This year's Grammy's ceremony was full of instances that just made you scratch your head, furl your brow, and go, "Really?!?" Whether it was a pleasantly surprised reaction, a hearty laugh, or a look of sheer horror, there were plenty of unexpected moments. The night of numerous live performances was merely punctuated by the announcement of a few major awards. It's pretty hard to take the Grammy's seriously at this stage anyway, but it's kinda like watching a bad train wreck. When the train is covered with glitter, filled with celebrities, and shooting fireworks out the smokestack.
10. Beyoncé Covers Alanis
During her performance of If I Were a Boy, Beyoncé launched into a rendition of Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know. It was actually pretty cool, but it totally came out of left field. Last night Borat tweeted, "If Beyoncé were a boy I'd still do her." I reckon others may share his sentiment.
9. Stephen Colbert Wins a Grammy
There was some obvious audience discomfort during Colbert's opening remarks. This was especially apparent when he asked Jay-Z, "What up, Z?" and was answered back with only a stone cold stare. He also mentioned that Susan Boyle should have been at the Grammy's, telling all of the pretty people, "Your industry was saved by a 48-year old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes." People did actually get pretty excited when he won the award for "Best Comedy Album," and when he asked his daughter if now he was cool, she finally smiled and nodded proudly. Come on though. Who expected the guy that tried to run on the presidential ticket in South Carolina, sponsored by Doritos, to win a Grammy? He's done it all.
8. Alice Cooper and Katy Perry Present Award to Green Day
It's just...I mean...well, honestly. Did you ever think these three sets of people would share the stage all at once? A little bizarro.
7. Bon Jovi Performs For the First Time at Grammy's
And as part of his performance, fans were able to vote on one of the songs he sang. No surprise, they picked Livin' On A Prayer. People went nuts. But is it just me, or would this have been more relevant, say, 20 years ago?
6. Elton John and Lady Gaga
In case you missed it, the evening opened with the perfect pairing of talented but attention seeking, over-the top fashion enthusiasts, king and queen of theatrics - Elton John and Lady Gaga. Their duet was fun to watch, and well done, but when John changed the lyrics of Your Song to say, "How wonderful life is, with Gaga in the world," it got to be a little too over-the-top, even for them.
5. 3D Tribute to Michael Jackson
Before I say what I'm about to say, let me first note that it was a lovely tribute. Everyone was sincere, and it was heartfelt. The speeches from his children had a bit of an odd tone to them though. (It was almost as if someone had told them what to say and they had trouble remembering it all.) And since the performance was in 3D, it was a little outdated and odd looking to see so many A-list celebrities in outfits which undoubtedly cost several thousand dollars wearing cellophane 3D glasses. Not to mention that us home viewers were left out of the loop on that one, and wound up just staring at the video with red and green overlays.
4. Tribute to Les Paul
Jeff Beck, Jeff Bridges, and Imelda May did a beautiful version of How High the Moon in honor of the late, great Les Paul. These kinds of things have a tendency not to live up to their expectations, but in this case the opposite was true. They rocked it.
3. Lifetime Achievement Awards Glossed Over
This was just inexcusable. This year lifetime achievement awards were presented to: Leonard Cohen, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Darin, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, André Previn, and Clark Terry. The inexcusable part is that each of these was merely a brief mention and then segued out of for some other announcement. If someone gets a lifetime achievement award, shouldn't that person also be granted more than ten seconds time on the air? Guess not.
2. Quentin Tarantino Goes Berserk
During his over-the-top intro of Drake he made a rather disturbing face and screamed, "Hip hop is for evaaaaaa!" Note: During this performance, Taylor Swift was caught on camera rocking out and trying to sing along, when it suddenly became apparent that she didn't know all of the lyrics. Oops.
1. Plea to Not Illegally Download Music
Ah, yes. The crowning glory. Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences made a strong appeal to the youths to buy music and quit illegally downloading it. This one had me perplexed. A captive audience? Sure. But really. Are people going to change their behavior because some exec who, as of 2003 made over and lord knows what other perks, asks them to? Plus, I have to believe that the people who are most affected negatively by this illicit downloading activity weren't even in the room. Not the best choice Neil. We all want musicians to get paid for their work, but clearly this controversial issue is gonna take more than 45 seconds of face time in the middle of one of the most glamorized and expensive events in the music world all year to properly address.
Honorable mention: Legendary songwriter Leon Russell performed with the Zac Brown Band. It was nice to see him get some recognition, as he's too often overlooked for his enormous contributions to the music word.