The 56th annual Grammy Awards are around the corner. This is true. The performance by Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder should be awesome. But before we celebrate the year in music, let’s jump back in time, to three years ago. Don’t worry – this will be a fun history lesson.
Most people remember the 2011 Grammys as the year that Arcade Fire surprised everyone by snagging the Album of the Year award, or the year that Esperanza Spalding enraged hordes of Beliebers by winning Best New Artist, or the year that Lady Gaga hatched from an egg.
But it should also be remembered as the year of the fail.
Was there something in the air at the Staples Center that night? Even though cringe-inducing moments happen at every awards show, there seems to be a deluge of Internet-famous examples from that event. Here are my three favourites.
It was tough week for Christina Aguilera. She had just flubbed the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. And after delivering a powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Grammys – accompanied by Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Florence Welch – Aguilera lost her balance and nearly fell to the ground. That epic final note was just too much.
JUSTIN BIEBER’S BACKUP DANCER
Wow, Justin Bieber’s grown a lot in three years. Remember when he wasn’t making it rain at strip clubs? Three years ago, the then-16-year-old delivered a medley of three songs at the Grammys – Baby, Never Say Never and Usher’s OMG – that will forever be remembered by Bieber bashers as the performance where his backup dancer fell off of a stage riser. My back hurts just watching this. Little did Bieber know that he’d grow up to face much bigger issues in the future (note to Bieber in 2011: Stay away from mop buckets, spray cans, eggs and rappers with the word “Lil” in their names).
SERENE BRANSON (REPORTER)
She had the look and the enthusiasm, but not the words. Reporter Serene Branson became immortalized on the Internet after she slurred through a live TV hit about the Grammys. Her embarrassing moment – using nonsense words like “burtation” – resulted in some hilarious online parodies. It feels slightly wrong laughing at this, though, when it’s obvious that Branson was having some sort of medical emergency at the time. It turns out that she was suffering from “migraine with aura”, which produces stroke-like symptoms. She’s okay now.
One thing’s for sure – watching people fail while wearing fancy clothes is entertaining. Why else would the 2011 show have the best viewership numbers in a decade? Let’s pray for more wince-inducing moments on Sunday.