The Grammys: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Grammys, originally supposed to air on Jan. 31, had to be postponed because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The night of April 3 was filled with tributes to Ukraine and past artists, as well as many performances from hit artists.


Youaretheoneinmymind via Wikimedia Commons

Superstar Doja Cat takes home her first Grammy for best pop/duo group performance for “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA.

Smrithi Balakumar and Sruthi Sakala

Last year, the Grammys were held accountable for not being diverse in who wins in each category. In response,  the Grammys made a statement on April 30, 2021 mentioning that they’ll be “Eliminating Nomination Review Committees In General and Genre Fields.”  The committee also stated they’ll be adding two new categories for artists to win: “Best Global Music Performance (Global Music Field)” and “Best Música Urbana Album (Latin Music Field).”  Furthermore, the extension of labels submitting their artists’ music was extended to September 2020 – September 2021 giving their artists a chance to win this award.  Initially, the Grammys would give the labels 10 months to submit their artists’ work. 

For the 2022 awards season,  the Grammys was hosted on April 3 in Las Vegas, NV by Trevor Noah.  The program opened with Silk Sonic performing “777,” a single from their newest album “An Evening With Silk Sonic.” Moments later, the group won song of the year for “Leave the Door Open.”

BTS, the rising K-Pop boy group,  performed a mini skit with an element of James Bond incorporated into it. The skit transitions to their second English single “Butter.” On March 27, Big Hit Music Entertainment stated that a member of BTS, Jungkook, had tested positive for COVID-19. However, he recovered just in time for the Grammys, which made a lot of BTS fans happy and excited for the group’s performance. 

Despite an excellent on-stage performance, BTS had an awkward moment with Trevor Noah before their skit, when a joke fell flat. The segment started off with Trevor Noah asking BTS’s leader, RM, some questions of how he learned English. Later on, Noah explained that he learned a new Korean phrase “무궁화 꽃이 피었습니다”, which is a popular phrase from the show Korean show “Squid Game” where it’s mentioned in the “Red Light, Green Light” segment. 

After Noah’s supposed ‘joke,’ he continued to ask the group if that one phrase could get him around the airport in Korea, which left the group and audience in silence.  The joke was really awkward and sort of stereotypical since BTS is also from the area where Squid Games originated from. Noah could have discussed a number of other things with the band, but instead proceeds to make this cringe-worthy joke.  

First-time Grammy attendee Olivia Rodrigo was nominated for seven awards and won “Best New Artist,” “Best Pop Solo Performance,” and “Best Pop Vocal Album,” making her one of the youngest artists to win a Grammy at 19. She also performed “Driver’s License” towards the beginning of the event, showing off her passionate voice as she delivered her rendition of this emotional song. 

World events also took center stage throughout the night. John Legend sang to the people of Ukraine after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelinksky delivered a video message, urging everyone to not stay silent about Russia’s attack. Legend sang his song, “Free,” with Ukrainian singer, Mika Newton, and Ukrainian poet, Luba Yakimchuk, who just fled the country days before the awards ceremony. 

There was also a tribute to artists who have died in the past year. Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters, who died suddenly on March 25, was one of the more prominent mentions of the night. Alternative pop star Billie Eilish wore a shirt with Hawkins’ face in tribute to his passing. 

Performances, however, seemed repetitive compared to previous years and they lacked a  jaw dropping factor. Every performance had the same formula and they didn’t seem that original. The only difference from this year’s Grammys than from previous years was the diversity of the winners. 

In future years, we hope to see the performers bring on different styles, such as BTS’s performance in this year’s Grammys, through spending more time on performances to perfect them and make them more unique.