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The Best And Worst Moments Of The 2016 Grammys

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Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
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The Grammys celebrate the year’s best music and weirdest ideas. To the producers who thought it was a great idea to put Luke Bryan and Tyrese Gibson in the same performance, congrats on being such tastemakers.

By now, it’s no surprise to see disparate musicians take the stage together — in fact, it can be thrilling, even if the quality isn’t always reliable. What should be reliable is the Grammys giving us an entertaining, non-monotonous show. Now that most winners are announced outside of the telecast, the Grammys are basically three and a half hours of performances. Which should be fun! Instead, they were, for the most part, not very fun. Here are some of the best and worst moments. (Beware snark!)

WORST: LL Cool J’s opening monologue was a montage of clips from previous Grammy performances. Seven minutes in, the Grammys basically screamed, “2012, you were so great!”

BEST: Recruiting the endlessly dignified Stephen Colbert to introduce the “Hamilton” performance and the endlessly cheerful James Corden to do “Carpool Karaoke” ahead of the awards. It’s nice to see telegenic people on TV!

WORST: Rihanna canceled her performance approximately one hour into the show, citing bronchitis and dashing the hopes of bored Americans everywhere. To make matters worse, Lauryn Hill, who was expected to appear with The Weeknd, was another no-show.

WORST: “Grammy Moments” have become a specific, quite odious branding strategy for shoving random artists onstage together. Sometimes it works, other times it’s John Legend, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan and Tyrese looking like they met on the red carpet and decided to sign up for open-mic night.

BEST: Approximately 20 minutes of pure bliss means Broadway’s “Hamilton” cast performing, followed by Kendrick Lamar basically shutting down the entire night and Gwen Stefani then staging a stylish live music video.

WORST: But in between the aforementioned excitement, Seth MacFarlane, the guy who gave us “We Saw Your Boobs,” came out to present the award for Best Musical Theater Album.

WORST: The sound mixing was consistently wonky, so much so that even Adele couldn’t manage not to sound pitchy. And why did they use that heinous yellow glow for her spotlight? Adele does not deserve this.

BEST/WORST: Lady Gaga’s inspired David Bowie tribute started with a spider crawling out of her eye (hey, cool!) and ended with a muddled medley that felt like Gaga had just stepped out of a Bowie impressionist tutorial. But snark aside, Gaga is nothing if not a passionate performer, and she was the right person to do this tribute.

BEST: Bonnie Raitt and Brittany Howard. No, they didn’t perform a together, but they did make us regret that every Grammy Moment involves anyone but them.

WORST: The Hollywood Vampires performed, which was like a five-minute confirmation that your midlife crisis isn’t so bad.

BEST/WORST: We try not to count winners as “best” or “worst” moments because they’re all subjected to a complicated voting system. And even though “1989” is one of 2014/2015’s highlights, we have have two words in response to Taylor Swift’s Album of the Year win: Kendrick Lamar. Repeat after us: Kendrick Lamar. All together now: Kendrick Lamar.

BEST: Whoever made the decision to start rolling the credits before Pitbull, Robin Thicke and Joe Perry could finish … whatever it was that they did.


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