With all of the damaging scandals and ruinous accusations surrounding the buildup to the 2020 Grammys, the Recording Academy was hoping the actual telecast of music’s biggest night would be a shift back to normalcy. Well, Academy, be careful what you wish for. An overstuffed performance lineup, major sound issues, dozens of expletives and an unbearably long runtime later — the Grammys were back like they never left.
- 1 Winner: Billie Eilish’s Dominant Sweep
- 2 Loser: Lizzo’s Bittersweet Victories
- 3 Winner: Tyler, the Creator Setting The (Literal) Roof On Fire
- 4 Loser: Aerosmith & Run-DMC’s….Whatever That Was….
- 5 Winner: The Red Carpet Looks
- 6 Loser: Our Sleep Schedules
Check out my 2020 Grammys recap of the winners and losers from last night’s show:
Winner: Billie Eilish’s Dominant Sweep
If you thought the Grammys would play it safe and spread the wealth of awards among its many breakout candidates to prevent an attack from the armies of stan twitter, you were dead wrong. It turns out Billie Eilish was thinking the same thing before winning Album of the Year:
“Please don’t be me. Please.”
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) January 27, 2020
Eilish made history Sunday night, sweeping all four major Grammy categories in dominant fashion: “bad guy” won Song of the Year and Record of the Year while When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? took home Album of the Year and Eilish herself prevailed as Best New Artist. She became only the second artist ever to accomplish such a feat and she’s only 18 (!) years old.
And as if we had any doubts about Eilish deserving these accolades, the talented Los Angeles singer, accompanied by her producer-brother Finneas, surprisingly performed the song “when the party’s over” on the Grammy stage. The gentle ballad showcased Eilish’s marvelous range as a singer for the many viewers who have only come to know her as the quirky anti-pop star that “bad guy” displays.
Loser: Lizzo’s Bittersweet Victories
By no means was Lizzo’s first Grammys night a complete failure. The 31-year-old singer snagged three Grammys, kicked off the show with an orchestra-filled, flute-wielding performance and even shared an impromptu duet with Steven Tyler during Aerosmith’s appearance (more on that later). Sadly, these moments were inevitably overshadowed by Eilish destroying her competition in nearly every head-to-head category imaginable.
This was supposed to be Lizzo’s night. With an artist-leading eight nominations, the stars were aligned for the singer to nab several wins and truly establish herself as one of the biggest pop icons in the country. For many of the Grammy categories, it was strictly a two-horse race between Lizzo and Eilish, with both expected to be recognized for their chart-dominating accomplishments.
Instead, Eilish’s name ended up being the only one called and each camera cut to Lizzo’s expression in the audience said it all. Perhaps it was the plagiarism allegations surrounding her smash hit “Truth Hurts” that ended up being her downfall. Either way, Lizzo could’ve had a much bigger night.
Winner: Tyler, the Creator Setting The (Literal) Roof On Fire
Leave it to Tyler, the Creator to take a seemingly innocent Grammy performance sandwiched in between dozens of others and morph it into the chaotic, face-melting affair only truly rivaled by his concerts. On the biggest stage of his career, the safe play would’ve been for the artist to stick with the listener-friendly “Earfquake” flanked by a barbershop quartet of Charlie Wilson and Boyz II Men. However, if you know Tyler, “safe” isn’t in his vocabulary.
Without warning, the rapper yelped and screamed like a man possessed as the earth-shattering bass of “New Magic Wand” tore apart Staples Center. Platinum-blonde wig-wielding clones marched on stage, a suburban cul-de-sac was set ablaze and Tyler fell backward into a fiery abyss. CBS refused to cut to any reactions, probably due to the collective horror being experienced by every boomer in the audience.
Tyler’s night wasn’t done. After taking home the Grammy for Best Rap Album, the L.A. musician slammed the Recording Academy for pigeon-holing black artists into “urban” categories.
“It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything they always put it in a rap or urban category. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”
— Odd Future Fans (@itsOddFuture) January 27, 2020
Loser: Aerosmith & Run-DMC’s….Whatever That Was….
The reunion looked good on paper. Legendary musicians Aerosmith and Run-DMC joining forces once again on the Grammy stage to perform some of their beloved hits from the past and truly honor their unquestioned legacies in the music industry. Foolproof, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. What we got was an unrehearsed mess of sound issues and cringe-worthy vocals that turned a homecoming into a complete embarrassment. Steven Tyler was off-key, nobody could hear Run-DMC and everything just felt out-of-sync from the get-go.
Drummer Joey Kramer made headlines in the leadup to the Grammys, accusing Aerosmith of not letting him back into the band to perform at their tribute show and the Grammy telecast itself. According to Aerosmith, Kramer’s playing was not up to their standards, but it’s tough to imagine his talent, even in his old age, being any worse than any of the ancient artists up on that stage Sunday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kramer went to sleep last night with an enormous smile on his face.
Winner: The Red Carpet Looks
If you’re like me, seeing beautiful people in gorgeous attire on the red carpet comes second to the shocking, out-of-the-box looks pulled off by some of the most creative celebrities — so you know I couldn’t contain my joy when I saw Billie Eilish looking like every single Batman villain in history crammed into one.
Lil Nas X refused to back down either, sporting an all-pink, jewel-encrusted cowboy outfit. Ariana Grande didn’t disappoint with a dress fit for a Disney princess that almost looked as if it were swallowing her whole. Also, can anybody tell me what is going on here?
Loser: Our Sleep Schedules
Look, I understand that there are many awards to hand out, many performances to showcase and many icons to celebrate. But can we please, for the sake of my sanity and everybody trapped in the Eastern time zone (also me), wrap the Grammys up in around two hours?
I know, I know. It’s tough to ask the Recording Academy to trim the performance list down to less than 17 (!), but as I type this up with eyes that refuse to stay open, I am just now realizing that the Grammys may have been a tad bit overstuffed. We don’t need Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr. at the 3-hour mark! Fix your award show, Academy!