Something was missing from the 46th annual Grammy Awards broadcast on Feb. 8 — awards. In an apparent attempt to boost ratings, only 11 of the 105 statuettes were handed out on air to make way for as many performances as possible during the show’s grueling three and a half hours. Producers should have allowed more airtime for trophies, including a few of our own:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN EX-STAR TRYING TO REIGNITE HIS CAREER Prince, who turned himself into an instant nostalgia item — ”Purple Rain,” purple suit, purple guitar — during his show-opening duet with Beyonce.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN LIGHT OF A WIMPY APOLOGY Justin Timberlake’s surprisingly frisky mambo-king version of ”Senorita.”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A NON-FAB FOUR Dave Matthews, Sting, Vince Gill, and Pharrell Williams’ lumpy cover of ”I Saw Her Standing There.”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A GRAMMY EMPLOYEE The unidentified technician whose queries of ”Should I take it up?” were heard in place of Celine Dion when her mic went dead.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN EXTREMELY UNLIKELY DUO OR GROUP Jazz pianist Chick Corea glistening up Foo Fighters’ ”Times Like These.”
BEST STRAIGHT-FACED PERFORMANCE IN LIGHT OF HUGE IRONY Queen Latifah introducing Christina Aguilera with ”Sometimes it’s not about celebrity, it is not about controversy, about gossip — sometimes it’s just about the music.” Controversy? Gossip? Xtina? Nah.
BEST PERFORMANCE DURING AN OVERLONG FUNK SEGMENT Jam-band steel guitarist Robert Randolph kicking away his chair while soloing.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP, DESPITE RIDICULOUSLY DISPARATE OUTFITS The Black Eyed Peas and friends during ”Where Is the Love.”
BEST COMPLIMENT…WE THINK Beck, who introduced a typically kamikaze White Stripes performance by comparing them to ”the sound of dead cell phones and oil rigs.”
BEST ATTEMPTED PERFORMANCE OF A HARD-TO-SING STANDARD Alicia Keys trying to navigate her way around ”A House Is Not a Home.”
BEST ACCEPTANCE SPEECH Andre 3000’s simple ”Thank you” for OutKast’s Best Rap Album.
MOST UNEXPECTED PERFORMANCE BY AN AUDIENCE AT AN AWARDS SHOW The crowd jumped up after OutKast won the rap-album honor, but stayed seated for Luther Vandross’ videotaped greeting. Weren’t standing ovations invented for recovering stroke victims?