Why Can’t the Grammys Get It Right?

February 12th, 2013

(Photo: CBS/Monty Brinton /Landov)

By Dan Reagans

Things just ain’t the same for the Grammy Awards no more. It seems like music’s biggest night has become more synonymous for its snubs, disappointments and scandals as opposed to the stellar award show that it once was. We all know things happen, but to consistently miss the mark or commit programming travesties just sounds/looks like a musical abomination. Perhaps this may be a classic case of where today’s modern music has outgrown the traditional methods and programming standards practiced by the Grammy committee 55 years ago. But this year’s ceremony came off like an improv play rather than the award show of all award shows.

Thanks to social media forums like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the one-time faint whispers and soft spoken gripes of artists, fans and viewers who were unhappy with winning picks or the format of the ceremony have evolved into bellowing cries of outrage. And with good reason, too. Since when has it become appropriate for program producers to run commercial promotions while the show’s closing performer/host (hip hop icon LL Cool) is making his comeback performance? Running numerous ads right in the middle of an artist’s set is no different from Lil’ Mama stage crashing  Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ 2009 VMA performance.

And we can’t forget about Miguel and Wiz Khalifa’s confusing half performance/half presenter fiasco. Not only was “Adorn” one of the biggest R&B records of the year, both Wiz and Miguel were nominees. One would think that might warrant enough  reason for show producers to let the pair perform the ballad in its entirety. Instead of the two giving a memorable performance, the song was rushed through like a rehearsal run. Adding insult to injury and making matters more confusing (and classless), the two stars immediately went from speedy performers to Best Country Solo Award presenters. Each year it becomes seemingly harder to watch the program without asking one’s self, “Who’s behind the decision making?”

While we can’t expect Neil Portnow, NARAS and the Grammy Awards to always get it right, at least show some respect and act like you’ve had 12 months to plan and coordinate. Besides running the risk of losing the title of “Music’s Biggest Night,” before you know it all the stars might opt to save trip expenses and follow winner Kanye West’s lead, sitting at home on the couch and waiting for his or her Grammy in the mail. It’s time to incorporate some new techniques and acquire better qualified people to help organize things behind the scenes, or else.

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