It’s time to rethink the Grammy Awards

Adam Griffiths

None of the celebrities really seemed to be happy at the Grammys last weekend, and if you watched, you probably weren’t content to be wasting your time with them either.

No matter what the cause, the 49th annual Grammy Awards were missing something. The fashions were conservative, the performances promoted channel surfing and the acceptance speeches were like some of the worst lectures: boring, redundant and pointless. The show, which aired Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS, ended up delivering more than three hours of passive entertainment. Hopefully the Oscars are more engaging.

The Dixie Chicks cleaned up well, winning awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Country Album. The Recording Academy, whose members vote on the awards each year, seem to have liked the controversy sparked by last year’s Taking the Long Way and lead singer Natalie Maines’ stringent anti-war sentiments. In retrospect, the Academy might have been making up for the snub the Chicks received at the Country Music Association awards last November, but none of the other nominees in their winning categories really shined any brighter.

Mary J. Blige made moving, though obviously prepared, acceptance speeches. She thanked everyone she possibly could. According to Nielsen Media Research, 20.1 million people watched every word of her thanks. I guarantee half of them switched over to check out what was going down on “Desperate Housewives” or “Cold Case.” (Blige took home three awards out of eight nominations.)

The best performance of the evening was the trio of newcomers Corinne Bailey Rae, John Mayer and John Legend. Both Legend and Mayer took home two awards. The combination of three artists who were true to their music and all performed stripped down songs was refreshing after the handheld-video Justin Timberlake “What Comes Around” fiasco and a lackluster Police opening act.

Christina Aguilera’s performance jolted energy back into a rather lifeless second half. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were their usual selves — nothing special — but took home four awards. And at the last minute, the Grammys took an “American Idol” turn for the worst when contest winner Robyn Troup nearly held her own with Justin Timberlake in the final number. The Academy also did some self-promotion with the help of two elite teenage musicians and handed out a lot of its trademark Lifetime Achievement awards.

And for anyone who cares, the Walk the Line soundtrack won best score soundtrack, Ludacris took home a best rap album statue for Release Therapy and Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder took home the award for best pop collaboration on “For Once In My Life.”

Adam Griffiths is a freshman magazine journalism major and an ALL correspondent for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].