish words, rating went up 142 percent, so get ready for three hours of just subtitles!” he joked.
Throughout the rest of the AMAs – which were once again overloaded with performances – Pitbull was only an intermittent presence, and he was almost completely absent from the second hour except for his performance with Ne-Yo.
Viewers’ reactions to Pitbull’s hosting skills were less than kind - so much so that “Why is Pitbull” was trending during the show.