3. The President Of The Academy Puts A Damper On The Fun
After all the overdone performances, there’s a point in the awards show every year when Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy, comes out and sends the excitement to a screeching halt. He usually makes some “state of the industry” remarks and follows up with a bit of a peek at what the Academy does outside of giving out awards. All of this is well and good, but the speech always takes an unsurprising turn.
You can count on plenty of handwringing from Portnow over inadequate funding for music in schools, as though that were the only pressing issue facing the country year after year. It’s laughably predictable — and excruciatingly boring. The Academy should issue a warning not to drive or operate heavy machinery while listening to Neil Portnow.
Give him credit for one thing: he did lead gracefully into the In Memoriam segment, but I still imagine millions of viewers went to the bathroom, raided the kitchen, and did any number of other things when the announcer intoned, “Please welcome the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.”