Thanks a lot, Taylor Swift.
Just when music awards shows were getting fun, you had to make things predictable again.
I know, I know: Your Kanye West debacle at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was one of the most buzzworthy moments in recent music history.
But after that, almost every awards show turned into a Taylor Swift lovefest. Viewers learned the drill: Turn on the TV, watch some filler footage and wait for you to sweep the major categories.
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That’s why I worry about tonight’s Grammy Awards on CBS.
Even though your eight nominations don’t make you the night’s leader — that’s Beyonce, with 10 — there’s a good chance you will still dominate Monday’s headlines.
Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced your name as a last-minute addition in all the rap music categories.
As much as we love watching you accept awards while reminding us that your music is your diary, variety is often the catchiest tune.
No offense, Taylor, but sometimes your sparkly gowns blind us to the true scope of the awards show universe. Consider these five reasons to watch tonight’s Grammys, no Swift required:
1 Michael Jackson 3-D tribute: It’s one of the music community’s biggest opportunities to honor the King of Pop.
Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson and Usher will perform a tribute to Michael Jackson. The tribute will be paired with a 3-D mini-movie version of Jackson’s “Earth Song.”
The 3-D glasses are available at Target stores while supplies last.
2 Surprise nominees: Yeah, there’s Beyonce and Taylor Swift.
But dig a little deeper into the Grammy nominee list and you’ll find some unexpected contenders.
Take “I’m On A Boat,” the “Saturday Night Live” digital short by T-Pain plus Andy Samberg’s comedy troupe, The Lonely Island.
A big part of the Grammys is watching how the ceremony treats its underdogs — and wondering what will happen tonight if somebody utters the “K” word.
(That’s Kanye West, who has six Grammy nominations.)
3 Lady Gaga: Sure, maybe the “love her or hate her” pop star has become a bit too predictable in her unpredictability.
Still, it’s hard not to look forward to a performance by Lady Gaga, nominated for five awards tonight. She’s bound to bring excitement to the stage. And if we’re really lucky, she’ll wear something like aluminum foil.
4 Social networking: Technology’s rise has added a welcome new dimension to awards shows. The official Web site for the Grammys includes interactive elements and live pre-show coverage.
Beyond the ceremony’s own site, there’s the excitement of monitoring celebrities’ Twitter accounts for juicy gossip. With luck, we’ll even get a Twitter war tonight.
(Are you listening, Perez Hilton?)
Don’t forget: You can also always count on ledger-enquirer.com for live updates throughout the show.
5 The agony of defeat: The best part of the Grammys? Turning off the TV and insisting your iPod playlist is a lot better than the awards handed out by a pack of pretentious know-nothings.
If tonight’s ceremony follows tradition, there will be surprises and “huh?” moments.
(Anyone else still wondering how Herbie Hancock beat Amy Winehouse for album of the year in 2008?)
Fortunately, the Grammys remind us we’re free to explore new music — or put on a pair of comfortable headphones and tune out today’s best-sellers.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at 706-571-8516.