This year’s Grammy ceremony may finally have writers, but no one can script the drama that might unfold on Feb. 10. Can Kanye West best Amy Winehouse? Could Fergie trump Feist? And will our eardrums survive the Beyoncé-Tina Turner duet? EW doesn’t have the answer to that last question, but we’re not above taking a stab at who’ll win five of the night’s biggest awards.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR Kanye West’s Graduation deserves a win. Still, don’t count out Amy Winehouse or even the Foo Fighters; do count out also-rans Vince Gill and Herbie Hancock.
RECORD OF THE YEAR Say it with us: ”Ella, ella, ella…” Rihanna’s ridiculously hot ode to rain gear was a critical favorite, the undeniable jam of 2007, and the undisputed front-runner in this category. Still, Beyoncé equally ubiquitous ”Irreplaceable” could defy oddsmakers to eke out an award.
BEST NEW ARTIST Amy Winehouse’s flame burned brightest until recently. So if fusty Grammy voters shy away from anointing the troubled British phenom, expect precocious songwriter Taylor Swift or lovely alt-folk poster girl Feist to duke it out for the prize.
BEST FEMALE POP PERFORMANCE Christina Aguilera’s retro ”Candyman” and the ”no, no, no”s of Winehouse’s ”Rehab” may strike some as too gimmicky. Fergie — shut out of last year’s awards — could triumph with ”Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS A mixed-bag category that pits duos such as Gwen Stefani and Akon against Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. So…who can say?! Since this is Krauss and Plant’s only major nod, we’re endorsing them. Even if it’s more likely that voters will fawn over Tony Bennett (duetting here with Aguilera) for the 985th time.