Yes, I did see the second to last episode of The Worst Cooks in America but for the blurb which might have spoilers, you’ll need to look somewhere else. As for the rest of the amazingly fruitful night in television:
Virginia 75, North Carolina 60 – Wow! Where did that come from? Virginia is a scrappy, tough minded team with a scrappy tough minded coach. Yeah they were 3-2 in the rather flat ACC, but their wins were all at home (well a road win at NC State, so maybe it’s the Triangle) and their losses seemed to portend a clock striking midnight. But suddenly, playing in Chapel Hill, against a far more talented opponent, they clobbered North Carolina. While nobody would confuse this Tarheel team with the 2005 or 2009 models, this is still a very important statement for Tony Bennett, Sylvan Landesberg and the rest – who has made a living squeezing blood from a rock. What was striking was the effort level – and the defensive intensity. North Carolina’s lack of competitiveness on that end of the floor needs to be improved to be a factor in March.
The Grammy Awards – Wow! Where did that come from? I did not flip to this right away, but when a friend on IM advised me that Pink did a Cirque de Soleil thing … in a bikini, I was at least intrigued. Really the rest of the show was sort of an amalgam of things at least that bizarre. The big bullet points:
- Beyonce – looked like Tina Turner from Thunderdome (hat tip to NQ for that one). She won a lot, but not sure what that symbolizes aside from the desultory state of America
- Haiti – the country has had enough bad things happen to it to not require serenading by Andrea Bocelli. His combination worked incongruously with Mary J Blige to spawn the worst cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” ever made
- Why don’t artists play songs anymore? Taylor Swift, she of the weird looking eyes, dashed through a 3-song nugget including a bluegrassish version of a current hit, and an out of tune verse of “Rihannon” with Stevie Nicks herself, fresh from whatever fortune teller tent she has been hiding in since the last Fleetwood Mac tour. Bon Jovi also did the same thing, teasing us by almost NOT playing “Livin on a Prayer”. That’s like a world where Sir Mix-A-Lot does not sing “Baby Got Back” – no otha bruthas can deny.
- One nice thing – the dispensing of pretense that the awards matter. How many people realized Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood did an album this year? Does Kanye West appear in 80% of nominated collaborations? Do they even listen to U2 albums before nominating them? (I’m sorry – No Line on the Horizon is not Pop, but no other praise I can conjure) They hustle through those parts and show very little during the broadcast – which gives us time for surrealism.
- The 3-D Tribute to Michael Jackson was horrifying. While Michael might have been a friend to humanity (or at least the grown up ones), canonizing him and having Celine Dion help sing one of his more ponderous, dreary ditties is not the vibe I’d want to hit. Not to mention the 3-D itself. Where could you get the glasses? Without them it felt like I was watching through a foggy window. The man did “Billy Jean”, “Man in the Mirror”. Something more beautiful was called for.
- If the song has to be bleeped out 50% or so, why bother? I can’t rip Eminem and L’il Wayne since I did not hear anything they were trying to say.