Grammys…..same old song and dance

Published 10:16 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

Do you guys enjoy watching Hollywood award shows? I do, usually. But that’s mostly because I’m entertained by dissecting people’s clothing choices. I can pretty much watch any award show where everyone is decked out with snazzy suits jackets and bedazzled dresses, even if I don’t know much about who’s up for the awards.

But my love of strange fashion can only go so far, and this year might be the year I give up on award shows completely. Or at least the Grammys anyway.

No, it’s not because I’m outraged that some celebrity won over a more deserving celebrity, and no, it’s not because I’m offended by all the political statements made during the almost four-hour event. On the contrary, I enjoy seeing how people tackle different social issues through various mediums.

No, I’m simply giving up because awards shows are boring. (And yes, I know that probably is something the rest of America figured out ages ago, if declining TV ratings are any indication.)

The Grammys were held on January 28 in New York City. Famous singers and musicians and other industry moguls filled the seats in the theater to watch others perform on stage. It’s a night to celebrate the art of music. Or rather, the same music. Over and over again.

Much for the same reason I love the Tony awards, I’ve always liked how the Grammys felt like one long super concert, with of course a few jokes and awards in between. But every year, the concert seems to have the same headliners every time. We get performances from Pink, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, U2, Gary Clark Jr, Little Big Town, and a few more who always seem to be there, regardless if they’re nominated or not.

Not that I don’t like or respect these artists—in fact, I actually wish Gary Clark Jr. could get a few more minutes on stage because he’s the only Blues representation the show bothers to give us—but seeing the same people all the time makes the whole thing unceasingly dull. Even if they’re singing different songs, they still have their own performance styles which do not change much over the years. By now, we know Kendrick’s performance is going to be wild and full of political statements. We know Bruno Mars’ band is going to get up and dance with him. We know Little Big Town will just stand in front of their mics and sing.

Even performers who’ve worked in the past to give us visually entertaining performances, for better or worse, seemed to tone it down a lot this year. Host James Corden reminded the audience before Pink took the stage that she once sang suspended above it. What a letdown to compare that with what she did this year.

Speaking of James Corden, even his jokes felt recycled. Time was wasted on a pre-recorded karaoke segment that only people familiar with his late night show would understand. And there was even one point where he got someone to pass cute puppies out to a few audience members. That joke was funnier when it was Ellen DeGeneres passing out pizzas at the Oscars four years ago.

The intention of any of these big awards shows—the Grammys, the Emmys, the Oscars, the Tonys—is to celebrate different kinds of art, to recognize hard work and innovation. At least, that should be the intention since someone decided decades ago to broadcast them on TV instead of just hosting a private banquet.

Each year it feels like the Grammys get further and further away from that idea by just hosting a multitude of regular performers. It’s simply the “usual crowd” and I’m tired of watching them. Bring some entertainment back to the Grammys.

After all, that’s what music is for, isn’t it?


Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.