I hate every awards show except the MTV Video Music Awards. The Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and all of the other fringe awards shows have it all wrong by pretending like their stupid trophies matter. We only watch awards shows to judge the way people look and facilitate our sick obsession with critiquing the projected personalities of celebrities.
The MTV Video Music Awards is the perfect awards show because every year it is a slave to hyper-recent cultural trends. Above all else, the VMAs create a stimulating awards show for the viewer by being completely shameless when it comes to curating a handful of moments worth talking about. This is the same sort of trend-addiction vortex that got Psy to a billion views on YouTube. The VMAs aren’t like the Oscars, piling the legacy of the entire show on one guest host. Their strategy seems to be putting as many celebrities as possible in the same room and hoping it turns into chaos, which basically means a black rapper interrupting a teenage white girl’s acceptance speech.
Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the '80s. Every so often, we'll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn't seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he's watching the video, then we'll post those thoughts here. This week's installment was selected by Rembert Browne, BECAUSE IT'S STILL BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND I'M CALLING THE SHOTS: "The Way You Make Me Feel"/"Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, from the 1988 Grammys. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the '80s, e-mail us at email@example.com.
[Note: This is the greatest awards show performance of all time. Know that.]
I knew Chris Ryan was trouble the minute he put a dubstep drop into his breakup song about Jake Gyllenhaal. Or am I confusing him with someone else? Either way, on this week's show we sank our dancing bunny fangs into the 2013 Grammy awards. Is Jay-Z the new Frank Sinatra? Is Justin Timberlake the new Michael Jackson? Are the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons old-timey nonsense? (That last one is easy.) Besides, the most interesting award winner was one who didn't even perform: Drake, who dropped a goofy, hilarious video for his new song right around the time Jack White was onstage fiddling with his dobro. Finally, a narrative about a humble night manager we can get behind.
So, Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali. The Grammys did their job. Order has been maintained. What happens next? Here are my predictions: Babel will return to the top of the albums chart next week. Jay Pharoah’s inevitable yellow suit-and-headband Frank Ocean parody will be relegated to “Weekend Update,” rather than get its own stand-alone sketch, on SNL. The guy from Fun. will regret wearing capris. A jingle that sounds like The Black Keys will appear in a Radio Shack commercial. Jack White will record a new 45 with three of the models from Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video. And nothing that happened Sunday night will matter when it comes to how our culture ultimately judges the value (or lack thereof) of these artists, or the many other artists who made notable music that had no chance of being nominated.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (hereby referred to as NARAS, because that's both quicker and sounds like an adorable made-up animal from Danish children's literature) announced today that Justin Timberlake will be performing at this year's Grammys, which go down February 10. Exciting! Ish.
We're now waist-deep in awards season, and the Grantland staff would like to take this opportunity to remind all the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Collar nominees out there that should they have to step up to that podium and take that mic on national television, they owe it to themselves to study up beforehand and see how the pros handle it. Here are our favorite awards show acceptance (and unacceptance) speeches from all corners of the entertainment world.
Big up to the Principality of Lichtenstein! Against all odds, this most random of landlocked Germanic Central European states — at 62 square miles, officially the sixth-smallest country in the world — has some big music-industry doings to crow about. Namely, plucky native son Al Walser, who's clawed his way into a 2013 Best Dance Music Recording Grammy for his track "I Can't Live Without You" amid such titans as Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and Skrillex. And the only problem is, just about no one in the EDM scene had ever heard of Walser or "I Can't Live Without You" before this nomination, and now everyone's assuming he gamed the system to nab the nom. Uh-oh!
So what the hell is going on here? Let's break it down.
The log line for Babes on a Bus, Fox's new reality dating show pilot: "At each stop, the women will be introduced to the town's finest bachelors, who will be on hand to impress them with romantic scenery and delicious local food. They even will introduce the ladies to their family and friends. At the end of each week, the women choose whether to board the bus headed for the next town — or stay." So it's a television show that positions single women as sexual vikings, via Norway, no less. I have no problem with this, and neither should you.
During the 2011 Grammys, the then-even-more-fresh-faced Justin Bieber was cruelly denied the glory of the Best New Artist statuette by Ezperanza Spalding?! The Beliebers, not a demographic associated in particular with a working knowledge of contemporary jazz vocalists, freaked out, and ended up peppering Spalding's Wikipedia page with such gems as "WHO THE HECK ARE YOU ANYWAY?" and "GO DIE IN A HOLE." And as unexpected and painful as it was to see Justin mercilessly iced out, it was, it seemed at the time, a mere hiccup in the young man's all-seeing/all-knowing/all-crushing death march to global domination. Sooner rather than later, we all knew, Justin Bieber would have an overflowing treasure chest of Grammys. He'd have so many Grammys he'd have to buy new mansions in order to get new bathrooms to put the Grammys in. He'd have so many Grammys he could invite Lil Twist and Carly Rae Jepsen and Drake and Jaden Smith over and they could all play flip cup but instead of with Solo cups it'd be with Grammys. He'd have so many Grammys he could build a life-size C-3PO–esque Esperanza Spalding voodoo doll constructed entirely out of the gold of melted-down Grammys.
A few years ago, I sat in a living room, surrounded by some of my closest friends, and made a now-infamous statement among my inner circle. I stated that Jessica Alba was "attainable" and meant it with every fiber of my being. It goes without saying that I was immediately laughed out of the conversation, the living room, the apartment, the building, and midtown Manhattan, but I have stood by my belief since that evening in the fall of 2009.
Since then, I've found that it's a lonely world out there for laypeople who have strong opinions on the attainability of celebrities. Luckily for me, and potentially only me, I stumbled on Chelsea Fagan, who is my delusional female doppelganger and shares in my polarizing beliefs.
In the first installment of our "Celebrity Attainability Exercise in Futility," we tackle the Grammys and ten of last night's nominees and winners.
During the standing ovation for Glen Campbell's performance of "Rhinestone Cowboy," a camera sweeping the audience spied two ladies who were not exactly enthralled with the country legend, momentarily setting Twitter ablaze with disapprobation. This is the transcript of their text message exchange.
Becki1990: luv these seats omg
HotJennaXOXO: u say that every 10 minutes. im sitting right next 2 u talk 2 me bitch!
Becki1990: cant here u over Capt Old Rhinestones or whatever. who is this singing?
HotJennaXOXO: did the Voice guy say Pete Campbell?