The highs and lows of this year’s Grammys

Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) (Emma McIntyre, 2022 The Recording Academy)

After what went down at last Sunday’s Oscar Awards, it was going to take a lot for this Sunday night’s Grammy Awards to live up to expectations.

As you already know by now, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the middle of the awards show after Rock insulted Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

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The only way something that wild was going to go down at this year’s Grammys was if Kanye West did something off-the-wall, and luckily for us, he didn’t show up to the event. Were we about to have a drama-free awards show that solely focused on the music? Yes.

Did it turn out to be pretty boring without a crazy dramatic moment? Kind of!

Let’s take a look back at all the major moments from the show.

LOW: Silk Sonic (aka Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak) opened the show, and it’s not that their performance was bad, but I was kind of expecting something a little bit more grand, considering this was the opening act of the Grammys.

LOW: Trevor Noah hosted the evening, and while there were a few good jokes, it all mostly felt flat. Perhaps he was a little nervous of a repeat slap happening, so he didn’t roast the celebrities as hard as he could have.

HIGH: Olivia Rodrigo! She performed the song that made her famous, “Drivers License,” and reminded us of just how talented she is.

HIGH: Why are Keith Urban and Lady Gaga sitting at the same table? Where is Nicole Kidman? Did she introduce them? I have so many questions.

HIGH: Speaking of these tables, I love how the arena is set up. COVID has seemed to forever change the way we seat celebrities at awards shows. If this means that the days of just sitting in a normal audience are gone, then I’m a happy camper. It feels way more intimate when everyone is around tables instead of in rows of seats.

LOW: J. Balvin’s performance. Nothing against you, but it was just boring.

HIGH: Questlove getting some love! If you remember, the infamous slap happened right before Questlove won an Oscar for Best Documentary. It was completely overshadowed by the slap, so it was nice of the Grammys to give Questlove a little moment of recognition.

HIGH: Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak’s commitment to staying in character of two musicians straight from 1975.

HIGH: BTS! I think I’ve always been a little confused by the K-Pop boy band, but after Sunday night’s spy-themed performance of “Butter,” I am all in for these guys.

Jimin, Jungkook, Suga, J-Hope, and V of BTS perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) (2022 The Recording Academy)

HIGH: Lil Nas X! I’m pretty sure he was lip syncing through most of his performance, but it sure was fun to watch!

LOW: Excuse me, but where are the stars? I understand that not every superstar recording artist came out with an album last year, but it kind of felt that Lady Gaga was the only superstar at the ceremony, and that was it. No Adele? Rihanna? Christina? Beyoncé? Katy Perry? It just felt that the evening was missing some major star power.

HIGH: Throughout the evening, people who work behind the scenes of touring got to present their bosses, which was something different and kind of fun! The pandemic prevented not only the artists from touring, but also their crews. So it was cool to honor the roadies.

HIGH: Chris Stapleton! If you don’t listen to this country music genius, you sure will after that performance. It was then made even better when he won Country Album of the Year.

LOW: This Billie Eilish performance was not doing it for me, until ...

HIGH: She got out of that weird house with the water and rocked out while her brother played electric guitar. Also she gets mad props for her T-shirt featuring the late Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters.

HIGH: Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion looked incredible presenting Best New Artist, but then to have Donatella Versace herself come on stage to fix their matching outfits was priceless.

HIGH: Olivia Rodrigo won Best New Artist! You deserve it all, girl!

Olivia Rodrigo accepts the Best Pop Vocal Album award for ‘Sour’ onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) (2022 The Recording Academy)

HIGH: Finally, some living legends! Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt introduced Brandi Carlile’s performance. Also, Carlile shut it down. Her voice is just out of this world.

LOW: I know it’s not a part of the actual Grammys, but these weird commercials for Goldfish crackers needed to stop.

HIGH: Nas! More performances from legends, please!

LOW: These random performances on the rooftop of the MGM Grand. It’s great that the Grammys want to highlight artists who win but don’t ever get to perform on the Grammys stage because their genres are like, bluegrass or Latin pop, but to have them perform for 30 seconds and then cut to a commercial break is kind of insulting. It’s like, either let them perform on the Grammys stage (not during a commercial), or don’t have them perform at all.

HIGH: The tribute to Ukraine. It was kind of jarring to see the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, address the Grammys, but at the end of the day, the more people he can reach out to, the better. John Legend followed it by performing a new song along with some musical refugees from Ukraine.

HIGH: Two words: Lady Gaga. From arriving in an egg more than 10 years ago to now giving us Hollywood glamour and a jazz performance in honor of her friend Tony Bennett, it just goes to show how far Lady Gaga has come. It’s just so fun to see her poke into these different sides of her musical personalities. Gaga looked absolutely stunning and sounded like a dream.

HIGH: Jasmine Sullivan wins Best R&B album! So well-deserved!

LOW: Someone please get Jared Leto off my TV; thank you.

HIGH: The In Memorium section was beautiful, as well as the tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died just more than a week ago. The music for the In Memorium was dedicated to the late Stephen Sondheim, which just got me thinking about how brutal the Tony Awards’ dedication to Sondheim is about to be in a few months.

LOW: I know Jon Batiste is nominated for the most Grammys of the night, but I was kind of bored with his performance? Maybe the night is just starting to wear on me at this point.

HIGH: This Just Bieber performance is actually good? I’m still reeling from this, but it actually was kind of wonderful.

HIGH: Doja Cat almost missed her acceptance speech because she was in the bathroom! Luckily, she made it just in time. Also, yay for SZA getting in on the Grammy love, too.

SZA and Doja Cat accept the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award for ‘Kiss Me More’ onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) (2022 The Recording Academy)

LOW: This H.E.R. performance is kind of boring, until ...

HIGH: Lenny Kravitz came out and sang “Are You Gonna Go My Way” with H.E.R., and it was so fun.

LOW: This video from the president of the Recording Academy. No one cares and this show is getting long. Let’s just wrap it up, please.

LOW: Now Carrie Underwood is performing? Just tell us who won Album of the Year so we can go to bed!

HIGH: Wow! Jon Batiste wins Album of the Year! We love an underdog win coming out of left field. Surely we thought it would go for Taylor Swift or even Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, but nope!

LOW: And now we’re ending the show with a performance from Brothers Osbourne, a random country music act? No big surprise like Elton John or something cool like that? Really?

Overall, it was a decent Grammys with some really good performances, but like I said, it was just missing some star power. Half the fun of the Grammys is watching Rihanna or Taylor Swift dance in the audience and really feeling like you’re surrounded by the music industry’s biggest names. This year, that did not feel like the case, at all. Let’s hope they can really pack in the star power for next year.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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