The media keeps calling this year's Grammy Awards, "The Year of The Woman."
From where I sit, it was the year of the "staged win". Every artist who performed (except for that sad looking Scottish wench from the group Garbage) received a Grammy within minutes of their performance.
Here's how it worked. After each performance, the category in which that performer was nominated was the next award. We got to see Madonna, breathless after her "Like A Geisha" number, race back to the stage to get her award. The others performed their songs, then dutifully stood in front of a giant Grammy graphic until being called to the stage. Just a word to the wise when you are nominated for your Grammy. Show up and sing the damn song if you want to win, OK?
The performances were varied in style and uniformly excellent, and Lauryn Hill was, as expected, the queen of the night. And her reading of a psalm instead of the traditional speech - "Thank you Momma, Daddy, everyone-I've-ever-known, the "creator", all the little people I stepped on to get here, my lame competition, and Starbucks for that Chai Latte today" - was inspired.
Other impressions of yet one more Rosie O'Donnell-run awards show?
Thanks to the fact that Madonna read the bestselling book Memoirs Of A Geisha about a simple girl who actually likes being a geisha because of the link between her sexual "pearl" and power, and who rebels by saying "who the hell wants to live a traditional life anyway?" - we got to see her Ray of Lightship in six-inch red heels and billowing kimono bleat the song "Nothing Really Matters."
Now we can look forward to a full year of seeing little Madonna-Wanna-Be-Geishas in their red "Gap Kids" kimono knock offs. What next? Baby Ray of "Lite" Yoga? Madonna's Kabbalah For Kids? And just in case anyone thought she was turning into a saint, she turned on the old charm and dissed her toothless Brit Ray Of Light producer William Orbit, while managing to steal his air time.
In addition to Geishas, one of the other Grammy trends was the Who-The Hell-Is-That? syndrome. Is that Sheryl Crow with short, red hair? Since when is Mexican Jennifer Lopez blond? Which one is Brandy? Which one is Monica? Who's the blind guy singing with Celine Dion?
For your consideration, here are a few alternate Grammy Awards that didn't make the airwaves:
Best Stupid Guy Getting Dissed By His Female Co-Presenter:
TIE Jerry Seinfeld & Jennifer Lopez
Billy Corgan And Gwen Stefani
Country Slut Crossover Of The Year:
Shania "Man, I NEED A Man NOW" Twain
Best Genuine Fake Leather Jacket "Shaft" Costume Leftover:
Best Fake Commercial Joke About A Nominated Song:
Rosie O'Donnell touting the new Celine Dion "Near, Far, Cross-Your-Heart
Most Pathetic Moment When An Artist Announced His Own Grammy And No One Clapped:
Best Manic-Depressive Duo Of Hits During One Year:
"Thank You" and You're Uninvited", both by Alanis Morrisette
Best Televised 2-Hour Chair Slump While Chewing Gum And Scratching:
Oddest Threesome Presenters Who I Hope To Never See Involved In A "Pamela Anderson Lee" Type Video On The Internet:
Beck, Sara McLachlan and Puff Daddy
Best T-Shirt That Sums Up How All Of Us Feel About "My Heart Will Go On"
Winning Yet More Awards:
"The Boat Sank. Get Over It."
Best Use of Music During A Presenter's Speech
Muzak Accompanying George Lucas
A few final thoughts before the union help starts charging us overtime like they do at real awards shows:
- A challenge: $10 To any E-Pop! reader who can remember one single
lyric from a song by Increasingly-Buff-And- Bouncy-Former-Menudo-Member
Ricky Martin, who rocked the house. But why do I want to call him Rico Suave?
- My favorite story about the Grammy's is about no-show R&B nominee
Aretha Franklin (Re-Re to her friends).
So where, in year of Lauryn Hill, was the Queen of Soul, who is known for hating travel?
"She stayed home in Detroit watching the show and eating finger food and drinking nonfat smoothies," says Barbara Shelley, Franklin's publicist.
"Aretha doesn't fly and she didn't want to drive to L.A. in the middle of winter."
Aretha didn't exactly weep when she lost. Like a true diva, Franklin told Shelley she was happy for Lauryn, but added, 'I'm going to get out the polish and polish my seventeen Grammys.'" Ouch. And pass the barbecue sauce.
E-Pop! did the same thing this year right down to the finger food.