The big winner of the night was Robin Thicke, who was visibly relieved that this time that he was not sharing the stage with queen of controversy Miley Cyrus at Friday's Jingle Ball concert for New York's Z100 radio station.
During his set, Robin made a brief but comical reference to Miley that ranked high among our most memorable moments of the four-hour event. Held at Friday night at Madison Square Garden, the concert featured, along with Thicke, pop stars Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Paramore, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, among others.
Below is a recap of our most memorable moments of the big night:
1. Robin Thicke pondered Miley Cyrus's next twerk victim.
As Robin Thicke prepared to croon "Does It Feel Good," he appeared to have a flashback about sharing the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards with Miley, her skintight leather bikini, and her foam finger.
"I wonder who Miley Cyrus is going to twerk on tonight?" he said, seeming ecstatic that he would not be subjected to her pranks.
But while he sounded great performing his songs "Blurred Lines" and "Give It To You," he was struck with another dose of bad luck. During his set, he experienced a wardrobe malfunction – the seam of his leopard-print sports coat ripped just behind his right arm.
2. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis preached "Same Love" gospel.
The Seattle-based hip-hop group used an ample portion of their stage time to stress their support of gay rights.
Before performing their hit "Same Love," Macklemore described the effort as a song "about humanity, about equality, about letting go of the fear and hatred, and realizing that all human being should be treated equally."
When Mary Lambert, who penned the chorus and sings on the recording, delivered the live vocal, she was joined by surprise guests, indie rock star twins Tegan & Sara, who are openly lesbian.
Macklemore added that he was shocked that the song had found so much success. "I never thought that song would be played on the radio, ever," he said. "I want to shout out Z100 for playing a song like 'Same Love.'"
3. Paramore introduced a temporary member.
Hayley Williams had a very good reason for walking around the Jingle Ball holding a life-sized cardboard cutout of group bassist Jeremy Davis: Davis was not able to perform because he and his wife are expecting a baby girl very soon.
The artist on paternity leave Tweeted that he was a fan of his fill in:
— Jeremy Davis (@schzimmydeanie) December 14, 2013
Paramore's rousing set included a few additional great collaborations. A youth choir sang backgrounds for their new song "Don't Go Crying," and Hayley picked a fan from the audience to sing with her onstage.
4. R.Kelly got Kelly Ripa dancing.
The crowd loved R. Kelly's introduction for Pitbull. Instead of reading boring teleprompter text, the King of R&B performed his own hit song "Ignition." He had most of the crowd – including "Live With Kelly and Michael" co-host Kelly Ripa – on their feet, singing along.
5. Ariana Grande wowed with her vocal talent.
Pop stars don't come any cuter than his petite powerhouse who has been dubbed "Baby Mariah" because her songs "The Way" and "Right Here" mix 1990s hip-hop samples with her sweet, multiple-octave range. The giddy 20-year-old brought the holiday spirit by adding a warm, funky version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" to her repertoire.
6. Miley Cyrus was surprisingly predictable.
The artist who appears to be in a competition to outdo her past gratuitous performances with more outlandish antics didn't push any new boundaries Friday. Yes, she wore a skimpy, two-piece velvet Miss Claus bikini, danced with a little person, twerked with a wino Santa, covered Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness," and belted an emotional rendition of her heartbreak anthem "Wrecking Ball." But the most shocking thing was that her headline stint lacked a big Miley-esque surprise.