The Grammys were three and a half hours long last night, even though only about 8 awards were presented during the actual ceremony. So what took so long? Performances, performances, and, yes, more needless performances: Just when the whiny strains of "You're Beautiful" had finally stopped ringing in your ears after 8-months of being accidentally stuck in your head, there was James Blunt on a circular platform thingy, ready to shove it back into your subconscious. With James Blunt, and John Mayer, and Rascal Flatts (singing "Hotel California"), it's difficult to say who gave the worst performance, but there are other superlatives that are much easier to assign: Worst Lyrics And No-Slip Combination: Beyonce singing "Listen."
I thought just hearing someone imploring you to listen, dammit, about the fact that they are alone at a crossroads was bad. But really, it's much, much worse when they're going on and on about their crossroads while wearing a see-through dress.
Best Use Of A Web-Cam Live On Stage Justin Timberlake singing "What Goes Around."
As thrilling as it was for the home viewers to see Justin Timberlake's nose up close, I can only imagine how great it was for the live audience to watch a grown man run around on stage for three minutes singing into a handheld light. That, truly, is the stuff legendary performances are made of.
Biggest Lyrics' Change In Meaning: Smokey Robinson singing "Tracks Of My Tears."
To his credit, Robinson took the obvious change in meaning in stride. Still, singing "So take a good look at my face" when you've clearly had so much plastic surgery that it's difficult to blink has to be very awkward.
Best Old Meets New Performance: Smokey Robinson, Lionel Ritchie, and Chris Brown. This was evidently some kind of tribute to soul or Motown or something, but in my mind it was the quintessential Grammys inter-generational performance: Going from an unblinking Robinson singing "Tracks Of My Tears," then panning over to Lionel Richie at a piano singing "Hello," and then seamlessly transitioning into Chris Brown exploding on stage with an army of dancers to sing that song about whether or not your man is on the floor–that kind of ill-advised triple performance is what the Grammys are all about. What does Chris Brown have to do with soul or Motown? Why was he paired with Lionel Richie or Smokey Robinson? How come Richie and Robinson are "opening" for the young upstart instead of the other way around? All of these questions soon disappeared in a hail of pyrotechnics, steppers, and kid break-dancers, when Chris Brown took over. Then Brown did this about five times
and you forgot that music ever existed. Thanks, Grammys!