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Grammys 2012: How do we snark from here?

The good, the bad and the totally weird from last night's Grammy telecast. Also: Adele returns!



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Whitney Houston’s sudden death on Saturday at the age of 48 was sad and strange for many reasons, the least of which being that it cast an inescapable pall over the 2012 Grammy Awards before the ceremony even began. (And let’s be honest with ourselves: this thing needs no further diminishing if it’s to remain sellable.) So it was, uh, a little weird that the telecast began with a grandiose performance from Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band; he played a new Very Patriotic number called “We Take Care of Our Own,” about America, and it was good because it’s the Boss, but it was still like, what about the reverence? “America! Are you alive out there?” Bruce yelled, and America was all, “I guess?”

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But the mood did indeed drop immediately afterwards, as host Ladies Love Cool James, dressed, like much of the celeb-filled crowd, in all black (how many harried, underpaid stylists had to figure that out at the last minute?) offered a short, tasteful prayer for the recently departed, a gesture that could’ve felt empty in someone else’s hands but that in LL's seemed really sincere. Thank goodness for that.

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Of course the other big story of the evening was the return to the stage of one Adele Adkins, the unapologetically British singer whose recent throat problems, culminating in surgery on her vocal cords (which, by the way, just sounds like an awful thing), had sidelined her from performing for some time. But Delly was back! And ready to sing! And so LL tried his best to pump some life into the proceedings, giving a Hoosiers-type speech about music and love and all that. Hooray, I think!

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Bruno Mars just sort of freaks me out. He’s undeniably talented, and his dance moves are pretty sweet, but there’s something about him that gives me the jeebs. “He has the bone structure of a Twilight character,” my fiancée noted. “He is bronze,” observed CL music editor Rodney Carmichael. Yes, and yes.