Although last night’s Grammy Awards had plenty of lows – including Jennifer Hudson’s rushed Whitney tribute, and Chris Brown’s smug lip-synching, here are some of the high points from the evening.
Adele – ‘Rolling In The Deep’
Clad in all-black, with a pack of backing singers, Adele holds court. Despite her impeccable vocals, the biggest shock is how different she looks. Though her weight loss is presumably down to her throat surgery, she looks like a distant relative of Nicola Roberts. The surgery seems to have worked a treat though, as her chords are as flexible as ever (including a yodel). Singing aside, it’s a ten out of ten for her earrings – diamond doorknockers. There’s a nonchalant, ‘serves you right’ look in her eye, which the six Grammys might have something to do with.
Nicki Minaj – ‘Roman Holiday’/‘The Excorcism of Roman’
Where to start? Minaj certainly put her theatre degree to good use as she hammed across the stage. The performance began when she turned up on the red carpet with a Pope impersonator on her arm. Then, introduced by Drake, the camera cuts to Minaj rapping ‘Roman’s Revenge’ in a confessional booth with a priest. Which then becomes a spoof of the Exorcist. And then, finally, the set is revealed. A gothic cathedral of sorts, Minaj is tied to a post, rapping the intro to ‘Roman Holiday’ – which involves Roman’s mother Martha advising her wayward son to take a holiday. Confused yet? Just wait until 4.14, when a schoolboy choir bursts into ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and Minaj begins to LEVITATE. Fans of ‘Super Bass’ need not apply.
Rihanna and Coldplay – ‘We Found Love’/’Princess of China’
A surprisingly tender vocal from Rihanna opens proceedings, before the infectious Harris bassline kicks in and dancers run on stage. Yelling ‘Grammy’s, make some noise for Whitney’, they’re off amid a seizure-inducing light show. As such, when the focus shifts to Chris Martin with his acoustic guitar, it’s a bit of a letdown to be honest. Luckily, Rihanna brings enough attitude to the pairing to stop it sounding like a Geography student doing his party piece at a house party. When Rihanna exits the stage, Martin pops back to the band to lash through ‘Paradise’. (If you want a laugh, try and read the graphics on the stage behind them. ‘Defy Surface’ was as far as we got).
Taylor Swift – ‘Mean’
Despite the curious ramshackle backwoods staging (why is her slip showing? Why hasn’t she brushed her hair?) Bonus points for the cherographed slide to the right during the slide guitar hook though. Minus points for her ‘lucky’ number 13 being tacked onto the front of her banjo. And a million points for changing the final hook to ‘someday, I’ll be singing this at the Grammys’- the ultimate kiss off to the critics who knocked her live vocals.
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Beach Boys, Maroon 5, Foster the People – ‘Surfer Girl’/’Wouldn’t It Be Nice’/’Good Vibrations’
Though it feels like this line-up was pulled at random out of the men’s bathrooms five minutes before curtain up, and the fact that in his 50’s get-up Adam Levine resembles the Candyman from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this isn’t half bad. Foster the People’s ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ stays remarkably faithful to the orginal, and who’s going to knock seeing Brian Wilson singing ‘Good Vibrations’.