Katy Perry Katy Perry

She may have been run out of Sesame Street, but Katy Perry and her breasts still got a chance to scandalize our youth with a performance at last night's America Music Awards. Instead, she inspired the covering of ears instead of eyes.

Photos: See who wore what on the AMA red carpet

Led by a cherubic (read: creepy) children's choir, the woman so endowed and underdressed she was forbidden to play with Elmo launched into her new single "Firework" and honestly, we kind of wish this mess was banned from TV, too. From the opening verse, it seemed like Perry was intentionally trying to slaughter all semblances of pitch with a barrage of screeches, howls and other sounds usually reserved for the kill scenes in a "Saw" movie. Perry is pretty. Her live vocals, not so much.

Tragically, this painful appearance was just one of many numbers than fizzled more than sizzled at the AMAs. For every Christina Aguilera powerhousing through a ditty from "Burlesque" and P!nk rocking the house, there was a Kid Rock giving us a reason to hit the head or a Bon Jovi looking absotively bored during a medley of their hits from 37 years ago. Taylor Swift hit only a handful of notes during her latest "love me, love my diary entries" opus, Usher rehashed a dance routine we've seen him do about 40 times already, and the Black Eyed Peas ran out of steam halfway through their most recent wedding-reception staple.

Even the night's biggest moment— the much-hyped New Kids on the Block-Backstreet Boys mashup—suffered from the sounds of sucking. Then again, it's been some time since the former teen titans worked a big room like the Nokia Theatre and a lot of pressure had to be sitting on their way post-pubescent shoulders. So it's no surprise their vocals weren't on point out of the gate. Plus, the combined OMG-ness of this blessed pop-Gods union is so damn epic, we have to give the guys a pass. But Perry and the others? For all the "live" performing they have been doing in the past months, what showed up on screen last night was just barely passable.

What did you think of the AMAs? Have a fave moment?