For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sucker for the “big three” awards shows — the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Grammys. Even as a kid, I loved the competitive aspect of the awards, and I’m still attracted to the notion of different industries gathering to honor the best in their respective fields.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the Grammy Awards over the years. As a music guy, I love seeing my favorite artists compete, and enjoy trying to predict the winners. At the same time, there’s plenty to hate about the Grammys, and it’s usually enough for me to declare every year that I’ll never watch them again.
But, fool that I am, I watched the show again this year. Of course I was watching because I wanted to see Adele claim some hardware, which she did.
I also got to see tons of truly bizarre moments, like a DJ wearing a light-up mouse helmet, Nicki Minaj certainly offending both Catholics and lovers of good music, and some hipster who calls himself Bon Iver stealing the Best New Artist trophy from The Band Perry, who genuinely deserved the award.
This year’s Grammy broadcast managed to demonstrate everything that’s wrong with the awards show every year. Here are five reasons why I always say I’ll never watch the Grammys again.
5. CBS Shamelessly Uses The Awards To Promote Their Shows
For most of the past four decades, the Grammys have made their broadcast home on CBS, the masters of self-promotion. It never fails that CBS will feature stars of some of its shows as presenters, regardless of their connection to the awards show itself. Watch the show each year, and I guarantee that at least one presenter’s presence will baffle millions of viewers.
Patricia Arquette? Her connection to the Grammys: her sister was allegedly the inspiration for 1982’s Record of the Year, “Rosanna” by Toto. Yet she presented on the Grammys only because her series Medium was on CBS at the time.
Jennifer Love Hewitt? CBS probably tapped her to present an award because of all her hit singles like…never mind, I can’t think of any. The Ghost Whisperer was another CBS show, and she was the star.
That guy from The Mentalist? Nope, I’ve got nothing, except — you guessed it — another star of another show on CBS.
This year, after a few years of a host-free format, CBS made an intriguing choice for host — LL Cool J. He’s a pioneer in the hip-hop field, did a fine job hosting the show, but I can’t help but think that the network chose him largely because he appears on NCIS: Los Angeles every week.
Other CBS stars like Pauley Perrette, Taraji P. Henson, and Neil Patrick Harris appeared on the Grammys as well, and though all three have musical backgrounds, chances are they wouldn’t have appeared on the show if it had aired on another network.
It’s a shame that a network would use what should be a prestigious awards show as a platform for plugging their programming, but CBS has been doing it for years. I fully expect it to continue this year.
Related: Check out Jonathan Sanders’ 5 Things I Learned While Live-Blogging the Grammys