Grammys Diary

We'll tackle the extended weekend in college hoops tomorrow. In the meantime, an impromptu running diary of Sunday night's Grammys ...

8:01 -- The Police kick things off with their much-ballyhooed reunion, which would have had me 20 times more fired up if this were 1995. I can't believe it took them 23 years to forget how much they hated one another. Most bands only need five or six. Better late than never, I guess.

8:04 -- "Roxxxxxx-annne ... I can't hit the high notes anymore ... those days are over ... I'm singing everything in a much lower key ... Roxxxxxxxxxx-annnnnne ..."

8:06 -- Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett steal the "Best Pop Duo" award from Nelly Furtado and Timbaland, followed by a meandering acceptance speech that played out exactly like an SNL sketch. In fact, it may have BEEN an SNL sketch. At one point, Tony thanked his friends at Target. No, he really did. I kept waiting for him to say, "I once made love to Barbra Streisand's Grammy for eight hours ... then the nurse came in and said, 'Mr Bennett, she's gone.'" Strong first 10 minutes for the Grammys.

8:10 -- The Dixie Chicks play a song from their hit album, "Nobody Listened To Us -- We Freaking Told You This Would Happen!" The two pretty ones are wearing black cocktail dresses; the semi-chubby one is wearing a white dress with a fluffy bottom. The Sports Gal is outraged. "It's like the two skinny ones talked her into it so they could look even thinner," she says. Um, OK.

8:17 -- Hey, has CBS killed off every stripper and hooker yet? How many more "CSI" and "Criminal Minds" episodes need to be filmed? Fifty? Seventy-five?

8:18 -- Prince introduces Beyonce like this: "One word: Beyonce." Apparently he just showed up for the Grammy gift bag.

8:22 -- The Black Eyed Peas come out to introduce "Best R&B album." I saw Fergie at the Celebrity Go-Kart Race last week and she was so unimpressive, my friends and I argued about whether she was one of the top 1,000 attractive famous females on the way home. I'm not making this up. (Note: I was in the "there are definitely 1,000 female celebs who are prettier than her" camp.) Anyway, Mary J. Blige wins for "The Breakthrough" and thanks Jesus Christ AND God. Let's hope they're watching together.

8:26 -- Sports Gal's advice for Queen Latifah: "If you're all shoulders and boobs and arms, you might not want to wear a dress that shows off your shoulders and boobs and arms." Good to know.

8:30 -- "Wednesday on CBS ... three hookers have been savagely murdered with a chain saw! Does their pimp know who did it? It's an all-new CSI Miami, Wednesday on CBS!"

8:34 -- It's a tie between Justin Timberlake and Chase Budinger for "white guy who does the best job transcending his whiteness." Justin Timberlake is performing right now, although he made the tragic decision not to sing "D*** in a Box." Hey, it's OK to think he's talented, right? Two hit albums AND he's one of the best SNL hosts ever AND he sold at the highest point possible on Britney's stock AND he wrote the best revenge song ever (the "Cry Me A River" song that pretty much murdered Britney's soul) AND he's plowing through every hot female in Hollywood right now. He's a hero, I say.

8:39 -- Pink presents for best R&B female singer as we frantically switch from CBS's HDTV channel to CBS's non-HDTV channel. As we're flicking, Mary J. Blige somehow beats Beyonce. I give up. Did anyone under 45 vote for these awards?

8:47 -- Stevie Wonder takes two minutes to introduce Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend and John Mayer as the teleprompter guy quickly runs outside and has a smoke.

8:57 -- Big ovation for the Rae-Mayer-Legend performance. Very well done. You know the Grammys have fallen when an idea works and you're actually surprised.

8:59 -- Mayer upsets Timberlake to win the Grammy for "Best Pop Vocal Album." JT looks bummed out for a split second until remembering that he bagged Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johannson in the past three weeks.

9:06 -- Singing with Wyclef Jean, Shakira gets a begrudging, "Well, she IS a great dancer" comment from the Sports Gal. I think hell just froze over. Next thing you know, she'll be complimenting Jennifer Love Hewitt's acting in "Ghost Whisperer."

9:11 -- And the Grammy for "Song of the Year" goes to ... the Dixie Chicks. Is this an awards show or a three-hour apology with trophies?

9:18 -- You're going to be stunned to hear this, but Gnarls Barkley is singing "Crazy" right now. I can't believe it! How did they get them? These guys never do awards shows!

(Question: When is Rhino Records releasing a "Successful songs that were beaten completely to death at awards shows and sporting events" CD compilation? They could have "Hey Ya," "Let's Get Retarded," "Let's Get This Party Started," "What's My Name?" ... it might even be a double album.)

9:25 -- Ludacris wins "Best Rap Album." I wish Mike Tyson had presented that one.

9:31 -- Wait, I forget ... did ALL the guys from "How I Met Your Mother" come out of the closet, or was it just Neil Patrick Harris?

9:33 -- For some reason, Terence Howard doesn't look like Eddie Jordan anymore. I don't know what happened. He just introduced Mary J. Blige by saying, "Ladies and gentleman, we are in the presence of true musical royalty." Yeah, nothing says royalty like someone wearing a sequined full-length dress with multiple tattoos on her arms. It's just like being in Buckingham Palace.

9:36 -- "And the Grammy for 'Most Annoying Song' goes to ... John Mellencamp for 'Our Country!'"

9:39 -- Best moment of the night: LeAnn Rimes and Mandy Moore coming out to present as the camera cuts to Jamie Foxx studying them with one of those, "Wait, have I been with either of them yet?" looks on his face. Classic. He's the best. Meanwhile, the Dixie Chicks win again for "Best Country Album." We might make it through this entire show without me hearing a single song that I downloaded in 2006.

9:49 -- Reba McEntire takes two minutes to introduce a 10-minute country medley featuring Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

9:58 -- Sports Gal's take on Rascal Flatts: "I don't get it. I don't get it at all. I hate everything about them. I hate their name. I hate their music. I hate the lead singer's voice. I hate his hair. I hate his leather jacket. I hate everything. What are they? I wouldn't even hire them for a wedding if I only had $15,000 to spend on everything." She's not a fan.

10:02 -- Carrie Underwood wins for "Best New Artist." Meanwhile, Justin Guarini just served coffee to two policemen at a Yum Yum Donuts in Brentwood.

10:04 -- They just showed that VCast commercial for "Fergalicious," which made me think of Adam Carolla's riff about how hip-hop stars and rappers are the only people who can get away with singing songs where the chorus is their own name. Like, you'd never hear John Mayer record a song called "I'm John Mayer ... J-O-H-N John Mayer ... all the girls on the planet are digging me ... I'm so sexy and so handsome and there's plenty to see ... I'm J-O-H-N John Mayer."

10:08 -- All right, I'll ask: Can you have an awards show without Sam Jackson? Has anyone ever tried?

10:11 -- Strange medley of performances: Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie and Chris Brown. What did they have in common? You got me. On the bright side, Lionel sang "Hello" and the performance ended with Stevie Wonder showing up in drag, holding up a plaster bust of Lionel and telling him, "This is what I see when I see you." All right, I made that up. But Lionel really did sing "Hello."

10:19 -- Hey, did you ever think you'd see the day when Christina Aguilera was much prettier, sexier AND cleaner-looking than Britney Spears? Me neither. Britney won the battle, Christina won the war. Who woulda thunk?

10:26 -- "Thursday on all-new CSI: Bloody decomposing hookers! You hear us??? Bloody decomposing hookers!"

10:30 -- Yet another disappointment: A ho-hum "Here's who died this year" montage until the James Brown money shot. I'd give it a D-plus. They should have thrown Britney in there for comedy's sake.

10:36 -- For those of you scoring at home, Rob and Amber have TWO reality shows going right now: "The Amazing Race" on CBS (we just saw an ad for it) and another show on Fox Reality where Rob becomes a professional gambler. I'm not making this up. How many more shows before they finally hunker down to film a sex tape? We've already exceeded the over/under by two years. What's the holdup?

10:39 -- Ludacris does a song. Why does it seem like every performer tonight also ends up with a Grammy? What is this, the ESPYS?

10:43 -- James Blunt surfaces to sing that "you're beautiful ... you're beautiful ..." song right now. When everything's said and done, we're going to remember that as the lamest song of this decade. And that's saying something. Do you think Steve Nash cut his hair because he was tired of the Blunt jokes? I say yes.

10:54 -- Note to the people who run the Grammys: The idea to have a contest winner perform with JT sounded cute and all, but, um ... it's the Grammys! Would the Oscars ever pull something like this? By the way, we're nearing the three-hour mark. I'm officially in hell.

10:59 -- As Quentin Tarantino and Tony Bennett announce the nominees for "Record of the Year," we see a shot of a smiling Paris Hilton in the crowd. Good God, can that girl do anything to end her own career? Sex tapes, racial slurs, drugs, hateful personality, no discernable talent at all ... and she's still chugging along. Are we sure she's not Satan? Let's chop her head off and see if it grows back.

11:00 -- The Dixie Chicks win again for "Record of the Year." I feel like the Grammy voters are speaking out against the Iraqi conflict at this point. We'll know for sure if Cindy Sheehan wins for "Best Rock Album."

11:09 -- Finally, some good music: The Chili Peppers belting out "Hey Oh." Did you ever think these guys would still be good after two full decades? I remember being stunned when "Californication" was good and that was eight years ago. They've had one of those John Stockton-type careers where you can't remember one year when they were dominant or anything, then you look back and realize they've been getting it done forever. Although I can't imagine Stockton ever walked around naked with a sock holding his junk.

11:14 -- Here's a sentence you'll never hear again: "Ladies and gentleman, Al Gore and Queen Latifah!" They present the "Best Rock Album" Grammy to a surprisingly subdued Chili Peppers. Oh, wait, they're in the mid-40s now. Forget it.

11:25 -- Our final awards tonight: Don Henley and Scarlett Johannson come out to present Scarlett's breasts, as well as the "Album of the Year" ... and the Dixie Chicks end up going 5-for-5. Now pray for me while I spend the rest of the night trying to get that "I'm not ready to make nice ... I'm not ready to back down" song out of my head. This is ouuuuuuuuuuur country.