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Commentary: Adele wins, Nicki Minaj loses at Grammys

Courtesy of MCT

In a rather surprising twist of events, the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were not necessarily the train wreck I had imagined.

Adele swept every category in which she was nominated, taking home six Grammys, including Album of the Year for “21” and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Rolling in Deep.” None of that was unprecedented, sure, but her dominance said a lot of things.

First, let’s look at Adele against acts such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” performance needed no theatrics — it was her with a band and backup singers. Perry and Minaj needed cheap thrills and theatrics to get a rise out of viewers, yet it was Adele who received a lengthy standing ovation for her performance, not Perry or Minaj.

Also, Adele is proof that the adage “sex sells” isn’t necessarily gospel. Adele doesn’t quite embody Hollywood’s notions of “sexy,” but her six Grammys, astronomical sales and her impressive standing ovation were proof that she doesn’t need a six-pack, skimpy outfits or blatant innuendo in her lyrics to be successful.

Outside of Adele, the performances were hit or miss. Rihanna and Coldplay’s collaboration wasn’t much of a collaboration, which was disappointing. Foster the People and Maroon 5 helped reunite The Beach Boys in a good, but not great performance. Jennifer Hudson singing “I Will Always Love You” in tribute to Whitney Houston was handled extremely well in one of the highlights of the night.

Minaj’s performance was putrid, but so were others. The “dance” performance, featuring David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Deadmau5 and Foo Fighters (for some reason) was awkward and didn’t really fit. I’m not a fan of the dubstep movement, but if the Grammys were going to try to help make the genre more legitimate, why not spotlight Skrillex, who won three Grammys on the night?

As for the awards, there were no real shockers, despite Taylor Swift consistently resorting to her “surprised face” after winning each of two Grammys. Foo Fighters swept virtually every rock category, taking home five Grammys in total, and in an ironic moment, got played off the stage by LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” while criticizing auto-tune. Despite being snubbed in the Album of the Year category, Kanye West took home four Grammys, including a Best Rap Album win for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

There was seemingly a lot of pandering to older audiences, with performances from The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and a guest appearance from Glen Campbell. Apart from that, there wasn’t a lot to complain about, which I’m sure won’t be the case when the 84th Academy Awards go down Feb. 26.

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