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|Taylor Swift! Again! Swaying and singing!|
On Sunday night, while my Chicago Blackhawks were cruising to a shutout win over the Nashville Predators and an incredible 10-0-2 record, and LeBron James was scoring 30-plus points for the fifth straight game to lead the Heat past the Lakers, I was tuned in to the Grammy Awards -- all three and a half hours of 'em (plus pre-show coverage, too).
The result of being glued to the tube is this cantankerous, curmudgeonly running diary of "Music's Biggest Night." But before you continue, let me spell out a few ground rules:
• 1. If you're offended by any form of boob -- side, under, inner or otherwise -- this isn't the place for you.
• 2. If you have delusions you are "BFF" with any of the popular artists that attended the Grammys, and hearing them get ridiculed troubles or incenses you, stop reading now.
• 3. If you're wondering whether I'm being sarcastic, the answer is always yes.
|Apparently, Katy Perry did not get the, um, memo.|
On with the show ...
5-7 p.m. CT: I spend almost the entirety of E!'s red carpet coverage saying aloud, to no one in particular, "Who the ---- is that?" Diplo. Miguel. Kaskade. Riff Raff. For all I know, these could be recurring characters on "Dora the Explorer." I guess my age is finally catching up to me.
Best Dance Recording nominee Al Walser (Who? Exactly.) walks the red carpet in a moon suit. "The nomination itself and being here is like a moon landing to me ... out of this world," he says about his choice of attire. Even egg-encased Lady Gaga from 2011 is rolling her eyes.
Nominee Miranda Lambert and E! host Ryan Seacrest chat about the memo CBS sent to stylists last week, requesting all on-camera attendees adequately cover the "curvature of the breasts" and "'puffy' bare skin." Nobody knows exactly what "puffy skin" they are talking about and no one seems to care -- there is side boob, under boob and just plain boob everywhere on this red carpet.
7 p.m. CT: The show officially begins. Taylor Swift opens with an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed performance of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." This is an upgrade from her disastrous, off-key half of a duet with Stevie Nicks in 2010. It sounds like she is singing live, but it's hard to tell. Either way, we're better off getting as little live Swift as possible.
7:03 p.m. CT: LL Cool J introduces the show and says, "What a spectacular performance from Taylor Swift, right?" Tepid clapping, at best. LL calls his friend Swift "T-Swizzle" and waxes nostalgic about the meaning of the Grammys and the importance of dreaming dreams. We could be in for a long night.
7:10 p.m. CT: Ed Sheeran (Who? Exactly.) and famous fan Sir Elton John perform Sheeran's song, "The A Team," nominated for Song of the Year. Hadn't heard of Sheeran, hadn't heard the song, but it was a nice moment. Two generations of music united in a stripped-down, no-frills performance of a very sweet, simple tune.
7:18 p.m. CT: Pitbull and J. Lo take the stage to announce the winner for Best Pop Solo Performance. J. Lo's dress is half-floor-length gown, half-bathing suit. She is millimeters away from showing millions the only part of her they didn't see when she wore the infamous plunging, green Versace dress to the 2000 Grammys. The camera cuts to Drake, mouth agape, as J. Lo struts up to the mic; he could be saying, "Daaaaaamn, girl" in his head but he looks more troubled than turned-on by her hip-cleavage.
7:20 p.m. CT: Adele wins the first award of the night for "Set Fire To The Rain." Some weird dude (the guy who brought the Grammy onstage to J. Lo, I believe) jumps on the mic as Adele climbs the stairs in her chaise-lounge-chic gown, announcing, "such an honor to receive this award, I love you Adele ..." J. Lo gives him an awkward thumbs up, sends him off and everyone pretends he was never there.
|Not as shocking as that ol' Versace number, but Jennifer Lopez does her best Angelina Jolie 'leg' walk on the Grammys red carpet.|
7:21 p.m. CT: Neil Patrick Harris introduces a live performance from fun., whose band members are wearing ill-fitting, prison-style jumpsuits. Midway through the song, they get drenched by an indoor rainstorm. Amazingly, no one gets electrocuted.
7:31 p.m. CT: "What is that, velvet?" A furry, purple John Mayer tears himself away from Katy Perry's hypnotizing bosom long enough to join Bonnie Raitt onstage to introduce Lambert and Dierks Bentley. The country duo performs a serviceable, but forgettable, pair of songs.
7:38 p.m. CT: Wiz Khalifa and Miguel (Who? Exactly.) team up for a soulful remix of Miguel's "Adorn," winner of Best R&B Song. Wiz must not have gotten the memo, because he's showing every kind of boob -- side, top and bottom -- in a zigzag suit with no shirt. (Later in the show, Kelly Clarkson says what many of us were thinking: "Miguel, I don't know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. ... That was the sexiest damn thing I've ever seen.")
7:42 p.m. CT: We're 40-plus minutes into the show and they're just now getting around to handing out the show's second award, the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance. Carrie Underwood, wearing a 381-carat diamond necklace and sparkly, black Roberto Cavalli sheath, wins for "Blown Away." She thanks her "amazing, perfect husband," Mike Fisher, who, along with his fellow Predators, is concurrently getting blown away by the Blackhawks in Nashville.
7:53 p.m. CT: BREAKING NEWS: Faith Hill has braces. I wanna say she still looks beautiful, but she keeps getting her top lip stuck on them. Brace Face and her husband, Tim McGraw, present fun. with the Song of the Year award for "We Are Young." Lena Dunham hugs boyfriend (and fun. guitarist) Jack Antonoff enthusiastically. It's been a big few weeks for that power couple, as Dunham cleaned up at last month's Golden Globes.
The first cutaway is to Taylor Swift, clapping above her head like a buffoon, as the band thanks the fans who have followed them for years. A dude in a scarf (the song's producer, maybe?) thanks a handful of randoms in the front row, which includes Swift (don't encourage her, dude!) and Jay-Z, who nods his snifter of cognac and yells "You're welcome!"
7:53 p.m. CT: Orange hobo pirate Johnny Depp introduces Mumford and Sons, who perform their hit "I Will Wait" in front of enough lights to illuminate a blacked-out Superdome (where were you last week, guys?). There's Swift again, singing along as loudly as possible and punching her arms in the air like a possessed hand puppet.
8:03 p.m. CT: Ellen DeGeneres and Beyonce adorably introduce the equally adorable Justin Timberlake. JT & The Tennessee Kids perform "Suit & Tie" with a fancy sepia filter. The song isn't my favorite, but, as usual, Timberlake puts on a show. Jay-Z puts down the cognac and hops out of the crowd to rap a handful of bars, then heads straight back to his seat. (Backstage is for chumps.)
Hova takes the sepia tones with him and JT transitions into "Pusher Love Girl." Most of the front row passes out from his sheer deliciousness. Cut to Jessica Biel giving a standing "O" while no doubt thinking, "Yeah, I married that sweet piece of meat."
8:11 p.m. CT: Kelly Rowland's microphone was so low at the Super Bowl, she was barely audible, so, she makes sure she gets noticed tonight, wearing a black version of Milla Jovovich's strips-of-tape-and-nothing-else ensemble from "The Fifth Element." She and Nas present the Best Urban Contemporary Album award to newcomer Frank Ocean, who just a few weeks ago got in a fight with fellow nominee Chris Brown (who is still on probation for beating up the woman on his arm tonight, on-again girlfriend, Rihanna).
At this point, I sum up what everyone is thinking with this tweet: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA CHRIS BROWN!!!!!!! SIT THERE AND POUT YOU [REDACTED]. GO DRIVE HOME IN THE FRAGMENTS OF YOUR TOTALED PORSCHE."
(Brown crashed his car on the eve of the Grammys. I'm spiteful.)
8:19 p.m. CT: Dave Grohl and some chick from some CBS show the network is trying to promote present a producing award from earlier in the night and then honor The Black Keys with Best Rock Performance for "Lonely Boy."
8:22 p.m. CT: LL inexplicably quotes the Declaration of Independence when introducing Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys, who rocks some serious under-boob (sorry, CBS!) while doing her best Sheila E. impression on vocals and drums. Standing "O." Arms-over-the-head from Swift. Obvs.
8:27 p.m. CT: Clarkson wins for Best Pop Vocal Album and compliments Perry on her rack o' lamb on the way up to the stage. She talks about boozing after the show and shouts out to Miguel and her fiancÚ, who is "sexy tonight, y'all."
8:36 p.m. CT: Rihanna sings a slow, powerful, gorgeous version of "Stay." She looks vulnerable and small. This makes me sad.
8:40 p.m. CT: Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean and The Dream win Rap/Sung Collaboration for "No Church In The Wild." Jay-Z lets the youngster Ocean handle the speaking. (Acceptance speeches are for chumps.) The Dream, wearing knee-high wading boots and eleventeen necklaces, thanks his family and then Jay-Z pipes in to thank the "Swap Meet" for The Dream's hat.
|His name is Prince ...|
8:50 p.m. CT: The Black Keys and a crazy collection of musicians come strong with a rousing rendition of "Lonely Boy," 'cause honestly, people, The Black Keys don't know any other way to come but strong. Blues artist Dr. John is on piano, triumphant after slaying whatever the heck now lies dead on his head.
8:54 p.m. CT: Clarkson is back, thankfully singing now. She performs a moving tribute to lifetime achievement winners Patti Page and Carole King, singing "The Tennessee Waltz" and "Natural Woman." Girl's got pipes, simple as that. Crazy, crazy pipes.
8:57 p.m. CT: The stage gets super beardy. Zac Brown Band wins for Best Country Album. Someone sweeps stray hairs off the stage during the commercial break.
9:05 p.m. CT: Bruno Mars and Sting team up to pay tribute to Bob Marley ... by singing their own songs. Bruno's tune sounds like an old Police song, Sting's tune is an old Police song. Swift reappears, complete with more exaggerated arm motions.
Five minutes into the Marley tribute, Rihanna and Ziggy Marley come onstage to join the guys in singing an actual Bob Marley song. Damian Marley joins in, and now the entire Staples Center is jamming. It took a while to get there, but the final product was pretty fantastic.
9:18 p.m. CT: The totes adorbs Lumineers perform their hit "Ho Hey." Swift cutaway No. 3,485. Her friend continues to look absolutely mortified by all the gesturing going on next to her.
9:21 p.m. CT: Jack White, looking like the lovechild of Elvis Presley and Tim Burton, performs a sultry song with his all-female band, The Peacocks, most of whom are dressed like sister wives. He then strolls over to his all-male band, The Buzzards, and crushes "Freedom at 21," leaving no survivors.
9:27 p.m. CT: fun. beats out Frank Ocean, Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers for Best New Artist. The lead singer clearly didn't think they would win, as he tells the crowd he "really needs to pee" and then re-uses a joke from their first acceptance speech.
|Sarah Spain hearts the Brits.|
9:34 p.m. CT: Country Bieber, Hunter Hayes, sings a snippet of his hit, then introduces a very stiff Underwood, who looks like a Barbie doll glued to a platform. Halfway through her performance of "Blown Away," her lack of movement is explained when the skirt of her enormous ball gown becomes a makeshift projection screen.
9:40 p.m. CT: There's no time to wonder how Underwood will get unglued from the stage because OHMYGODPRINCEISHERE! Clad in what appears to be Lululemon yoga pants, a bedazzled and asymmetrical hooded jacket and carrying an ivory cane, the diminutive diva strolls out with his trademark panache. Quick, let's see what Swift thinks of Prince -- oh, she likes him! Shocker! Keep checking back with her, that girl is just full of surprises.
Prince presents Gotye with Record of the Year (which is totally different from Song of the Year, obviously), saying "Oh, I love this song" about "Somebody I Used To Know." Years from now when Gotye is nothing but a Jeopardy question, he'll look back on Prince's compliment as the highlight of his life.
9:48 p.m. CT: The awards return from a break with a tribute to jazz great Dave Brubeck. Seacrest helps announce the new Music Educator Award (very cool!), and then the in memoriam segment runs. The highlight of the night comes next, as a superband of Zac Brown, Elton John, Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes, Mumford & Sons and T-Bone Burnett perform deceased legend Levon Helm's "The Weight." Simply outstanding.
10:11 p.m. CT: Ocean sings "Forrest Gump" behind a piano/projector screen that shows his lower half jogging. He's got a great talent and it's great to see an R&B artist sing openly about love for another man, but this song is just brutal. Tom Hanks circa 1994 deserves better, and so does Frank.
10:16 p.m. CT: Adele, in her adorably British way, delivers the big one, the Album of the Year, to fellow Brits Mumford & Sons, who accept it in an equally adorable British way. Lead singer Marcus (a.k.a., a short, musical Tim Tebow) immediately gets bleeped for swearing. Still adorable, because he's British.
10:23 p.m. CT: LL closes out the show with Travis Barker, Tom Morello, Chuck D and DJ Z-Trip. The multi-faceted finale features bits from a Public Enemy tune and The Beastie Boys hit "No Sleep 'till Brooklyn," in tribute to Adam "MCA" Yauch, who passed away last May from salivary gland cancer. The tribute is spirited and high-energy -- until, of course, CBS runs out of time and airs ads while the performance is going on in the background.
10:30 p.m. CT: That's it, show's over. Nothin' left to see here. (Except maybe a couple hundred more cutaways to Swift. Don't wanna miss a thing!)