Entertainment

13 Weird Moments at the 2017 Grammy Awards

Published On 02/13/2017 Published On 02/13/2017
Katy Perry, Grammys 2017
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Unlike many other awards shows that put an emphasis on speeches, trophies, and pageantry, the Grammys are all about the collaboration-heavy, ambitiously staged performances. Some are great and some are just bizarre, like musical MadLibs cooked up in a lab. That's the Grammy way: you take the good with the weird, the Beyoncé with the Ed Sheeran.

So, how good and weird was the show this year? With the heavily hyped Album of the Year showdown between the Lemonade singer and Adele at the end of a lengthy broadcast, this year's awards had something for everyone -- and some things for no one. Grab the most random collaborator you can find and read on.

Cee-Lo showed up dressed like… this…

The Grammys guarantee a couple bizarre fashion moments every year, but Cee-Lo really put every other guest to shame with his metallic costume that made him look like a low-rent MegaMan villain. Seriously, man, you were in Goodie Mob. You don't have to do this. 

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James Corden fell down a flight of stairs

Grammy host James Corden somehow resisted the urge to go the "Carpool Karaoke" route for his big opening number. Instead, he relied on some belabored physical comedy, wringing stale laughs out of a "broken" rising platform, a lost shoe, and a dopey looking tumble down the stairs. It was stilted -- think watered-down Chris Farley with a touch of Jimmy Fallon  -- but the dumb Grammy-related rapping was even more painful. Bring back LL Cool J as the host next year. All is forgiven.

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The Weeknd and Daft Punk performed from the Fortress of Solitude

Adele had the first musical performance of the night, delivering a stirring rendition of her 25 stand-out "Hello." But the real Grammy Awards weirdness didn't kick off until brooding crooner the Weeknd took the stage with the French robots Daft Punk, who looked like they were shopping in the Darth Vader section of the local J. Crew. The trio joined forces on a Superman-like frozen cavern stage for an ice cold version of the Starboy closer "I Feel It Coming."

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John Travolta had a senior moment

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story star John Travolta was on hand last night to pay tribute to the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, and his own peculiar fashion sense. Walking on stage in a giant pair of sunglasses, the actor made an awkward comment about his own "bling" and then struggled to read the pre-written copy on the teleprompter. But don't worry: he had the cue cards. Dude is a pro.

Twenty One Pilots took off their pants

Pop-rock moppets Twenty One Pilots won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, collecting the trophy over acts like the Chainsmokers and Halsey, Sia and Sean Paul, and Drake and Rihanna. In a surprising move, both guys ditched their pants before heading to the stage. Why? Apparently, they watched the show in their underwear together years ago as struggling musicians and promised they'd drop trou if they ever won an award. Mission accomplished.

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Beyoncé showed off her magic-chair skills

Hitting the stage with two children in her belly, Beyoncé delivered a powerful, spoken-word-filled performance of "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles" off her internet-breaking magnus opus Lemonade. What was the craziest part of her impressive medley? Definitely the nerve-racking chair trick, which found the regal singer floating perilously over the ground. Step aside, David Blaine.

Neil Diamond did "Carpool Karaoke" with James Corden

It was inevitable. Ever since Ellen DeGeneres headed into the crowd for her big Oscar selfie, award show hosts have felt the need to stage a pseudo-viral event in the audience, and an internet-favorite like "Carpool Karaoke" -- with Neil Diamond providing the singing duties this time -- certainly does the trick.

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Katy Perry performed behind a fence

What's going on with Katy Perry? Hiding behind a white picket fence for most of the track, Perry looked lost in her own song, unable to create any dramatic tension before Skip Marley showed up at the end and the two offered up some lukewarm political sloganeering. Honestly, it was a teenage nightmare.

Adele re-started her George Michael tribute

Looking genuinely distraught, Adele stopped her tribute to George Michael, a string-drenched rendition of "Fastlove," after hitting a couple bum-notes. She did it in typical Adele style: dropping an F-bomb and starting the whole thing over again. If Adele wants a mulligan, she gets a mulligan.

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James Hetfield's mic went dead during Metallica's performance with Lady Gaga

We just saw Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl. We don't need to see her theater-kid-does-metal schtick, especially if Hetfield's mic isn't even gonna work.

Busta Rhymes called out "President Agent Orange"

There were a few references to the contemporary political climate during the awards, but none felt as urgent, moving, and necessary as A Tribe Called Quest's rendition of "We The People" off last year's comeback record We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. While paying tribute to the recently deceased Phife Dawg, the group's muscular cohort Busta Rhymes also took some time to call out President Trump. "I wanna thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all the evil that you’ve been perpetuating throughout the United States," said Busta from the stage. "I wanna thank President Agent Orange for your unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban. Now we come together!"

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Bruno Mars went "Crazy" for Prince

It's not surprising that Bruno Mars got his start in showbiz as a pint-sized Elvis impersonator. While there is maybe something a little silly about wearing the outfit of the person you're paying tribute to and the "Uptown Funk" singer probably shouldn't have tried to do a Prince guitar solo, Mars' rendition of "Let's Go Crazy" was loving, funny, and playful. What he lacked in Prince-like mystery, he made up for with pure showmanship.

Adele said she "can't accept" the Best Album Award

As many feared and predicted, Adele's 25 took home the Album of the Year Award at the end of the evening instead of Beyoncé's Lemonade -- and even Adele, who also picked up awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, was embarrassed about the snub. While crying on stage, the British singer emphasized how "monumental" Beyoncé's visual album was. Her speech was the Grammys in a nutshell: watchable but endlessly frustrating. Until next year!

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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment and he was happy to see Busta Rhymes at the Grammys. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.

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