Sunday, February 10, 2008

Live Grammy Awards Journal

Welcome to my live coverage (from my couch) of the 50th Grammy Awards. I will be writing about the Grammys throughout the evening or until I get bored or tired. Kanye West leads all artists with eight nominations and I expect him to get a few wins tonight. The big story of the evening will probably be Amy Winehouse, who has six nominations, but will not be in attendance since she was denied a visa.

This is usually about the time when I make predictions, but I really have no idea who will win. Seriously, who do you think will win Record of the Year between Beyonce (Irreplaceable); Foo Fighters (The Pretender); Justin Timberlake (What Goes Around…Comes Around); Amy Winehouse (Rehab); and Rihanna featuring Jay-Z (Umbrella)? You can probably make a case for any of these five. Actually, the bigger question is who does Jay-Z support for this award: himself or his girlfriend (they’re not married yet?) Beyonce?

In case you were wondering, Barack Obama has already won a Grammy today for the Best Spoken Word Album category. Obama defeated Maya Angelou, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Alan Alda. No offense to Alan Alda, who has won several Emmys and been nominated for an Oscar, but he really didn’t have a chance.

I’ll be back with updates later, but in the meantime, I leave you with this. 18-year-old Taylor Swift is up for Best New Artist. Swift may be best known for her single, "Teardrops on My Guitar," which features the line, "The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star." Wishing on a wishing star? Who would use wishing, or a variation of wish or wishing, twice in the same sentence? The great Terence Trent Darby would never do such a thing.

- I have to applaud CBS and the Grammys for a great get to open the show. I don’t know how they convinced Frank Sinatra to come out of, um, retirement, to perform.

- Alicia Keys had a nice little duet with Sinatra and then came out to welcome the crowd. Does the Grammys not have a host? Was Ellen DeGeneres not available? (I’m anti-Ellen at the moment. I stayed home from work on Thursday because I was sick and caught the beginning of her show. She opened by dancing around the audience, taking people’s purses along the way. Then, she went through people’s purses making fun of the contents. I decided right then that no matter how sick I felt Friday morning, I was going to work.)

- Before I forget, how many commercials do you think we’ll see tonight for the latest edition of Big Brother? I’ll guess at least three.

- Carrie Underwood had a nice performance of “Before He Cheats” with the people from Stomp (I think). She dedicated the song to Tony Romo. (This is completely untrue, but why not start a rumor.)

- Prince presented the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Prince is probably 50 by now, but he’s still cool and always will be. The winner: Alicia Keys, who looks very good tonight. However, I hope that this doesn’t start a trend of an artist performing and then winning the award while being on the side of the stage.

- Next performance, The Time, but part-way through the performance, out comes Rihanna. I really like "Please Don’t Stop the Music," but can do without "Umbrella." Now it’s The Time and Rihanna together. I never would have predicted that combination.

- Tom Hanks presents a lifetime Grammy Award to The Band. I put them at #12 in my list of the Top 25 greatest Canadian musicians (4/5 of the band is from Canada). Then, he quickly segues into this little band called The Beatles and Cirque de Soleil performs part of its show “Love.” It’s Tom Hanks! You didn’t expect him to introduce Plain White T’s, did you?

- I didn’t mention this before, but as always, feel free to share your own comments below. In addition, you can see who has already won awards at It looks like very few awards are actually going to be presented on the air.

- An actual award! Cyndi Lauper and Mylie Cyrus present the Best New Artist. Lauper gushes all over Cyrus saying something about Cyrus lassoing the moon and that we’ll see her in this category next year. In a surprise (not at all), Amy Winehouse wins.

- I’m going to pretend that the Jason Bateman thing didn’t happen. He looked a bit out of place.

- Back to performances. Kanye West was terrific with “Stronger” featuring Daft Punk and then received a standing ovation for “Hey Mama.” Fergie then sings her song “Finally” with John Legend.

- It’s only 9:00pm Eastern time, and I’m already tiring. If you’re looking for other TV options, a new episode of Rock of Love 2 is airing on VH1, Family Guy is on Fox (not sure if it’s new or not), and we’re part-way through Office Space on Comedy Central.

- It’s Beyonce; then Tina Turner; then both of them together for “Proud Mary.” I have nothing witty to write except that seeing Turner perform reminds me of the New York Post’s (I believe) headline from a few months ago: “Ike Beats Tina to Death.” Keep on dancing Tina! Another standing ovation.

- Andy Williams? I’m amazed that the Grammys were able to get both him and Sinatra since they both, you know, are no longer with us. Oh wait, Andy Williams is really there with Nelly Furtado and someone else. I’m a terrible person for even writing this paragraph.

- Another Amy Winehouse win for Song of the Year. Everyone keeps mentioning that Winehouse will be around later performing live via satellite from London. It’s going to be after 2:00am in London by the time she performs. I hope she’s not taking Vivarin or something illegal to keep herself awake.

- Jason Bateman is again awkward introducing the Grammy moment winner. Fortunately, Foo Fighters are there with an excellent performance of “The Pretender” with the Grammy moment winner, an orchestra and John Paul Jones to bail him out.

- I don’t think Kristy Jo is going to make it through the end of tonight’s Rock of Love 2. She has been one of my favorites, but she’s having a rough time.

- Kanye West wins Best Rap Album and says that if he doesn’t win Best Album, Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson (the producer) should win. In an unprecedented award show moment, he also gets the telecast to stop playing the music they play to get an artist off the stage to say something about his mother.

- Ludacris introduces Aretha Franklin as the Queen of Soul. When Beyonce introduced Tina Turner earlier tonight, she called her “The Queen.” No offense to Tina Turner (I’ve written this way too many times tonight), who I think is an amazing artist, but Aretha is the queen.

- Kristy Jo is staying since another girl decided to go; however, it turns out that the other girl was going to be sent home anyway. Why do I watch this crap?

- Back to the Grammys, another Canadian, Feist, is on stage. It may be too soon to add her to the list of top Canadian performers, but she at least gets an honorable mention.

- I am getting sleepy.

- Kid Rock and Keely Smith sing together? That’s even more random than The Time and Rihanna. They then present the Best Rock Album to Foo Fighters. I’m pretty sure that Dave Grohl kissed Keely Smith on the lips.

- Alicia Keys is not the queen. Stevie Wonder calls her incomparable. By the way, how many times is Keys going to perform tonight? Is this like a few years ago when Justin Timberlake seemed to be on stage for the entire show? Is Timberlake even there tonight?

- Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics come out to say that “my country send me to United States to make movie-film. Please, come and see my film. If it not success, I will be execute.” Actually, Ringo says that he likes country music. Vince Gill wins something, makes a joke that involves Kanye (I missed it) and gets a laugh from the crowd and Kanye.

- I zoned out for a few minutes, but Rihanna won something, and now Cuba Gooding Jr. is live in London to introduce Amy Winehouse.

- Amy Winehouse performs and then wins Record of the Year. She thanked a few people, including her parents, but not her husband. Is he still in jail?

I'm done. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who made it this far!

Update 2/11 @ 7:00am: Here's a recap of the Grammys from Yahoo. Apparently, Winehouse did thank her jailed husband, but I missed it.

1 comment:

Us said...

Great recap, Sean. I felt like I was watching it happen - instead, I forgot it was on (horror!) and went to sleep. Ah, well - there's still the Oscars in a few weeks. How did Alicia Key's voice sound? Her latest album is great, but her voice sounds so strained throughout - I think she is doing some serious damage to her cords. I know that one of my colleagues has a sister who is getting tapped to work with Keys as a voice coach shortly - my recommendations are she take some time off (ha!) for vocal rest...