I watch hours of awards shows year after year. Some are great (Golden Globes with Tina & Amy as hosts). Some are consistently bad (I’m looking at you, Teen Choice Awards). But never have I watched a major awards show present a Primetime Mess like the 2019 Grammys.
The Cocktail tries to keep it positive, but we always keep it real. And the reality is: this show drove me to drink more than normal.
It wasn’t all bad, so in the spirit of positivity we’ll get the positives out of the way first: The tribute to Dolly was amazing. Tons of star power anchored by Dolly herself.
H.E.R. did an amazing performance.
Diana Ross? Still setting the standard for Divas everywhere.
Kacey Musgraves’ outfit for her performance was as elegant as her voice. For an awards show that prides itself on outspoken fashion (which is usually awesome), her elegant simplicity was refreshing.
And then there was.. umm.. okay, moving on.
Don’t Let The Music Play
Over the course of three hours and 40 minutes, the show gave out only something like nine awards. Yet there still wasn’t enough time to let them make acceptance speeches?!?! They were getting played off so quickly even host Alicia Keys said something about the music coming faster and faster!
And Childish Gambino didn’t even show up to collect one of the awards.. couldn’t they have given his time to the others?
Yes, the Grammys is primarily a concert. But for those few precious moments when winners can bask in their well deserved glory, plan enough time for them to speak. Yes, the local affiliates want to get on with their news and capitalize on the (theoretically) large audience. But we’re here for the music AND the musicians!
A Host of Issues
Alicia Keys is a talented artist. She connects with people. She is beautiful and elegant. So knowing that she possesses the raw materials to be a good host, means she was severely underserved by producers and stylists.
Her first outfit wasn’t breathtaking but it was okay. Sadly her makeup didn’t work well in the lighting for an HD broadcast. Then she stayed in that look for the first 40 minutes of the show. No matter how it looked, it should have been changed after the open. True Divas change outfits every seven to nine minutes!
Future outfits were minimally better, but not much.
She also doesn’t read well off a teleprompter, often stumbling over lines and occasionally starting over. None of these things played to her strengths.
Her one, shining moment was the segment called Club Keys. This was her at her finest. Playing two(!) pianos simultaneously and doing a medley of good hits. She was comfortable, connecting, and still ‘in’ the moment of the show.
Shame on the producers (who were also the writers) for misusing her innate talent and abilities. Was she gonna be the greatest host in the history of hosting? No. Not this time anyway. But a lot of potential was left on the table.
Just A Moment
The Grammys prides and promotes itself on creating “Grammy Moments” — amazing collaborations between artists of disparate genres. There was none of that tonight.
Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes? Please.
Post Malone and
Sonny Bono the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Edgy has never been so dull.
Sure there were some interesting combinations on stage, but they came during the Dolly tribute as well as the Aretha tribute.
And speaking of the Aretha moment, it was billed all week as this amazing, not-to-be-missed performance. In the end it was tacked on to the In Memorium near the end of the show. It’s not like she died on Thursday and they had to quickly figure out a way to honor her.
And why, in the name of all that is funky, did JLo lead the tribute to Motown? Yes she’s got moves. And curves. And even some Soul flava. But it just felt out of place and disjointed.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
This show accomplished none, zero, nada, of its goals. From creating memorable music to honoring its members, it was a failure on all fronts.
So we suggest following the lead of Dan + Shay and having some Tequila. I would suggest it for the producers, but from the looks of this show they were heavy into the bottle throughout the night.