Grammy Awards show kept afloat by surprises

January 31, 2014

via wikipedia.org

If you’re looking for sheer entertainment, the Grammy Awards are probably a poor choice. They have neither the Video Music Awards’ reputation for a buzzworthy spectacle, nor the American Music Awards’ campy superfluousness. In comparison, the Grammys are boring.

This year, however, there were several surprises that broke up the pomp and monotony.

The major categories were packed with stiff competition, so it was a surprise when underdog Daft Punk took home multiple awards, including the coveted album of the year.

True to form, the electronica duo kept their identities under wraps for the duration of the evening — not once did they remove their signature helmets. Even when it was time for acceptance speeches, due to either their showmanship or the language barrier, they opted to have collaborator Pharrell speak on their behalf.

Another surprise came when awards-show darling Taylor Swift ended the night empty-handed. Newcomer Kacey Musgraves walked away with best country album. Musgraves’ performance showed a brand of cliché sweetness similar to Swift’s, but with PG-13 wordplay and political allusion.

Many viewers were agog when Macklemore (apparently pronounced mack-luh-more) swept the rap/hip-hop categories. Many critics have pointed out that, especially for best album, any of the other nominees — but most notably Kendrick Lamar — were more deserving.

Macklemore was also behind the night’s arguable centerpiece and most viral moment, the performance of “Same Love.” Everything about the number was grand — the instrumentation, the mass gay and straight wedding officiated by Queen Latifah, even Madonna’s clumsy appearance in the performance had a certain spectacle to it.

For those scanning the article for mention of high twerktress Miley Cyrus, unfortunately she was not nominated and did not make an appearance. We can only hope that in the future she will receive the acclaim requisite to spice up the Grammys.

Jake Folsom is music editor. Email him at jfolsom@nyunews.com.

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