Another year, another rubbish Grammy Awards full of predictable wins and snoozeworthy performances. No surprise then that Kanye West, who led the field with 7 nominations, decided to stay home. The biggest disappointment for me was the pathetic Whitney Houston tribute. One song? Really? Jennifer Hudson looked great and pulled off a competent rendition of "I Will Always Love You" but her take on Dolly's classic was heavy-handed and emotionally barren. Say what you want about the demise of Nippy's voice in later years, that beautiful instrument brought the Grammy stage to life in the '80s and '90s - and this is all they could muster? Other lowlights were Rihanna's embarrassing duet with Coldplay (does anyone like that awful song?), Rihanna's bad dancing and Rihanna's live vocals. Also on my hitlist is the sound engineer who forgot to plug in Jason Aldean's microphone, Justin Vernon's hairdresser and the executive who thought that Diana Ross's lifetime achievement award was better handed out off camera. Happily, there were some bright spots. Listed below are the five best moments from the 2012 Grammy Awards.
5. Onika's Career Suicide
Goodbye, Nicki Minaj. It's been real. For a while there I thought you might stick around for a few years and prove that you have more to offer than stupid facial expressions and hype but sadly it wasn't to be. Your performance of "Roman Holiday" sums up why you will never be relevant despite jumping on every hit single released in the past 18 months - you're a talentless fake, an unconvincing Lady Gaga impersonator, who relies on embarrassing theatrics to hide your vocal shortcomings and complete lack of charisma. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
4. Adele Winning Everything
Adele deserved her 6 Grammy Awards. She looked lovely and delivered a great version of "Rolling In The Deep". I just wish she had a more engaging personality. Knowing that a rough-as-nails slapper from the arsehole of London created "Someone Like You" kind of ruins the appeal for me.
3. Chris Brown's Glorious Return
All hail King Breezy. Chris made a triumphant return to the Grammy stage - expertly miming his awful new single and dancing up a storm. Sure, his performance was lightweight and kind of lazy but it came across as a breath of much-needed fresh air among all the self-reverential bullshit (almost) everyone else brought to the table. He then confirmed his status as pop's new Club King by returning for a medley with David Guetta and Deadmau5. Oh and props too for winning best R&B album with a collection of electronic dance songs. Um...
2. Taylor Swift Lifts Her Game
Taylor Swift made up for previous award show mishaps by belting out a superb rendition of "Mean" - the highlight of her stunning "Speak Now" album. I loved the hillbilly staging and the fact that she was happy to rock the stage wearing what appeared to be an old tablecloth. It was clever conceptually and her voice is really improving with age. I also like that she played an instrument and dragging out that calculated OMG I'm not worthy expression when she got a (deserved) standing ovation. Bring on her Australian tour!
1. Katy Perry Slaying Ya Faves
Now this was a surprise! I've been suffering from major Katy Perry fatigue lately and wasted several hours over the weekend putting together a post outlining my misgivings about her new "Teenage Dream" re-release but I just deleted it. The recently single diva stole the show with an innovative performance of her brilliant new anthem. Starting off with what appeared to be another tired performance of "ET", the music cut out after the first verse with apparent technical difficulties before she launched into "Part Of Me". She delivered one of her best live vocal performances and prowled the stage like a panther. Katy is so much convincing when she goes down this admittedly well-worn pop/rock path. It suits her voice better and you can tell she enjoys it more than trying to dance to some electronic track foisted upon her by management. I loved the not-so-subtle fuck you to Russell in the lyrics and can't believe how hot the song is. Is "Part Of Me" really a demo rejected from the original "Teenage Dream"? We are all not worthy.