Open with an Aretha Franklin video montage. LL Cool J intros Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera and Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine) for the Queen of Soul tribute a.k.a. The Diva Belter Contest.
Well…X-tina seems to have redeemed herself after that horrend-X Super Bowl gaffe. McBride didn’t disappoint, either…and Welch? I swear Xtina is laughing at her – a mighty scoff at that. J-Hud has no probs doin’ Aretha proud.
This is war. Three of these divas are doing their own thing and two of these aren’t kinda the same. Wait ’til they get to the group joint…oh, there it goes…Sisters (Doin’ it For Themselves). Ray Charles could have telegraphed that. That last run they just pulled off was like, watching a race at Assiniboia Downs. And, a pre-taped appearance by the Queen herself!
First ad break.
Diva Belter contestants run down Best Pop Duo/Group nominees: Paramore, the Glee cast, Sade, Maroon 5 and Train – whose (Hey) Soul Sister (Live) gets the W. Not a real surprise. You could hear this annoying drivel everywhere in the past year. Way to name drop Justin Bieber. Guy, I think the music means shut the fcuk up.
Ricky Martin intros Lady Gaga – and did he really want to say “Lay-dee…Ga-ga!” So, that’s the egg everyone was tweeting about. I kinda hate Lady Gaga, er, Madonna, Jr. Right down to her rendition of Express Yourself. Somewhere, Ms. Ciccone is barfing in her mouth because Gaga was actually born Stefani Germonatta. And, of course, she has to remind everyone that she can play piano – thanks to all that classical training/tranny-ing and all.
Second ad break.
(Right about now, one wonders how many .secs John Legend and The Roots will get for their three non-televised wins)
Blake Shelton loves this next performer – “because she happens to be his fiancee. The lovely, the talented, the one and only…Miranda Lambert everybody.” Mhm. Doesn’t look like a country singer does she? I’d love to say something about Lambert…anything, really…but the video displays onstage are more captivating. Hey, that was Elvis Presley!
Lenny Kravitz has no hair! And, he intros Muse.
Cool! A double-neck guitar! Remember when Pete Townshend used to rock those? Now, he just rocks off to kiddie porn. Oh, yeah, Muse. This is actually a dope joint. Can’t front. Nice stage set, bad use of “dancers”.
Ad break #3.
(shout to all the followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook that are logged on!)
Ryan Seacrest is out. His TelePrompter game is off. Bruno Mars, Janelle Monais and B.O.B.! Impressive that they included Janelle; other two are obvious. Nothin’ on You to start. Still not sure on Mars’ Don Ho chic. Bobby Ray is lookin’ pimp. Hmm…retro soul version of Grenade. Wonder if anyone is going to credit Raphael Saadiq for this current trend we’re just now seeing in pop music…oh, and Mars is losing his voice. Damn, shut up already and cue Janelle! Shiii…she kills both of em on the style tip. Nice. We get Cold War live. Mars on drums and B.O.B. on (air) guitar!
(Two guys from) Zac Brown Band intros noms for Best Female Country Performance. Gretchen Wilson, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, LeeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood. The winner is…Blake Shelton’s fiancee! Love how she doesn’t return his props! 🙂
Set of ads.
(Trying to figure out how to fit in regular chronic breaks)
Eva Longoria comes out to Bill Withers‘ Lovely Day? Awww, Justin Bieber auditioning for Usher clip – now, I’m not going to go hard on Biebs and will be as objective as possible. Promise. Sh!t. They had to start with African drumming, didn’t they? Then, ninjas. Ninjas! Looks like puberty is starting to kick in with the Biebs. This was booty.
Paramore and NCIS chick. Best Rock Album nods: Jeff Beck, Muse, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Neil Young. Grammy goes to…Muse! I like, I like! Props to NARAS for not giving an auto-win to the oldest rockers in the building.
(quickie chronic break)
Come back to Gaga winning for Fame Monster. But, thankfully followed by The Late Show Top 10 Grammy Surprises. Personal fave? #10. Who the hell is this coked up bluegrass punk band fronted by Mario Lopez? Mumford & Sons, obviously. Next, The Avett Brothers! Hey, Russell Brand has a band? Bob Dylan comes out poorly mic-ed and all gravel-raspy! I swear his throat just started bleeding. Did Dylan just smile?!
Big up for The Ramones‘ Lifetime Achievement Award! What a great booking: Lady Antebellum covering Teddy Pendergrass! If You Don’t Know Me By Now? I like it. Not so much the next joint. Heeey…didn’t the chick from Glee and the guy from the Packers say a tribute to Teddy?
Miley Cyrus and Kings Of Leon to announce Best Country Album – because they’re both from Tennessee and that gosh-darn-it gives ’em cred to do it! Lady Antebellum for the win. Get in there, Paul Worthy! That woman’s got some weird triple chin action goin’ on. Jamie Foxx out to intro – cheesily – Gwyneth Paltrow, The Muppets and Cee-Lo Green with their rendition of F*** You, er, Forget You. Nothing ground-breaking here. LadyKilla doin’ his best George Clinton. Not. Too. Sure. What. Paltrow. Is. Doing.
Yet more ads.
(to be honest, I thought Gwyeth’s shoes were dope)
Neil Patrick Harris brings out a world-class pop star. Katy Perry‘s out. Ouch. Whoa, to that whole “whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-oa” thing. Mr. Perry really shouldn’t let the Missus out if she’s going to sing falsetto. I’m sure everyone’s appreciating the “wedding footage” from India. “This one goes out to all the Valentine lovers!” Teenage Dream. Adult nightmare.
John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban cover Dolly Parton‘s Jolene. I ain’t mad. Obvious nod to her Lifetime Achievement Award win. Next are Song of The Year nominees: Forget You, Beg, Steal or Borrow, The House that Built Me, Love the Way You Lie, Need You Now. Winner: Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now.
The Green Hornet/Seth Rogan comes out to Like a G6 and disses Miley before his intro of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Rihanna and Skylar Grey. They do Love the Way You Lie and new Dre single, I Need a Doctor. Dang, the crowd erupted when Dre came onstage. Crowd didn’t let up, either. He’s going to be a problem when Detox drops.
John Legend and Jewel with Best New Artist noms: Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Justin Bieber, Esperanza Spalding(!) and Drake. Oh, snap!!! It goes to Esperanza Spalding!!! That’s called a come-from-behind win. You know she’s one of the artists on Prince’s Welcome 2 America tour, right? 😉
Another Glee cast member out followed by NARAS president Neil Fortnow. Self-congratulatory moment and condescending stab at illegal downloading.
Nod to influential artists who passed in 2011. No mention of Keith “Guru” Elam. Mick Jagger out to give props to Solomon Burke. Fitting considering the Stones owe their success to black music – and have acknowledged that fact. Guy doesn’t sound that bad. Looks like he’s in decent shape, too.
(kinda hungry – gotta wait ’til next ad break)
Kris Kristofferson survived the Blade franchise! Lady Babs out to do Evergreen! Ummm, I really wasn’t trying to dig into Barbra Streisand but uh, the opening run was pitchy. Just saying, is all. Kinda reminds me of an elementary grade teacher moonlighting at the local karaoke bar. Sorry.
“Please welcome…Elsa Lanchester…and Bobby Brown” announcing the Best Rap Album nominees? Crowd yelling for The Roots but really no surprise that Eminem takes this one for Recovery. Tough category, still. All the noms deserved this one.
Set of advertisements.
(quickie chronic break trumps food)
Tune back into performance in progress. Arcade Fire, to be exact. Canajun music lovers stand up! Is their stage show always this flashy and strobe-y?
(now, Chinese takeout and Perrier Lime)
Wow, that’s huge. Arcade Fire‘s The Suburbs for the Record Of The Year win AND closing performance. I’ll say it again. Canajun music lovers stand up! Uh, think I missed the Drake/Rihanna performance…tell you what…why don’t you give me your review of their Grammy appearance. Seriously. Send em to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them here on bundown.com!
That, folks, was the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Out.
Notable winners at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards:
Best New Artist
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
F*** You, Cee-Lo Green
Best Rap Album
Best Rap Song
Empire State of Mind, Shawn Carter, Angela Hunt, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane’t “Jnay” Sewell-Ulepic, Alexander Shuckberg
Best Rap Solo Performance
Not Afraid, Eminem
Best Rap Performance By A Duo/Group
On to the Next One, Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Raymond V Raymond, Usher
Best R&B Album
Wake Up! – The Roots & John Legend
Best R&B Song
Shine, John Stephens
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
There Goes My Baby, Usher
Best R&B Performance By A Duo/Group
Soldier of Love, Sade
Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
Still, BeBe & CeCe Winans
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Hang on in There, The Roots & John Legend
Best Reggae Album
Before the Dawn, Buju Banton
Best Dance Recording
Only Girl (in the World), Rihanna