Were there shocking moments at Grammys 2013? If you believe what you read on the Internet, absolutely. But the truly memorable stuff, the highlights that made it the best Grammy show in years, were the unshocking moments. These moments confirmed that the world is still reassuringly predictable even when it desperately wants to be something else. Here’s the eight least shocking moments that made us feel at peace with the world.
1. Chris Brown Hurt Something and Doesn’t Give a Shit
“It’s cool,” Brown told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. “I’m fine. A little bit of bumps. I’m good though.” Just a day earlier, he totaled his Porsche after a high-speed chase with paparazzi. But despite the ridiculous violence that’s become increasingly commonplace in his life, Brown smiled as if it was no big deal. “I’ll get another one,” he said. “Insurance is good.” That’s the great thing about being famous and rich and busting up things; you’ll always get them back. Hey Rihanna, are you familiar with metaphors?
2. Taylor Swift Sang About a Breakup
The Grammys began with Taylor Swift announcing in a song that she’s made some bad relationship decisions recently. “So he calls me and goes, ‘I still love you…’” she sang in a pseudo British accent. “And I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m busy opening the Grammys.’” Way to unsubtly remind us that you used to bang the guy from No Direction and now you’re not!
3. Elton John Has Stopped Aging
Remember when Elton John did a duet with Eminem at the 2001 Grammys? That was 12 freaking years ago. Last night John sang with Ed Sheeran, and unless there was some kind of CGI trickery, John hasn’t aged in any discernible way in over a decade. He’s like one of those Chuck E. Cheese cyborg singing animals; he’ll always look exactly the same, and you just keep getting older. Fuck you, Elton John! And see you in another decade for your next Grammy duet.
4. Prince Had a Cane
Well of course he did. When Prince came out to present Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and he was wearing a black hoodie and holding a pimp walking stick, I was like “Well duh.” Because he’s Prince. Why wouldn’t he have a hoodie and a pimp stick? What is he now? 54? If he’s not limping and using a pimp cane to keep himself upright, then everything I thought I knew about him in the ’80s was a lie.
5. LL Cool J Has a Healthy Ego
Were you aware that LL used to be a popular hip-hop celebrity in the ’80s? You were? Would you be interested in hearing stories about his grandmother? How about a song from his new album? What’s that? You tuned in to the Grammys to watch Mumford & Sons and the Black Keys and Ashanti’s Dr. Zhivagos? Whatever, fool. Mama said knock you out! Also, can I interest you in a monologue about LL’s Grammy dreams? No? Too bad, it’s happening anyway.
6. Nicole Kidman Has No Rhythm
Did you see the Bob Marley tribute at last night’s Grammys? Bruno Mars and Sting sang “Walking on the Moon” for some reason, which was bizarre, because it was like saying “Hey, remember that Jamaican reggae legend who died? Let’s celebrate him with a song written by British white kids.” But that wasn’t the most cringe-worthy moment. The most cringe-worthy moment was when Nicole Kidman jumped to her feet and started dancing. And you realized, oh yeah, dancing in public is not always a good idea. It’s okay just to listen, Nicole. It really is.
7. Adam Yauch Got the Most Applause For His Memorial
Should that be surprising? Maybe it is. The death montage had some heavy hitters. Donna Summer, Dick Clark, Dave Brubeck, Andy Griffith (wait, what?), Levon Helm. But it was our much-missed Beastie Boy who got the loudest applause. Maybe I’m not remembering it correctly. Maybe in my head the applause for MCA sounded bigger and more thunderous than it actually was in reality. Or maybe IF YOU TRY TO KNOCK ME YOU’LL GET MOCKED/ I”LL STIR FRY YOU IN MY WOK!
8. Jay Z Is a Stone Cold Pimp
At one point during the show, the cameras cut to Jay-Z in the audience, who of course was holding a snifter of brandy. Because why wouldn’t he be? Isn’t everybody holding a snifter of brandy when they’re sitting in an awards ceremony? (Daniel Day Lewis, this is your chance to be THAT COOL at the Oscars.) And then there was his performance with Timberlake, which Jesus fucking Christ, we shouldn’t have to tell you how goddamn cool that was. One minute he’s just casually sitting in the audience, and the next he’s like, “Okay whatever, I’ll stroll onstage and do some rapping and it’ll make your brains explode with pleasure, because I’m Jay-fucking-Z.” Most of us will go to our graves lucky to be 1/100th as cool as Jay-Z is when he’s taking a piss in the Grammy restrooms. And that’s only if we’ve really mastered our swaggers.