Ten things to like about the Grammys, and five to hate

Grammy Awards
Grammy Awards
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Updated: 2/11/2013 11:13 am

On Twitter: @JamesEppler

The best thing to like about the Grammy Awards (and the Tonys for that matter) is it's usually highly entertaining TV. There are often more performances than speeches - a trend it would be great if the Oscars could better capture.

This year's Grammys broadcast was one of the best in recent memory. How could it not be with the load of talent involved?

Here are the things I liked most about the show:

1. Jack White is a rock God

The versatile musician showed two sides of his musical personality in two songs. He performed "Love Interruption" with his female band, The Peacocks, then immediately transitioned into "Freedom at 21" with his male band, Los Buzzardos. Both songs were equally impressive. He rocked out, dropped and F-bomb, tossed his guitar and left. Before you decry the profanity, it was apparently quick enough for the censors to miss it, unless someone just fell asleep at the button. I doubt many kids picked up on it, and it was late enough in the broadcast that they should have been in bed on a school night anyway.

2. The Return of JT
My non-sexual man-crush on the multi-talented Justin Timberlake notwithstanding, this was a solid comeback performance. I also really enjoyed the black and white camera effect on the "Suit and Tie" performance. But then did we really need two commercials playing the same song at us again?? We just heard it! PS, apparently, Kliff Kingsbury is a fan, too, sending out this tweet before the performance: "@TTUKinsbury: Don't hurt 'em JT."

3. Bob Marley Tribute
Bruno Mars and Sting sounded great together, and you could just about make out the lyrics Sting was singing in his trademark mumbled moaning.

4. Rain on Fun.'s Parade
This was a super cool effect, but wasn't everyone wondering if the band was going to all be electrocuted simultaneously in one huge white flash of death as the water came down on all their electric equipment? Talk about burning brighter than the sun.

5. Rihanna goes for heartbreaking and sincere over flashy and sensual
I was taken aback. Her performance of "Stay" was absolutely the most emotionally-loaded performance of the night, heightened by the fact she attended the ceremony with her scumbag boyfriend.

6. Chris Brown hears crickets
Speaking of that scoundrel, the silence with only a smattering of applause was noticeable when his nomination was announced. There are rumors CBS was prepared with an applause track for this, but they have not responded to requests for comments. But I guess every show needs a villain.

7. Jay Z owns this whole place
More than a couple times when the cameras got a shot of Jay Z and Beyonce, one could notice the rap icon swirling a drink in a snifter glass, looking completely relaxed in his status and stature. It was gangster, and I loved it. I only wished he'd lit up a cigar.

8. The Black Keys jam with a bird
As previously mentioned, Jack White's two bands are named after birds, but the Keys seemed to actually bring one on stage to play keyboard for their performance of "Lonely Boy."

9. Prince being Prince
The cagey singer strutted on to stage wearing a hoodie, sunglasses and carrying a cane. He looked like he needed a seeing eye guide dog. And I loved that he didn't bother reading whatever trite award introduction they wrote for him. Just, "the nominees are..."

10. Hunter Hayes sent home early
The 21-year-old country crooner who looks half that age is basically only allowed to play the first verse and chorus of his hit song "Wanted." C'mon - did you want to hear more? The show was running late at that point anyway.

Things I did not like about the show:

1. Frank Ocean's performance was like a box of chocolates

Wow - Ocean's song, "Forrest Gump," might be the most laughably bad song I've ever heard on the Grammys. And I like some of his other stuff. But it sounds like something he got high and wrote on a Sunday afternoon when the 1994 Oscar winner came on basic cable. And the running legs projected under Ocean's torso? A nice experiment ending in utter failure. Lieutenant Dan WISHES he could have had projected legs.

2. What's Taylor Swift doing right now?
That seemed to be the question the director was constantly asking. During so many performances, we got a shot of Swift merrily singing along and mugging for the camera. How annoying. No wonder she can't get a guy to stick around.

3. Carrie Underwood gets turned into a lamp
Wearing an elegant white dress during her performance, someone thought it would be a good idea to project colorful images onto it. It wasn't flattering. It make her look like a lamp you'd see in a little girl's room to keep the monsters away.

4. Timberlake's "Pusher Lover Girl" pushes octaves to the brink of a squeak
I like the song, but seriously JT, how am I supposed to sing that at the karaoke bar when the notes are that high?

5. L Hash-tag L Hash-tag Cool Hash-tag J Hash-tag Twitter Hash-tag Whoring
I get that producers want to drum up buzz through social media while the broadcast is airing. But host LL Cool J doesn't need to keep saying "hash-tag" for every single subject or star that pops into his head. People who use Twitter know what hash-tagging is. Those who don't probably think you have Tourette Syndrome.

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