2011 Grammy Awards: Outfits, Performances, Conspiracies & Pregnancies
I could pretend like I care who walked up the red carpet this evening at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, but everything before and after the arrival of Lady GaGa is a blur. Someone should call the gyno ’cause the baby’s coming tonight! GaGa was carried up the red carpet in an egg-shaped pod, escorted by an gaggle of muscle-bound men and model-esque women dressed in skintight nude tones. Per the model midwife in GaGa’s troop of beautiful carnies, “GaGa’s in the creative embryonic stage and won’t be born until her performance this evening.” Ah, yeah.
Like the mother of baby in utero, GaGa’s creative director Laurieann Gibson spoke for the artist. Please join me in luxuriating in the ridiculousness of it all—here are Laurieann’s comments to Ryan Seacrest regarding the red-carpet pregnancy:
“Is she dilating”?
“She’s going to shift the world.”
“I’m going to have to get her moving so she’s dilating”
GaGa must pay Laurieann a s*itload of money.
Just in case you want an embryo of your own (minus the sex and all the stuff that usually comes with getting knocked up), designer Hussein Chalayan made GaGa’s embryo complete with an oxygen tank and fan to keep the temperature cool.
Enough already. Now on to everyone else.
Selena Gomez—Disney darling and Justin Bieber‘s rumored girlfriend—looked amazing in a gold J. Mendel gown. Rapper Drake arrived with his mother Sandy, who’s the cutest woman ever. The rapper confirmed he’s starring in a movie called Arbitras with Susan Sarandon. Susan likes herself some younger men; any chance of an on-set romance between the artist and the cougar?
Nicki Minaj is officially queen of the jungle, a walking cheetah in a sea of feather-clad women (Katy Perry in Armani, Florence Welch in Givenchy). Nicki’s look was the lovechild of Marie Antoinette and Marge Simpson. Thank goodness for her wig because detangling that high-top fade would be a beast!
Why is Tia Carrere on the red carpet? Who is Mya‘s date for the evening and why does she always dress for red carpets like a 1990s disco ball?
“Best Dressed” for the night definitely goes to Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine, dressed like a Phoenix who rose from the ashes. Tres bien! Jennifer Hudson was a close second in her Versace dress with faux bondage bustier and shiny black Christian Louboutins, but her hair was a hell no. She, like Ciara (in an Emilio Pucci dress) suffered from the same contagion: TMH (Too Much Hairweave). BTW Ciara, rethink the shoe choice. Just cause they’re Louboutins doesn’t mean they match everything.
Kim Kardashian (escorted by her brother, Robert) made the most self-actualized statement she’s ever made: “I’m like a bronze trophy.” Yeah, she was talking about her Kaufman Franco dress, but the truth is the truth.
I know I shouldn’t be making fun of the children (because, you know, they are the future and all) but Willow Smith did look like a miniature version of George Clinton. Maybe it’s just me. J. Lo looked super hot but kind of boring in her short, silver, sequined long-sleeved Pucci number. Can someone please tell me how Marc Anthony snagged that chick?
Men on the red carpet are often so blah, but I couldn’t hate on Swizz Beatz‘s leopard jacket. Paired with his all-black outfit, it cut a stylish statement. This is a case of less being more. Ricky Martin, I love your tight, bleach-splashed grey jeans. You had me living la vida loca. Justin Bieber, dressed in a white tux and black bowtie, looked sweet but f*cked it all up with the white sneakers he paired with the ensemble. On camera they looked like white running shoes and made me thing of three words: frat boy style.
Now on to the show.
Let me start by saying I’m pretty sure a covert crew of Minnesota lunch ladies decides the Grammys.
I love a good tribute and Aretha Franklin is worthy of the adoration. The woman has won 18 Grammys in her career, but a tribute is only as good as the people giving it. Case in point: Why is Christina Aguilera doing the Aretha tribute? We all know she can barely sing the National Anthem! Thank goodness for J. Hud and Martina McBride. Florence Welch killed it and Yolanda Adams brought some dignity and holy water to these shenanigans. We learned that somewhere in Detroit Aretha is dressed for a wedding (white strapless beaded gown and a tulle shawl) and thrilled that her tribute went on five minutes too long.
Where do I start with goo goo GaGa? Her performance of her latest single “Born This Way” was meant to make a statement and I heard her loud and clear. The cement-colored rubber outfits were meant to reference amniotic fluid while her high ponytail referenced Madonna circa “Express Yourself.” GaGa’s abs are the best I’ve ever seen on a newborn and I loved her Boy George–style long jacket. By the end of the performance her dance troop resembled a Dove soap campaign with everyone in his or her nude-colored undies, a look that pairs perfectly with her self empowerment mantra: “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.”
Country music performances are a total buzz kill at the Grammys. Maybe if I was at an outdoor concert, totally depressed, drunk on cheap beer and pining over the latest in a long series of bad boyfriends, Miranda Lambert’s performance would have been more moving. Nice dress Mandy.
Speaking of dresses, what was Lenny Kravitz wearing? Come on Lenster, let love rule (again). It was impossible to resist you in the afro and tight leather pants.
Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae and B.o.B as a performance collective was a weird sell because of Bruno, but I digress. B.o.B rocking a monocle was hot. Janelle Monae looked amazing (she wore Ralph Lauren on the red carpet) and sounded even better. Janelle singing with B.o.B on the guitar was a perfect combination but please, no more Bruno Mars performances. Somewhere doo-wop bands are crying in a corner after his performance. Bruno’s best left on the drum kit. Note to the Grammys: I detest when performers use that black-and-white effect to recreate old television. I like my color TV.
Justin Bieber and Usher make for an interesting duo. I like when Justin plays the guitar. I’m over his hit “Baby” and puberty is making it tough for him to sing those high notes, but I’m not 13 so I’ll stop complaining. What was up with the posse of assassin drummers? I guess if I were a 16-year-old pop megastar I might want a crew of somersaulting ninjas as backup dancers for my Grammy performance, too. When Jaden Smith walked out, you could hear the collective gasps of tweens and teens around the world. This little duo should rename themselves “The 401Ks.” As for Usher, I like the Star Trek inspiration—the outfits were spot on—with the sprinkling of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. Wish he would bring back the R&B crooner who could sing ladies’ panties off. (And probably a few pairs of boxers, too.) I like how he ended his performance partnered with Justin; like a modern day ebony and ivory.
OMG—GaGa just thanked Whitney Houston when she received her award for Best Pop Vocal Album, for Fame Monster. When it comes to Whitney, keep hope alive.
Am I the only one who couldn’t hear Bob Dylan? The young bucks playing with him (aka: Mumford Brothers and The Avett Brothers) were a little over zealous. Someone needed to turn their mics down a tad!
Please get me on the phone with the ding-dong who conceived the idea of Lady Antebellum giving the Teddy Pendergrass tribute? Was this a joke? I can’t.
Redemption for the abhorrent lauding of Lady Antebellum came in the form of Cee-Lo Green and his singing, dancing puppets. I loved his Liberace-meets-Elton John-circa-1976 costume. Divine. Amazing. And is there anything Gwyneth Paltrow can’t do? Her black bodysuit and color-blocked heels made me completely jealous and want to be her best friend all at once.
No wonder Katy Perry was so secretive with her wedding photos from India—she planned on debuting them during her Grammy performance. Russell Brand must be eager to take his chick home later tonight! Her heart-covered performance made me actually fall in love with her music a little bit. Nicole Kidman also confirmed she’s actually a human when the camera spotted her singing along with Katy to “Teenage Dream.”
One of the highlights of the night? Norah Jones, Keith Urban and John Mayer, singing Dolly Parton’s iconic “Jolene” and not screwing it up. Classic song, perfect tribute (take notice Grammys, for future endeavors).
The air in my balloon deflated because I spent a good portion of the night thinking Eminem and Rihanna were performing with Drake, but, alas, I need my hearing checked. I wasn’t disappointed to learn it was actually Dre—yes, the doctor—coming out from the cave in which he’s been locked for the past decade composing a little album called Detox. After this performance, I’m even more convinced Rihanna should be singing country music to take full advantage of her twang. Eminem is one of the best and Dre gracing us with his presence was the icing on the rap cake. I think I even saw Em give the audience a grin. Call me if you want to have dinner Marshall! We can have that ontological convo.
Can we talk about the WTF moment that was Esperanza Spalding winning Best New Artist? Her win simply reinforces my belief in the power of the mysterious, vote-wielding Minnesota lunch ladies. Why wasn’t Esperanza shocked at her win? I screamed, Justin Bieber punched Usher and Drake cried in 40‘s lap—super shock.
Thank goodness for Mick Jagger—he came out and showed us all how the old folks should be shaking it. And Eminem looked like he might actually cry when he received his Rap Album of the Year award. I don’t know why I expected man tears from the Detroit recluse when Anderson Cooper couldn’t even get him to cry.
Diddy, word to the wise: Please remove your grill before you introduce anyone, in this case, Rihanna fearturing Drake to perform her hit, “What’s My Name.” In the spirit of embryos, I’m pretty sure Drake got Rihanna pregnant on stage. There was too much tribal going on around that bonfire.
The rest of the night is a blur. Arcade Fire played and had BMXers riding across the stage. Skateboarders would have been cooler. I could hardly see the band past the blinding glare of their seizure-inducing light show. Album of the Year went to Arcade Fire so they played again, but actually looked like they were having fun the second time around (minus the insane flashing lights).
The show is over and the night is young in Los Angeles. I’m pretty sure all the losers are heading out to get drunk as skunks and find out how long Esperanza has been sending support payments to the Minnesota lunch ladies (and how they can get in on the action).