If the VH1 original movie “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story” taught us anything it’s that TLC truly represented the ’90s. The music. The girl power. T.L.C. M.T.B. We’ve been living in the warm nostalgia of “What About Your Friends,” “Creep,” “No Scrubs” and “Waterfalls” for the last month, so when it was announced that TLC would take the stage at Sunday’s American Music Awards with a special guest there was hope, anticipation and even a bit of excitement.

Then came the “Fan Mail” logo, the CGI water droplets and “Waterfalls.” With Lil Mama. While VH1 brought back memories of three divas teaching each other life’s most important lessons, the real thing looked like an aged group chasing waterfalls. The iconic dance moves were slowed. The volume seemed to be a turned down a few decibels. Lil Mama, who was a convincing Lisa Lopez in the TV movie, lacked the intensity of Left Eye on stage. All those teen years spent learning the rap break felt wasted on this moment.


The performance brought a mixture of depression and confusion: Would a medley have been a better choice? Why didn’t they just present like at the MTV VMAs? How are Chilli’s abs still so amazing? Would I be so sad if they had performed the new song, “Meant to Be”? How quickly can I YouTube the music video and forget this ever happened?