It's Grammy nomination time again! The big reveal of the 2014 contenders takes place tonight, December 6, at 10 pm ET on CBS. The special will be hosted once again by LL Cool J, and we're here to live blog the festivities as they happen.
And we're off and running with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis doing that "Thrift Shop" thing. Macklemore wears some sort of fur fringe jacket as he performs the ode to poverty. I have a beef to pick with featured artist Wanz - he shouldn't be wearing $2000 suits when he's singing about having 20 bucks in his pocket. Otherwise, it's a cool performance from a duo that figures to score a boatload of nominations tonight.
CBS censors remove a huge part of Macklemore's verse but fail to bleep out the F-word. Oops!
LL Cool J opens the show by announcing the Song of the Year nominations. The nods go to: "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink, "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, "Roar" by Katy Perry, "Royals" by Lorde, and "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert.
The inclusion of "Same Love" is great, but it's disappointing to see very average songs by Pink and Katy Perry in there when so many other excellent songs came out in 2013, most notably Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go Round."
Taylor Swift appears via a pre-taped concert performance from Australia. Her version of "I Knew You Were Trouble" is fine, although it's always a letdown when they do the "joining us via satellite..." thing. If T-Swizzle couldn't be there in person, they should have skipped her on the nominations concert this year.
Keith Urban teams up with Miguel for "Ain't No Sunshine." We love Miguel, but this is clearly filler. This time would've been better served by presenting more nominees.
One of 2011's best new artists, Ed Sheeran, announces the nominees for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance: Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason," Rihanna's "Stay," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," and Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie."
All five nominees are collaborations as opposed to performances by actual groups, which once again spotlights the Recording Academy's shortsighted decision to combine the two entities into one category two years ago.
Good grief. Bareilles' shocking inclusion in the Album of the Year category is something that will be debated and dissected for years to come. Including her in this category is insane.
The other best album contenders are Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Taylor Swift. This is one of the least attractive fields in Grammy history. Looks like Swift will be winning Album of the Year yet again. Snooze.
Katy Perry performs "Roar" on tape from another country, but we're still hung up on Sara Bareilles for Album of the Year. Think about all the acclaimed records that came out this year: Kanye West, Kacey Musgraves, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, Janelle Monae, etc. And somehow Sara Bareilles sneaks into Album of the Year?
Nobody on that "quality control panel" should be invited back next year.
Now on stage is Song of the Year nominee Lorde. Thankfully, she doesn't do that weird thing where her arm just hangs there like it's a dead branch. Someone apparently told her how creepy that looks. The only bad thing about Lorde singing "Royals" on the nominations special is that she won't be able to perform it again on the actual Grammy Awards broadcast next month.
Kelly Rowland is here. Hey Kelly! The nominees for Best Country Album are Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, and Taylor Swift. That's a powerhouse group of contenders, but if Musgraves doesn't win for her acclaimed masterpiece Same Trailer, Different Park, the universe will be seriously out of order.
Is Macklemore expecting to win any Grammys? "If we can bring home one of them, the bucket list is finished," he tells LL.
Arsenio Hall introduces the Best New Artist contenders: James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, and Ed Sheeran. Blake is the big surprise here. Rap artists never win Best New Artist, and since two of them are nominated, this award will probably come down to Musgraves vs. Sheeran.
Also, do we need to point out how preposterous it is that Sheeran is still considered a new artist after he was nominated for Song of the Year and even performed on last year's Grammy telecast?
Melissa Etheridge doesn't appear on cue but eventually shows up to present the Record of the Year nods: "Get Lucky," "Radioactive," "Royals," "Locked Out of Heaven," and "Blurred Lines." That means no Justin Timberlake in the big categories, which is a big surprise.
Robin Thicke gets to perform his newly-minted Record of the Year nominee, "Blurred Lines." Special guests Earth, Wind & Fire give the song an extra punch of funk and soul. Without Miley Cyrus around to twerk all up on Thicke, the performance is tasteful. Nicely done.
We're still in shock over some of the nominations, but now it's time to head over to grammy.com to check out the full list. The 2014 Grammy Awards air on CBS on Sunday, January 26.
Who do you think will win the most 2014 Grammy Awards?