Top Moments: The Year the Grammys Mismatched Everyone


Dear Grammys, enough with the kooky pairings! Yes, it worked really well when you united Eminem and Elton John all those years ago. It was a true example of music bringing people together. But this year's many matches felt more like mis-mash-ups. Taylor Swift's duets with Stevie Nicks were embarrassing for both of them, and Lady Gaga's pairing with Elton John - is he now the go-to duet partner? - didn't quite jell. It was telling that the night's best songs came from Drake, Eminem, and Lil Wayne - three artists who brought out the best in each other - and Pink, who performed solo. Welcome to Top Moments, Grammy Mis-Mash-Ups Edition.


10. Best Idea: Lady Gaga opens the show with a typical (ha-ha) performance of her hit "Poker Face" in which a team of dancers adore her almost worshipfully, until she's thrown into a fire. Next we find her sitting across a piano from Elton John. Their mash-up of her "Speechless" and his "Your Song" ("How wonderful life is/With Gaga is in the world!") isn't a flawless showcase for either performer, and sets the tone for a night of unnecessarily complicated combos.


9. Best Patter: "Stay away from Katy Perry," Stephen Colbert warns his daughter from the stage. Otherwise, the Colbert Report wise guy tries to prove his coolness to his daughter by greeting all the boldfaced names in the crowd. He later informs the crowd that Susan Boyle, a "48-year-old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes," saved the music industry this year. When he wins for Best Comedy Album, he asks his daughter, "Am I cool now?" Yes.


8. Worst Idea: Nothing says punk rock like turning your album into a Broadway musical. Except performing with the performers in that musical, as Green Day unimpressively did with the cast of American Idiot.


7. Best Stage Presence: Beyonce wears an exoskeleton-like gown accompanied by a SWAT team of backup dancers to sing "If I Were a Boy," a rough-edged version that segues into a cover of Alanis Morissette's man-hating anthem "You Oughta Know." Her defense-themed show is a brilliant offense.


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