Entertainment

The Grammys were too good to be fun

Image for article titled The 2022 Grammys: No Slaps, Just Thuds

screenshot: CBS

The “crazy” moment at Sunday’s Grammy Awards involved a pop star’s urine. While accepting her award for “Kiss Me More” in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, a breathless Doja Cat told the crowd, “I’ve never pissed so fast in my entire life.” She was apparently after one rushed onto the stage after an ill-timed bathroom break to collect her trophy. Standing beside her on this song, SZA, was her partner on the song, holding crutches that she could hardly rely on (but used anyway) as she made her way to the stage and up the stairs. (Aid to the Stars Lady Gaga helped her train.) Avril Lavigne, returning from wherever she’s been over the years, presented the award.

That moment was the closest the Grammys had ever seen to the all-pervasive, intoxicating mayhem of this year’s Oscars –a mess whose epicenter was Will Smith’s impromptu pimping of Chris Rock. At that show, the Chaoscars, full contact was made while the best the Grammys could muster was a near miss – and not hand to cheek, but winner to stage. do you fall asleep already

As much as they try to bring in fresh blood and keep their ears on the road, the Grammy Awards have never surpassed their reputation as the snooze festival — the ceremony regularly shows that it deserves the derisive nickname people have used for it since at least the ’90s, the Grannies. Odd choices that were both tedious and wrong abounded. Jon Batistes We are, which had virtually no cultural impact when it was released in 2021, won Album of the Year? K. Silk Sonic’s Pleasant Pastiche “Leave the Door Open” Wins Song and Record of the Year? I mean if you say so. What really made their wins so satisfying was how Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak responded to them.

.Paak seemed to love his wig about as much as Chris Rock loves ridiculing Jada Pinkett Smith.

It’s really a great wig. Counts as a highlight.

It’s probably unfair to expect the Grammys to live up to the Oscars, which often crown awards season and (at least in my opinion) always seemed like the season’s most prestigious offerings. Nevertheless, moments like the slap in the face create standards by which other things are measured. Considering the amount of material that slap gave the world – to rage, agree, chew, spit, vomit, and then complain about it when “the discourse” wouldn’t let up – the bar is high. If it’s legal and irreversible for me to talk about the slap in entertainment rather than politics, then many of us watch awards shows. It’s one of those spontaneous moments that reminds us of the mind-blowing potential of getting a bevy of celebrities into a room and televising it live. In short, it is the point, and the ensuing debates and discussions only further cement it as such. This year the Oscars were really, really important.

The Grammys? Not as much. And that’s partly intentional. “Don’t even think of it as an awards show,” host Trevor Noah told the crowd in his opening monologue. “This is a concert where we give out awards.” During the more than three-hour show, 20 performances were performed and nine awards were presented. (That’s a fraction of the dozens distributed ahead of the televised ceremony.) To further ease any tensions that could arise from the competition, when the names of the nominees were named, we were not given footage of them in the applauding or perhaps biting audience shown her lips signaling a twinge of nervousness. It was just some tracks and music video footage. It gave a real sense of separation to the award distribution, as if we were forgetting the competitive nature of this competition. It was a terribly egalitarian presentation for something that’s trying to create a hierarchy in art. Virtually every performance received a standing ovation from the crowd—enough to make me think, “What are these, the American Music Awards?” (Carrie Underwood’s performance of her new song, “Ghost Story,” was an outlier that most people didn’t notice seemed to get the legs moving.) Perhaps that’s the right idea, or at least one that’s widely shared. In his AOY acceptance speech, Batiste said: “I firmly believe that there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective and reach people at a point in their lives when they need them most.” That’s nice. But more than that, it’s boring.

The Grammys were practically disfigured and muzzled compared to the Oscars in their treatment of the stars in attendance. While Amy Schumer mocked the candidate Be the Ricardos for being unfunny and making an incest joke about Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, the Grammys had… Trevor Noah… stupid. Some examples from his monologue, full of what appear to be first drafts:

  • “I saw Olivia Rodrigo myself. She was carded and had to show a bouncer her current driver’s license. It was like history folks.”
  • “I saw Nas standing next to Lil Nas X. Plot Twist: Lil Nas is actually taller. They don’t tell you that. Yes.”
  • “Lady Gaga and Jared Leto are here, as is everyone. That will be funny. It’s not full House Gucci. More like a Gucci flat. A Gucci Airbnb, you know?”

Sigh.

Image for article titled The 2022 Grammys: No Slaps, Just Thuds

screenshot: CBS

Elderly whisperer Gaga caused excitement with her unfathomable exuberance during a tribute to her duet partner Tony Bennett. (Despite all the weird choices she’s made with her facial expressions, I think Gaga makes some really great career decisions, and I really admire her agility in gaming in relation to her celebrity, but will she pay tribute to Bennet?t until he dies?) Margaret Qualley and Jack Antonoff had fallen on each other in the full field of view of the camera. Noah had an awkward exchange with BTS members that seemed lost in translation. Censorship selectively muted marijuana references in Justin Bieber’s performance of “Peaches.” It was allowed during his piano intro, but then cut as soon as the tempo picked up. The effect was as if the censors realized in real time what Bieber’s “weed” was referring to – I honestly wondered if any of the powerful actually heard the song before it was performed live.

Incidentally, Bieber appeared to agree with host Jared Leto’s assessment that he and his other Best Pop Vocal Album nominees helped make the world a richer place before Leto’s father captioned his joke, “Especially for your agents.” added.

All in all, this was a very well-mannered affair. If this year’s Oscars were snark, the Grammys were smarm. If the energy of the Oscars was chaos, the Grammys were all about control. It had an air of class, like the kind of thing you invite a world leader to do, the kind of thing he actually shows up for.

To stay on the airwaves, to have a role, the Grammys needed something that never materialized. I hesitate to say that the Grammys needed a slap, when a good, stiff, metaphorical one might have roused them from their daze. More precisely, it was necessary some the size of Smith’s hand, or close to it, to maintain the enduring relevance and entertainment value of this year’s Oscars. The Grammys was just another awards show, um, sorry a concert where they gave out prizes. After last week I have to wonder what the fun of it is.

https://jezebel.com/the-2022-grammys-no-slaps-just-thuds-1848744437 The Grammys were too good to be fun

Andrew Schnitker

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