GRAMMY Gets Weirder at 54

I was going to post about something entirely different today, but then the 54th GRAMMY Awards happened.

LL Cool J served as host, and he opened the ceremony with a beautiful prayer to honor the late Whitney Houston. The evening’s breakdown is as follows:

The Fashions: Another awards show, another competition for weirdest outfit between …

  • Lady Gaga – We barely heard about her this year, but she still managed to carry a scepter, throw a fishing net over herself and call it a style.
  • Nicki Minaj – Not as outlandish as I expected, Miss Minaj only had a few ensembles, the worst of which was her cape and accompanying priest.
  • Katy Perry – Does the woman ever mix up the monochrome? She was all about baby blue, and it wasn’t really working.

The Performances: Much-anticipated and mostly memorable, this year’s performers were …

  • Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band opened, without so much as a crotch shot. (Anyone else still haunted by that?)
  • Bruno Mars brought the funk with a shout-out to Whitney that was reminiscent of his VMA tribute to Amy.
  • Chris Brown still looks and sounds like a 16-year-old, but his dance moves are getting more interesting. Full disclosure: I kept waiting for him to fall from his Aggro Crag tower.
  • Reba looked timeless as she introduced Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson for “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” Their mics were uneven, and Kelly’s stylist seriously needs to be fired.
  • The Foo Fighters performed “Walk” outside the Staples Center, and Dave Grohl still has my heart. ‘Nuff said.
  • Rihanna and Coldplay are generally two of my least favorite popular music performers, so I can’t be unbiased here. My ears didn’t bleed, which was new.
  • Hey, Ryan Seacrest: Thanks for the puns, champ. Maroon 5 began with “Little Surfer Girl” — just when I thought Adam Levine’s voice couldn’t get any worse. Foster the People’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was spot-on. And for their 50th anniversary, The Beach Boys put out “Good Vibrations,” while everyone in the audience looked really, really white singing and dancing along (even future hubby John Legend).
  • Stevie Wonder forever remains a baller. Speaking to Whitney, playing the harmonica, singing a little … oh, and he introduced Sir Paul McCartney’s sleepy performance of “My Valentine.”
  • The Civil Wars gave a stellar acoustic opening for Taylor Swift, who still hasn’t learned to dance. I’d tell you what she sang, but they all sound the same to me.
  • Always-gorgeous Kate Beckinsale partnered with LL to introduce always-offbeat Katy Perry, proving once again that her songs are all slow as shit but layered over upbeat tracks.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow welcomed Adele back to the stage — and “Rolling in the Deep” never sounded so good.
  • Taylor Swift looked even more dowdy introducing a medley of Glen Campbell songs (does she even know who he is?). The Band Perry, Blake Shelton and the rhinestone cowboy himself came together for a toe-tapping trifecta. Campbell got a little lost at the end, making him all the more endearing.
  • Following the In Memoriam tributes, Jennifer Hudson brought the crowd to its feet with an emotional “I Will Always Love You.”
  • Remembering Don Cornelius, Soul Train legend, were Chris Brown, David Guetta and Lil’ Wayne in an LSD-induced dance-off. Bonus: The Foo Fighters rocked with “Rope” and a little help from DeadMau5.
  • Drake introduced Nicki Minaj for her super-confusing mash-up, which went into a short film and “The Exorcism of Roman” — both were disturbing at best.
  • Luckily, Sir Paul McCartney closed out the night with “Golden Slumbers” and redeemed the stage from Nicki’s head-scratching show.

The Winners: Only nine golden gramaphones were shown, those being …

  • Presenters Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt began with “A Sunday Kind of Love“ by Etta James. Best Pop Solo Performance went to Adele for “Someone Like You,” and the crowd roared for the comeback queen’s victory.
  • Fergie’s acting skills are still lacking, but she and Marc Anthony presented Best Rap Performance to Kanye West and new daddy Jay Z, who were not in attendance.
  • Victor Cruz salsa danced his way into presenting Best Rock Performance with that girl from “NCIS” and fellow Giant Mario Manningham. Foo won for “Walk,” and Dave Grohl’s acceptance speech was wonderful — urging musicians to CREATE, instead of FABRICATE — no complaints here.
  • Common and Taraji P. Henson presented Chris Brown’s “Fame” with the GRAMMY for Best R&B Album. As per usual, he opened his mouth and sounded like an idiot.
  • NPH was suited up for Adele’s Song of the Year award, thanks to played-every-minute powerhouse “Rolling in the Deep.”
  • Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley awarded Best Country Album to trio Lady Antebellum for “Own the Night.”
  • Carrie Underwood sparkled alongside legend Tony Bennett, singing “It Had to Be You.” They then presented — a witty and admittedly uncomfortable — Bon Iver with the GRAMMY for Best New Artist.
  • Lady Antebellum returned to the stage, awarding Record of the Year to clear favorite Adele for “Rolling in the Deep.” Her speech was a bit awkward, but you gotta love the way Brits say “fank you.”
  • OG Diva Diana Ross received a standing O before presenting Album of the Year to Adele for “21.” Another standing O and a very emotional speech (with a “bit a snot”) later, the curtain fell.

And special props to Betty White, who won her first GRAMMY at just 90 years old.

I asked myself no less than 10 times why I was watching the awards, but I just couldn’t help myself. From tragedies to triumphs, it was one hell of a show.

No — here’s looking at you, kid.

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About Wittyburg

Sarcastic, sports-obsessed writer & FL native navigating SF.

11 responses to “GRAMMY Gets Weirder at 54”

  1. Holly Rotter says :

    Wait a minute. Please tell me I read that wrong. You think Adam Levine has a BAD voice?! What’s wrong with your ears woman!? I’ve seen him live 3 times and he’s amazing! Agree to disagree I suppose 😉

    • Wittyburg says :

      Holly, Holly, Holly. I think he’s a beautiful speci-man, but I can’t stand the voice anymore. We may never see eye to eye — add it to the list, like that awful Miley!

      • Holly Rotter says :

        Omg I forgot about your dislike for Miley! Well at least we agree about Adam being sexy.

  2. Maggie May says :

    Great re-cap. I stopped watching after an hour – too much Whitney and I was over it. Had I known Jennifer Hudson would sing one of my favorite songs, I would have kept it on. But early on I was wishing you guys were here so we could have played a drinking game for every time the words “tragedy”, “too soon” or “Whitney” were used. ❤

    • Wittyburg says :

      I think everyone felt like they needed to voice how they connected to her, especially given it being so close to her death. I will say, though, Alicia and Bonnie’s tribute to Etta James was wonderful. We’ll have to make a drinking game out of the next awards ceremony via Skype!

  3. rachel says :

    fantastic recap of the night’s events – i didn’t watch it because there’s something about tom hanks’ hair in sleepless in seattle that kind of gets me every time…

    my comments about your comments:
    1. i would say “is nikki minaj serious?” – but i already know the answer to that question.
    2. i’ll say it again, any post that mentions the aggro crag is a favorite of mine – even if the sentence involves chris brown. even HE can’t tarnish the aggro crag.
    3. adding dave grohl to our list.
    4. i love how you said everyone in the audience looked really white – don’t know why, but i do.
    5. totally agree about taylor swift – every single song sounds the same – but don’t judge me for loving her regardless.
    6. an lsd-induced dance-off? sounds like my friday night.
    7. i died when i read “fank you” – fank you for that.
    8. lastly, fank you for the award-list – you saved 4 hours of my life.

    • Wittyburg says :

      New. Best. Comment. Ever!

      My comments about your comments about my comments:
      1. She is OOC (out of control) and she knows it.
      2. I thought fersure Mike O’Malley or Mo would pop out.
      3. ❤
      4. It's true! They weren't even doing the white girl dance — just looking super white and lost.
      5. Not a fan of T. Swift … can't add it to the list.
      6. By the looks of their hair, they were inspired by you.
      7. Yer welcome (is there a British way of saying that?)
      8. Happy to help, frand!

      I only used one ellipses and one em dash in this comment — dammit, now two!

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