After five packed days back in NYC, it’s safe to say it’s a good thing I no longer live there. My skin, liver, wallet and waistline desperately needed a break from the city that never sleeps. Side note: I, too, apparently never sleep while there. Good thing I’ve got an SNL-laden tribute this week to keep spirits high in my disoriented state.
- Trump’s Halloween “Apprentice” Promo: OK, so this is obviously a throwback to when Darrell Hammond was the king of impersonating Donald Trump, and not Alec Baldwin. It’s kind of eerie to watch it back now, as Trump is now one of our candidates for President, and the impression is dead-on. I recall giggling endlessly at his attempt at an evil laugh, so I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
- Ashlee Simpson’s Lip-sync Hoedown: In that very same episode, Ashlee Simpson gave us a dance to remember forever. She delivered hit single “Pieces of Me” just fine in the first performance, but in her second shot at the stage, that same song — with vocals — began playing. What would I do in that situation? God only knows. But her awkward jig is burned into our brains, so I hope I would have come up with something a little less memorable.
- Melaniade: Of particular relevance with the impending election was last week’s pre-filmed short, featuring the women in Donald Trump’s life taking him down (and taking him back) à la Beyoncé. If this doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. It also might make you cringe, but hey, that’s kind of what SNL does best.
- Bruno Mars Is “24K Magic”: I was disappointed to see Emily Blunt hosting last week — not because she married John Krasinski and I loathe her for it — but because I’ve always enjoyed Bruno Mars as a host/musical guest, and he was just singing this time. The thing is, though, he’s never just singing. He’s a performer through and through, and his dynamic dancers put on quite the show.
Happy New Year! At what point is it no longer a “new year”? I hadn’t officially said it to you all … but isn’t it a little late to be wishing you well? Can you ever have enough well wishes? These are the things running through my mind at odd hours in the night. And here’s what else I can’t stop thinking about:
- Photo Doggies for Anthony: Have you seen a ton of cute pet pics all over your FB feed? This viral event has more than a million people supporting a young boy’s desire to see doggy photos between his leukemia treatments. The power of social media can be used for good! Who knew?
- Florida Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: In other breaking news, Florida is finally on the front page for something positive! As of yesterday, the sunshine state has lifted its ban on same-sex marriage — and millions can rejoice in the legal recognition that love is love.
- Kurios: Cirque du Soleil: I had the pleasure of enjoying my first-ever Cirque show last night with this new-to-the-U.S. production. Breathtaking, dazzling, simply stunning … there aren’t enough amazing adjectives to describe what we saw.
- “Uptown Funk” –Mark Ronson f. Bruno Mars: I can’t think of a song in recent history that gets people moving as much as this one. It’s so incredibly catchy, with a crazy hook and contagious lyrics. Here’s hoping this dream duo continue to collaborate!
I don’t know if it’s those damn Facebook movies or the fact that I thought it was Thursday till just now … but I’m feeling rather nostalgic. This week’s obsessions are all dug from the archives of my brain — enjoy the throwbacks!
- Fantasy by Britney Spears: If you were a teen (or parent of a teen) within the past decade, then YOU KNOW this scent. It hit me like a ton of bricks in the ladies’ room earlier, and I was instantly transported back to choking on it freshman year. Good grief.
- 10 Pictures that Prove Bruno Mars Is Actually Powerline from “A Goofy Movie”: Say that 10 times fast. But seriously, there is no arguing the resemblance.
- “One Fine Day”: George Clooney can do no wrong — naysayers of “Batman & Robin” can suck it. He and Michelle Pfeiffer make the perfect rom-com couple in this ‘90s classic about a terrible day made worse.
- “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” – Five: My team brainstormed for an upcoming basketball project and all we could think of was this classic jam from middle school birthday parties. Not even ashamed, not even a little bit.
If you must have the full version.
I thought it was Tuesday for most of the day, once again proving how great I am at being an adult and keeping track of anything.
On one hand, I thought I was being super proactive by figuring out my WOs a day ahead. On the other hand, I fear I’m slowly slipping into madness.
Let’s just get to the good stuff, shall we?
- Jen & Matt Getting Married: I’m heading to Florida this weekend to witness the nuptials of my dear sorority sister/former co-worker and her betrothed. I have no doubt it’ll be a beautiful day and I can’t wait to celebrate with them!
- This Ladybug: Adding to my excitement for this trip is the fact that I’ll finally meet my beautiful niece! She is clearly the cutest child to ever be born, and I can’t promise that she won’t be coming back to NYC with me.
- “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”: After a few heavy reads, it was time for me to lighten up a bit and reread Mindy Kaling’s hilarious memoir. She is my muse, my everything!
- “Gorilla” – Bruno Mars: These WOs are nothing, if not random, so my only explanation for loving this song is that I’ve gone bananas. Did you see what I did there?
I’ve had no shortage of distractions lately, so choosing just four finds this week was tough. In the end, throw what you know: a cute guy, a sport, a funny site and a lovable laugh riot.
- Bruno Mars: It’s safe to say my little crush on Mr. Mars has evolved into a full-blown frenzy of like, love. From his interview as a toddler with Pauly Shore to new single “When I Was Your Man,” I am in luuurve.
- Rugby: Any display of sport that involves a bunch of tackling and huddling is awesome. The fact that we’re attending a club rugby team’s date auction Friday is amazeballs.
- Shit Rough Drafts: Imagine the first drafts of your most beloved books, and there you have Shit Rough Drafts. Hemingway, Poe and Hawthorne have never sounded so good.
- The Lonely Island – “The Creep”: My obsession with The Lonely Island boys is ever-growing, especially when I rediscover gems like this one. I plan on using this move all weekend long.
Returning host LL Cool J tucked his ears into a Kangol hat and shared a handful of awful puns to bring music superstars together tonight.
His personal stories were long-winded and confusing, though not quite on par with Jodie Foster’s now infamous Emmy speech.
The red carpet coverage was entertaining, but can we all back off from pushing the social media stuff? Hashtag: It’s overkill.
The Fashions: Some snoozes, some surprises
- Finally dressing her age, Taylor Swift’s flowing gown was stunning. And that’s the only nice thing I’ll say about her tonight.
- Jennifer Lopez clearly missed the restricted dress-code memo (and later joked about it). Honey, your cooch is loose. Oh also? You’re FORTY-THREE.
- Usually adventurous Beyonce donned a bland pantsuit, but she’s Queen B and looked gorgeous anyway. Former DC3 band mate Kelly Rowland wowed in my fave dress of the night.
- Katy Perry said she channeled Priscilla Presley, and I think The King himself would be pleased with her tribute. Va-va-voooom — but where were notoriously wacky Lady Gaga and Nicki Manaj?
- Katy’s BFF Rihanna looked far more glamorous than I’ve seen her in a while, and first-timer Carly Rae Jepsen slinked and sparkled in a gorgeous gown.
- No idea what Adele was thinking, but I’ll allow post-pregnancy brain as her excuse.
The Performances: Where actors prove their relevance for attending
- Taylor Swift opened with that awful never, ever song — in a surprising departure from her sickly sweet scenery. Still no rhythm, Tay Tay. Like, ever.
- Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran collaborated to perform a dazzling rendition of the latter’s hit single “The A Team.”
- Neil Patrick Harris included Barney Stinson trademark “legendary” in his introduction of fun. for their sweet ballad, “Carry On.”
- Quintessential douche John Mayer stood with icon Bonnie Raitt. They announced Miranda Lambert and tour mate Dierks Bentley’s too-loud dual duets. Say that five times fast!
- Is Johnny Depp homeless now? He sure looks it. Mumford & Sons strummed and sung an electric “I Will Wait” to shift our focus away from Depp’s derelict designs.
- Beyonce and Ellen DeGeneres paired up perfectly to introduce OMG JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. His “Suit and Tie” world premiere was simply fantastical, even better in, you guessed it: black and white. Jay Z joined in because he can and we loved him for it.
- Maroon 5 led with “Daylight” before Alicia Keys brought it home with “Girl on Fire.” Adam Levine is better speaking, not singing. Alicia’s crooning (and drumming!) saved my ears yet again.
- Rihanna and Mickey Echo belted “Stay” to a silenced crowd. Finally, a Ri Ri song I don’t hate!
- 1 Broke Girl Kat Dennings announced The Black Keys, performing alongside Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Doctor John. Hipster magic was made and they lived happily ever after.
- Kelly Clarkson paid homage to Patti Page and Bonnie Tyler with respective renditions of “The Tennessee Waltz” and “A Natural Woman.” Get it, girl.
- The much-anticipated Bob Marley tribute kicked off with Bruno Mars and his lovable backup dancers, followed by powerhouse performers Sting, Rihanna and Damian and Ziggy Marley. Shout-out to everyone singing along, especially NPH and that one white guy with his arms crossed.
- The Lumineers nailed “Ho Hey” before introducing Jack White. The former was an entertaining escape; the latter was reminiscent of old jams to The White Stripes. Even Nicole Kidman said it was awesome.
- Newcomer Hunter Hayes warbled through “Wanted,” but I’m told that’s how it should sound. Carrie Underwood appeared with “Blown Away.” Yet another example of sound techs needing to check before they wreck!
- An acoustic and bilingual “Your Song” by Latin GRAMMY winner Juanes was soft and sweet before introducing Frank Ocean for “Forrest Gump.” Lieutenant Dan, ICE CREAM?!
- LL Cool J teamed up with Travis Barker and others to close the show. “WHADDUP” felt out of place, but I always enjoy a “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” nod.
The Winners: 3.5 hours of coverage, and only 11 televised gramaphones
- Spicy songsters Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull presented Best Pop Solo Performance to Adele for her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain.” In a 15ish-second speech, she held the award awkwardly and called J. Lo her good luck charm. Adorbs all around.
- Hot-this-moment Miguel and Wiz Khalifa worked the crowd in patterned suits before presenting Best Country Solo Performance to American (Idol) sweetheart Carrie Underwood for “Blown Away.” Her heartfelt speech was also short and sweet.
- Country’s favorite couple (right, guys?) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill awarded fun. with coveted Song of the Year honor for “We Are Young,” as performed with Janelle Monae. Many thanks were given to their fellow musicians, with Jay Z shouting back “You’re welcome!” Classic HOVA.
- Proud presenters Kelly Rowland and Nas announced first-ever Best Urban Contemporary Album winner Frank Ocean for Channel Orange. You mad, Chris Brown?
- Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach was announced by Pauly Perrette and my future first husband, Dave Grohl. They then honored Auerbach’s band mates, The Black Keys, with Best Rock Performance for “Lonely Boy.”
- Kaley Cuoco shouted alongside American Idol judge Keith Urban to present first AI winner Kelly Clarkson with Best Pop Vocal Album. She rambled and ran around like a crazy person. Perfection.
- Carly Rae Jepsen and Ne-Yo presented Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The Dream with Best Rap Song Collaboration. Mr. West was absent, but Jay Z killed again.
- Best Country Album went to The Zac Brown Band for Uncaged, and their thanks to the fans brought roars from the crowd.
- Eyelash line creator Katy Perry joked and presented Best New Artist to fun., who should definitely change that period to an exclamation point (NPH)! Their pee jokes were great too.
- The man, the legend, the symbol, the cane: Prince! He handed over the GRAMMY for Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” No surprise there.
- 2012’s GRAMMY cleaner-upper, Adele, presented Album of the Year to Mumford & Sons for “Babel.” Their flirtation with the crowd (and Adele) was both humble and humorous.
Before its In Memoriam segment, The GRAMMY Foundation announced a brand-new category, set to begin in 2014: The Music Educator Award.
And speaking of education, the touching Sandy Hook tribute brought a wealth of performers together — and the crowd to its feet.
Did you watch? How do you think it compared to last year’s event?