A few years ago, I did a recap of the MTV Video Music Awards. It was a hit with at least one person (my cousin Heather) so I did another such recap for last year’s Oscars. And Heather was once again left speechless by my witty commentary, so yeah, I’ll wear this trope all the way out.
It should be noted that the Hoos are playing simultaneously so I’ve missed a lot of the red carpet, which is fine because it turns out I don’t know a lot of these artists so far, and I’m kind of annoyed by E!’s commentary. Zendaya’s mullet was hilarious, but that tuxedo was giving me life.
……And away we go!
8:00: Taylor opens the show. This is one of my favorite songs from her album, mostly because I hate uncertainty. When she sings “are we out of the woods yet, are we in the clear yet” I get it…I hate not knowing if it’s going to work out or not. Mostly because it hasn’t. Yet.
8:03: Is there anyone left who doesn’t think Taylor should be a pop star? No, she just convinced everyone. Even if it’s not your kind of music, you must admit, she just killed it.
8:04: My sweet, sexy LL comes to the stage to encourage us to celebrate the “powah” of music. Did I ever tell you about how when I was in the 8th grade I decided that if I had the opportunity to have sex with him, I would. Eighth grade. When I had only kissed one boy and had no real idea what sex was…That is testimony to the power of LL’s attractiveness.
8:08: Best Rap Album! The presenter is Ice Cube! O’Shea Jackson, Jr is very handsome, btw, imho. Kendrick Lamar wins, surprising no one who knows anything about rap or hip hop. I could have also been behind an Onika win, but Kendrick was game changing this year. I think we’re witnessing him carving his name into the record books.
8:13: Carrie U and Sam Hunt perform. I get that Sam Hunt is doing this crazy mash up of country and rap but I’m not 100% sure I’m on board with it yet, although I do enjoy it. He’s giving me White Country Drake. It still seems like cultural appropriation, especially after Kendrick just dedicated his award to Snoop who has been nominated 13 times but never won. But Sam is killing this song, so I can’t hate.
8:23: Hi Ariana Grande! Omg, you’re wearing a ponytail! What a shock. She introduces The Weeknd (who is one person, btw). I am in love with this record, even if it is about cocaine. Did he mess up? I looked away. Nope, just an awkward transition. The Weeknd is the real deal and this performance is magic, although his Fog Horn Leg Horn hair and Woody Woodpecker vibrato is distracting.
8:29: Pour myself another glass of wine and contemplate dinner. This seems ill-thought out. I should have thought of dinner first and then poured a glass of wine. Most people learn this in their 20s. Maybe I’ll get there in my 40s.
8:33: LEON BRIDGES commercial. “If you’re ready for a bigger stage, build it.” Yeah it’s a commercial, but Google him if you don’t know him. Thank me later.
8:34: Andra Day performs “Rise Up” and I start to tear up. Surprisingly Ellie holds her own, mostly because her sound is so different than Andra’s, and it turns out, Ellie can actually sing! This performance was very balanced and I enjoyed it, much like a bowl of pho.
8:39: I realize we are only about 40 minutes into this show and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make it through the whole thing. OOoh Lt. Dan is giving us Best Country Album. I’m not a country person, but there’s not a person on the planet that doesn’t know it’s going to Chris Stapleton. He’s the real deal.
8:41: Pee break! And yes, Otis follows me. I’ve not peed by myself since 2013.
8:47: Big ol’ tribute to Lionel Richie!! John Legend is perfection, and I think he might be smiling a little more because Jamie Foxx made fun of him on The Tonight Show. Or maybe because he’s singing at the Grammy’s. Probably one of those two things.
8:49: Demi Lovato! Show all those other pop divas how it’s done, butt chin. I mean, Demi. She’s amazing.
8:50: Luke Bryan. Don’t mind if I do. I’ll have a slice of your pie. You know he was like, “oh, Penny Lover? That’s what I get? Yeah, okay. FINE.”
8:52: Meghan Trainor. You have brown hair and should stop saying “HEY” in the middle of your songs.
8:53: Tyrese. We all forgot you could sing b/c of the Fast and Furious bidness.
8:54: ALL NIGHT LONG! Everyone is singing and dancing. Gloria Loring forgets the words but Dave Grohl doesn’t, probably b/c he’s got something in that red Solo cup he just flashed.
9:04: GIRL CRUSH. This song is so mournful and amazing. I HATE country radio for creating all kinds of controversy b/c it was a little gay. GFY, homophobes. Everyone shut up and listen to this amazing song. Wait, are Karen Fairchild’s pants weird and lacy? Is it part of her jacket? PLEASE TELL ME THAT’S JUST PART OF HER JACKET.
9:07: Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix! I love Pentatonix because of that NBC a cappella show, but mostly because of Superfruit, the YouTube channel that Mitch and Scott have. They are hilar, and they’re going to sing with Stevie! Stevie, who is wearing a green suit with camouflage sleeves! Mitch, you hit that high note, ladyface!
9:11: Song of the Year! Stevie makes a braille joke. Ed Sheeran wins! But Taylor jumps up and down so I’m immediately confused until I remember that they are besties.
9:15: Tribute to Glen Frye, but they cut off Ed Sheeran’s writing partner. Hey take it easy, Grammy director. (See what I did there?) I have wished for one day to have Carrie Underwood’s legs, and now I also wish to have Timothy B. Schmidt’s cheekbones.
9:21: Tori Kelly and James Bey! Tori said earlier on the red carpet that they both are nervous dorks who only feel comfortable behind their guitars. Um we’d never know buy this performance, which is magical.
9:28: The Hamilton performance. Oh. Oh shit. I get it. I am finally getting it.
9:41: Kendrick Lamar comes out in prison chains, and drags his artistry like a chain uncomfortably for all of us to see. And then there is some black light shit and most of the white people in America who don’t know him faint. The bonfire and African dance are elements to his performance that solidify him as the new hip hop star of this decade. Sorry, Kanye. You’re in debt monetarily and musically.
9:54: MIGUEL. omg a tribute to Michael Jackson?? What is happening??? Do I need to take my shirt off???
9:56: Best Rock Performance: Alabama Shakes! She’s my second favorite Britney!
9:59: Adele sings “All I Ask” which was co-written by Bruno Mars! Who knew? She looks amazing and she slays me every time with her nonchalance. I’m having some issues with her performance but I will not say anything bad about Adele ever, so just shut up.
10:10: Skrillx, Diplo and The Biebs. He’s doing a minor (?) version of Love Yourself. The tight shot shows us some dust or something on his face. He’s playing the guitar on his lefty. All of this makes me uncomfortable. He tries to smash his guitar but it just sort of bounced a little, which is symbolic for his career, no?
10:17: Best New Artist: Megan Trainor. Such a crying mess. And adorable mess. Wasn’t who I picked for the win, but I can’t be mad at Megan. She wrote some catchy songs.
10:18: I start to cough and my throat feels weird. I glance into the bedroom and see my soft bed staring at me.
10:20: DON’T DO IT, BRIDGES. POWER THROUGH. YOUR
FANS COUSIN NEEDS YOU TO FINISH THIS.
10:32: When David Bowie died, my friends lost their shit. Paula & Carlo sat shiva for a day, my Facebook feed was all torn up, and I sat confused thinking about “China Girl” and “Let’s Dance” and not really getting it. I can recognize his place in the anthology of American pop culture and I certainly appreciate what he meant for the weirdos of the world, and the conversations he started about gender and sexuality. But the music? I didn’t get it. But hearing Gaga SLAY with that crazy orange hair and the hologram and the whole bit, I get it.
So what did I miss?
I missed Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark, Jr doing BB King. I’ll have to YouTube that.
I missed PitBull. (I’ll recover.)
I missed Taylor Swift making a dig at Kanye for taking credit for her fame.
I might have gone to bed at the right time. I’m still coughing and so help me God if I get sick again I’m going to lose it.