Austin Crann, Staff Writer
Overall, the 57th Annual Grammy Awards were a total snoozefest — one too many ballads performed — but they did manage to send social media into a tailspin with how they treated Her Royal Highness Beyoncé. Her game-changing opus “BEYONCÉ” was barred from any of the major awards, relegated to just three minor genre and technical awards. It was truly a fatal mistake by the Grammys, and certainly the Beygency will be out for blood.
While technically an awards show, the Grammys has morphed into a three-hour promotional concert. Only 8 of the 83 awards were presented during the televised ceremony, with 23 performances taking up the rest of the time. And most of those performances were slow ballads. There was no “Born This Way” or “Drunk in Love” on Sunday night. The show’s ratings suffered greatly as a result, the lowest in 6 years.
Because there were over 70 awards handed out during the day, there were some award highlights from before the ceremony. Pop star Lady Gaga won her sixth Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Album with Tony Bennett for their No.1 album “Cheek to Cheek.” Even during her flop era, Gaga manages to snag Grammys, while some of her peers cannot even win one.
Speaking of flops who can’t even get a single award, Katy Perry lost out on yet another Grammy. Her song “Dark Horse” lost to pop icon Christina Aguilera featuring the irrelevant A Great Big World’s “Say Something” in the Best Pop Group Performance category. It’s Christina’s sixth Grammy, finishing yet another legendary chapter in the chanteuse’s illustrious career.
Although shut out of the major categories, Her Majesty Beyoncé rightfully won Best R&B Song for “Drunk in Love.” She lost in the questionable Best Urban Contemporary Album category to the “artsy,” obnoxious Pharrell. It was Her first snub of the ceremony.
The first award given out was for Best Pop Solo Performance, given to Pharrell’s horrific, sonic hepatitis, “Happy.” You might be wondering, “This song came out all the way back in May 2013. How could it be eligible for an award now?” It’s not. The song would have been eligible at last year’s ceremony, but was not even nominated because it only became popular after the nominations were announced. But due to some loophole crap, they managed to nominate a live version of the song this year because God forbid the biggest hit of 2014 isn’t nominated for a Grammy. Aren’t the Grammys supposed to be about quality, not popularity? Sia’s “Chandelier” was robbed of this award. No one deserved it more than her.
I really did not care about who won for Best Pop Album. I wasn’t a fan of most the nominated work. Straight boy-chaser Sam Smith won for his Adele-lite lullaby album “In the Lonely Hour.” Hilariously, Katy Perry lost out on her thirteenth Grammy when “PRISM,” an album entirely devoted to entertaining six year olds, lost in this category. She is now the fifth most-nominated to have never won a Grammy. Slay us all, Cultural Appropriation Queen!
The award for Best Rock Album came up next, once again surprising everyone into momentarily thinking that rock is a contemporary genre.
Thankfully, Her Majesty Beyoncé saved the ceremony when she won for Best R&B Performance. Accepting the award for her massive hit “Drunk in Love,” she looked ethereal on that stage, not a hair out of place, outshining everyone in that room. She thanked her loyal Beyhive, a fanbase that I may or may not be a part of, which set it on High Alert for the rest of the night.
Country music is the bane of my life, so I have no comment on who won for Best Country Album. I don’t even remember who won.
The next award handed out was the most infuriating of the night. Beyoncé, the woman considered to be the frontrunner for an entire year, lost out on Album of the Year to Beck, an artist who hasn’t been relevant for at least a decade. The Grammys have done Beyoncé so wrong. First, she loses Album of the Year to Taylor Swift back in 2010. Then “4” gets completely snubbed. And now, “BEYONCÉ,” a sonic and visually groundbreaking album that pushed Beyoncé to new artistic heights and rewrote the script on how to release a highly anticipated album, has lost. We should have seen this coming: of course a black female frontrunner would have lost to a middle-aged white man. This is the Grammys after all. They love to play it safe.
Sam Smith won the next two awards, Song and Record of the Year, for “Stay With Me.” It’s wonderful that the Grammy voters think that a song that ripped off an old Tom Petty hit is the most well-written and best-performed song of the past year.
While some awards were handed out, performances made up most of the ceremony. Some were pretty great, while most were drab. I have to confess that I did not pay attention to a single country music performance (I use them as bathroom breaks), so they are not even on my radar.
The 5 Best Performances:
- Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett — “Cheek to Cheek.” It’s great to see post-retirement that Lady Gaga the Flop Chanteuse is using her abundant free time to look after a senile old man (I kid). Gaga looked absolutely stunning, and she sounded great. In retrospect, it was smart for the Flop Chanteuse to take the past year to do this jazz album. She forced everyone to listen to and respect her great vocal power. Will the Flop Chanteuse be making a comeback? Who knows!
- Hozier and Annie Lennox — “Take Me to Church”/”I Put a Spell on You.” Hozier’s part was a little boring, but Annie Lennox brought the house down. Her star and performance power has not faded one bit.
- Madonna — “Living for Love.” She may have been a little stiff, but the Queen of Pop still knows how to put on a true pop performance. Matadors, bull-fighting, all the great visual elements were there. She sounded pretty great, too. This time around she sacrificed intricate choreography in favor of singing live. It’s crazy to think that Madonna can still perform circles around pop stars one-third of her age (looking at you, Ariana Grande).
- Beyoncé — “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Heavenly. I got chills watching this.
- Sia — “Chandelier.” With an unexpected appearance from Kristen Wiig, this interpretive dance performance stole the show.
5 Worst Performances:
- Katy Perry — “By the Grace of God.” The good news: Katy Perry didn’t sound completely awful, although she still can’t hit most of the notes for her life. The bad news: the entire performance was cringe-worthy. It opened with a domestic violence PSA from U.S. President Barack Obama and a survivor of domestic abuse. The PSA implored more action from the industry and the world on helping victims and survivors. Then Katy launched into her divorce-inspired song. While the sentiment was nice, it was 100 percent hollow. The vile Eminem had won a Grammy in the preshow, and Chris Brown was at the ceremony. Hypocrisy at its finest.
- Ariana Grande — “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart.” The Mariah Carey impersonator first suffered from an awful song choice. And once again, we were plagued with unintelligible lyrics. “Jusssalilbiofyerhar” is the most I could understand from her.
- Jessie J and Tom Jones — “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” Maybe she would have sounded better with water in her mouth?
- Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani — “My Heart Is Open.” No one asked for a “The Voice” promo.
- Pharrell — “Happy.” We have heard this song one billion times. He has performed this song one billion times. This song is twenty months old. It was a strange and artsy try-hard. He needs to let it go. I am so tired of this song.
Due to lack of truly exciting performances, the 57th Grammy Awards will without a doubt be remembered for how they treated Her Royal Highness Beyoncé.