Amidst performances from stars both new and established, award wins both expected and surprising, and a raucous crowd at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, a few moments stood out at the 43rd Juno Awards. Here are five of them.
Justin Bieber’s win booed
With tens of millions of Beliebers proselytizing him on Twitter, it’s little wonder that the pop megastar from Stratford, Ont., won his fourth straight Fan Choice award. It might be a tad more surprising to hear audible boos from the crowd in Winnipeg when the Olympic Women’s curling team announced the accolade.
Bieber, who lately has been making more headlines about his brushes with the law than his musical career, was not present at the show.
Serena Ryder later took a moment out of her own air time to mollify the crowd.
"I really think that Justin Bieber is an amazing musician and he deserved every bit of that award because he's been working his ass off his entire life and we need to support how awesome he is," she said.
Bieber did tweet his thanks to his fans that evening.
We won #JUNOFanChoice for the 4th year in a row! Love to all my beliebers. Thank u. Love u— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 31, 2014
Chris Hadfield inducts BTO
Former astronaut – and a musical aficionado himself – Chris Hadfield introduced Bachman-Turner Overdrive, who were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Hadfield managed to croon some of BTO’s lines himself before Randy Bachman, Fred Turner, Blair Thornton and Robin Bachman took to the stage.
"Good music is an international language, even in space,” said Hadfield, before launching BTO into the hall of fame stratosphere. He would know.
Even Hadfield’s mustachioed charm, however, couldn’t stand up to the show’s closing performance as BTO took to the stage with the Sheepdogs.
Multiple stars absent
Several of the biggest winners and stars were noticeable because of their absence:
- Justin Bieber.
- Arcade Fire.
- Michael Bublé.
They all had other engagements, despite multiple nominations.
Add to that list Robin Thicke, who pulled out of attendance and a planned performance earlier that morning due to problems with his vocal cords.
It ended up giving a wider breadth for those in attendance — including Tegan and Sara, Serena Ryder and A Tribe Called Red — to take centre stage, and their performances pulled it off without a hitch.
Arcade Fire’s thank-you message
Arcade Fire won one of the night’s highest honours, with Reflektor earning the Album of the Year award. The Montreal rockers were in Santiago, Chile, however, for a Lollapalooza festival, but took the time to send out a pre-recorded thank-you message, flanked by a mariachi band.
“Hope it's not too cold,” said front man Win Butler in jest. Winnipeggers might have shivered at the joke rather than laughed, however. Up to 30 cm of snow and high winds were expected in southern Manitoba overnight Sunday.
They also delivered a macabre, monochrome and pre-taped performance of Afterlife, making sure they weren’t to be forgotten even though they were actually a continent away from the festivities.
The Juno Awards’ producers seemed to have a lot of fun with Canadians’ stereotypical self-effacing sense of humour, if the backstage skits that played throughout the show are anything to go by.
Tegan and Sara sketched out collaborations with Serena Ryder based on the frigid weather (Closer became Colder, for example). The Sheepdogs replaced the strings with brooms, taking on the Canadian Olympic women’s curling team – while also shedding their shirts and posing with Hulk Hogan-esque bravado.
The women’s curlers did double duty, as Jennifer Jones and crew sledded co-host Johnny Reid towards the stage as he lounged on a supply crate, sipping a tumbler of whisky on the rocks. We just hope that’s a Canadian blend, sir.