The surly Simon Cowell may not have been personally on hand at L.A.'s Nokia theater Sunday night, but the American Idol judge would have been proud of a pair of his proteges at the 35th Annual American Music Awards.
Straight off her three wins at the Country Music Association Awards earlier this month, Carrie Underwood picked up three more trophies last night.
"This is one heck of a night," she gushed, looking genuinely happy (and not to mention gorgeous) accepting the award for favorite country album.
She also won favorite country female artist and an audience text-in award for favorite artist. And, ever the Southern belle, Carrie Underwood was overheard saying "holy cow" as her name was read for the second time.
Chris Daughtry, another nominated American Idol, joined his eponymous band, Daughtry, at the podium three times as it won favorite pop-rock album for Daughtry, as well as breakthrough artist and adult contemporary artist.
"Wow. I can't believe we're in the category with Justin Timberlake and Linkin Park. It's pretty awesome," Chris Daughtry said.
Carrie Underwood: A big winner once again.Â
Some of night's other winners included Akon (soul/R&B male), Rihanna (soul/R&B female), and Justin Timberlake (pop/rock male and soul/R&B album), who accepted his awards via satellite from Australia, where he is on tour.
While host Jimmy Kimmel's dancing and ad-libbing left a lot to be desired, the performance by Chris Brown and his dancers to "Kiss Kiss" - a literal high-wire act with hip-hop versions of Tron-style suits - left many speechless.
Likewise, Beyonce (another winner on the evening) and Sugarland's countrified version of her smash hit "Irreplaceable" had the crowd on its feet.
On a serious and sad note, Usher, Kid Rock and Rihanna took time to send their condolences Kanye West, who is grieving over the loss of his mother, Donda West, whose funeral is set for Tuesday in Oklahoma City.