I was solely in this for Hamilton.
I normally have little to no interest in the Grammys. Part of it is just sheer awards show fatigue; there are just so many awards show this time of year, including the granddaddy of them all, the Oscars, so it’s easy to get burnt out on watching people thanking their managers. It doesn’t help that I’m just not as into music as I am into movies and television. I of course enjoy music, but the who wins the Grammys means very little to me. I like who I like and I don’t get too bent out of shape if the artists I dig fail to get formal recognition for their work. Plus the Grammys are a very performance heavy ceremony that sporadically gives out awards, and usually the performers are either people that I’ve seen perform many times or people I’ve never heard of. So there isn’t much incentive for me to tune in.
This year, however, the Grammys were going to feature a live performance by the cast of Hamilton, which was enough to lure me in. Sure, I’ve seen Hamilton already (and will be going to see it again later this year), but I love this musical so much that I could watch the talented cast perform 1000 times and I wouldn’t tire of it. The Grammys new what they were doing – since it’s basically impossible to get tickets to the show (unless you are me 🙂 ), there was a very high chance that people would tune in to see what all the hubbub is about. Most years, the best musical theater album isn’t even given out during telecast, so this was clearly a calculated attempt to cash in on Hamilton‘s popularity. It totally worked, since here I am, giving up my Monday evening for an awards show I normally would have skipped. So well played Grammys. Well played.
8 pm – Wasting no time by kicking things off with Taylor Swift. Is she doing a song from Into the Woods? That’s what the set looks like. (Watch her performance here).
8 pm – Oh wait….this song is called “Out of the Woods?” This makes more sense. I clearly need to bone up on my T. Swift knowledge.
8:01 – Not a big fan of this outfit she’s wearing. It kind of looks like they forgot to but sequence down the side.
8:02 – It will never happen, but it would be pretty awesome if she somehow took a shot at Kanye during this performance.
8:03 – It appears she has abandoned the extensive choreography, for which we can all be thankful. Dancing is not her strong suit.
8:04 – Kind of weird to show LL Cool J walking in from the control booth.
8:05 – I think he thought that line about the power of music was going to get more applause than it did. The silence was deafening.
8:06 – I don’t really think people were that impressed with Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar last year. Probably best not to bring that up again.
8:09 – Kicking things off with best rap album. Ice Cube and his son are here to present what I assume has to go to Kendrick Lamar.
8:11 – As I expected. To Pimp A Butterfly is an amazing album.
8:12 – Anquan Boldin and Von Miller introduce Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, which is a little odd but whatever.
8:14 – This song has kind of been ruined for me by Tim Tebow doing it on Lip Sync Battle.
8:16 – Both Taylor and Carrie are rocking shorter dos. Is it possible that I’m actually on trend?
8:17 – That performance was fine, but boring.
8:23 – Arianna Grande – singing a terrible joke won’t make it better. Go home now.
8:24 – I really like this song by The Weeknd, but I feel like it’s been out forever.
8:25 – I guess they heard me; he abruptly left his box of light to sing a different song.
8:30 – So far there have been three performances that have all been unexciting. I think I’ve become spoiled the insanity that is the MTV Music Awards. Someone has to do a more fun or upbeat song soon or I’ll fall asleep.
8:34 – Selene Gomez introducing Ellie Goulding and Andra Day, which means more not very exciting music.
8:37 – Is black and white the color scheme of the evening? I feel like everyone performing has worn this so far.
8:38 – I do dig Andra Day’s barrettes though.
8:39 – Obligatory shout-out to the troops from Lt. Dan (aka Gary Sinese).
8:40 – Apparently this Cam person did not get the black and white memo – that is a very yellow dress. They’re here present best country album.
8:41 – Justin Timberlake’s pal Chris Stapleton wins (and we’re back to the black motif). I would have gone for Kacey Musgraves, but I’m biased.
8:47 – LL Cool J brings out James Corden to introduce the celebration of Lionel Richie.
8:47 – Well this is a motley crew to perform: John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan, and Tyrese. Watch the performance here.
8:48 – I’m hit or miss with John Legend, but he’s doing a great version of “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”
8:50 – Sometime you forget that Demi Lovato can really sing.
8:51 – This song just sounds weird being sung by Luke Bryan. I didn’t even recognize it right away.
8:52 – First time seeing Meghan Trainor as a brunette. I like it. But she needs to stop adding “heys” to this song.
8:53 – Tyrese sings? Did I know this?
8:55 – The man of the hour takes the stage.
8:55 – I wonder if Robin Thicke actually new that woman whose ear he was singing into or if he was just being a creeper.
8:56 – It is weird to see Dave Grohl singing along with “All Night Long,” red solo cup in hand.
8:57 – New life goal – to have my name and face lit up on a stage.
9:02 – Honorary Grammy board chair, Ryan Seacrest? Doesn’t he do enough already?
9:03 – Little Big Town to perform “Girl Crush” which was of course a song embraced by the country music industry *sarcasm* (and which isn’t even about what people assumed it was about).
9:04 – This is a cool arrangement with the orchestra, but this isn’t all that electrifying either. So far Lionel Richie has been bringing the enthusiasm. That’s not a good thing.
9:07 – Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix pay tribute to from Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire. Watch the performance here.
9:08 – Are the members of Pentatonix always the same? Because the girl looks different from who I’ve seen perform previously. Maybe it’s the hair.
9:09 – Now Pentatonix introduce Song of the Year, presumably the Kendrick Lamar/Taylor Swift showdown.
9:11 – Stevie Wonder teases that he’s the only one who can read the winner because it’s in braille.
9:12 – Moderate surprising – Ed Sheeran wins. Less surprising, they have shown more reaction shots of Taylor Swift than of Ed Sheeran.
9:13 – Someone messed up there. First they cut that poor lady off and then they cut off the video introduction. Stevie Wonder must have taken up too much time with his jokes.
9:14 – The Eagles and Jackson Browne pay tribute to Glenn Frey. This isn’t going to be high energy either. Watch the performance here.
9:22 – Anna Kendrick introduces Tori Kelly and James Bay (both wearing black and playing acoustic guitar). I will go back to my coma.
9:28 – THANK GOODNESS…..finally Hamilton!!
9:38 – Don Cheadle to introduce Kendrick Lamar, who I guarantee will do something interesting. Watch his performance here.
9:40 – Coming out in shackles? Yup, that will liven things up.
9:41 – The stage is literally flames for Kendrick Lamar.
9:42 – Finally – someone with some energy and something to say. Loved it!
9:47 – Seth MacFarland to give out the Hamilton award (officially known as the best musical theater album).
9:47 – Lin-Manuel Miranda knows how to give an acceptance speech!
9:53 – Miguel performs. We’re back to the snoozefest.
9:54 – Wait – why is there a video of Michael Jackson in the background?
9:55 – Oh – that was a Michael Jackson song. Shows how much I know.
9:56 – Tepid applause for mention of Spike Lee.
9:56 – Best Rock Performance – here’s to hoping for the Foo Fighters, though I actually like everyone in this category.
9:57 – Eh – Alabama Shakes wins. Can’t really argue with that.
9:58 – Bruno Mars introduces Adele. That seem about right.
9:58 – I’m intrigued that Bruno Mars and Adele area pals. Like, what does that friendship look like?
9:59 – WHAT? You cannot screw up the sound during Adele. Someone should get fired immediately! (Watch her performance here)
10:04 – All hail Queen Adele. Is it September yet? I cannot wait to see her live.
10:10 – Kaley Cuoco here to introduce Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo. Watch the performance here.
10:11 – Bieber can play guitar?
10:12 – Man, it kills me to admit this, but I like Bieber’s new album.
10:16 – LL Cool J is back. We haven’t seen him in a while.
10:17 – Sam Smith to present Best New Artist.
10:18 – And the Grammy goes to….Meghan Trainor, which isn’t super surprising.
10:19 – Probably the most emotional speech of the night, which isn’t saying too much.
10:25 – Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie. This should be interesting. Watch the whole performance here.
10:26 – She has certainly committed to the Bowie look.
10:28 – I’m honestly surprised that there haven’t been more costume changes.
10:30 – And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you do a freaking tribute to Bowie.
10:35 – I just realized this foolishness goes until 11:30. Sorry Grammys – at this point, you’ve blown your best material.
10:37 – No offense to the great Bonnie Raitt. Always glad to see her on my TV screen.
10:38 – It seems like so long ago that B.B. King passed away.
10:39 – Raitt is joined on stage by Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. Watch the performance here.
10:42 – Fitting tribute to a music legend.
10:50 – An Alabama Shakes performance is always a good thing. Watch it here.
10:54 – Everyone’s favorite rock star, Dave Grohl, is here to pay tribute to Lemmy and introduce The Hollywood Vampires, a band that has great potential to be either amazing or a train wreck.
10:56 – This camera work is making me dizzy. Is Johnny Depp even out there? (Watch the performance here)
10:57 – Oh there he is! He looks like Captain Jack Sparrow joined a band.
11:07 – This kid is 12 years old and playing at the Grammys. Kind of makes you feel like you aren’t living up to your full potential.
11:11 – That was a weird transition from the business of the music industry to the In Memorium segment.
11:12 – They didn’t save David Bowie or Glenn Frey for the final person. That’s surprising.
11:14 – Ah – Natalie Cole gets the power position. I guess that makes sense since they didn’t do a tribute to her during the broadcast.
11:19 – At this point, I’m only still here because they promised me a Beyoncé appearance.
11:20 – Members of Earth, Wind and Fire to present album of the year.
11:21 – Taylor Swift wins. Can’t say I’m surprised by that, but her dress is not what I expected her to be wearing.
11:22 – Oh snap! She’s calling out Kanye! That was a boring version of this:
11:24 – Bow down – it’s Queen Bey to present Record of the Year.
11:25 – How in the hell is “Uptown Funk” still eligible? That’s been out for YEARS. Like shouldn’t that have won last year? I do not understand the Grammy timeline.
11:26 – I can’t believe they opted to cut off Bruno Mars for Pitbull. Watch the performance here.
11:27 – This song will be all the rage in zumba in a few weeks.
11:28 – Wait – that really is Sofia Vergara. She should be home with Joe, not participating in this foolishness.
11:29 – I don’t know that the addition of Robin Thicke and Travis Barker makes this performance legendary. Nice try, Pitbull.
11:30 – They are running the credits over this performance. I wonder if they’ll cut away from it in progress. That would be something.
11:31 – Hot damn! That’s finally over!!
Man… that was a snoozefest. There were a few standout performances – Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Adele – but overall this was a very low energy Grammy award ceremony. It was way too long and since the overall mood of the show was kind of low key, it only made the whole thing feel even longer. I much prefer the train wreck that is the MTV music awards; it may be messy, but at least it was memorable. There was very little reason to tune into the Grammys. It definitely wasn’t worth me being tired this morning. I’m curious to see if/when Kanye refers to Taylor Swift in their reignited feud, but otherwise the 2016 Grammys were fairly forgettable. At least Hamilton was great; if that had led off the show, I might not have watched the whole ceremony.