Grammys 2013: Grades for All 20 Performances!

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There’s a common complaint among Oldie Olsens like myself that live singing in the Ke$ha Era is going the way of the Dodo. (Or is that Do%o?)

Whether or not there’s any truth to that theory, the 2013 Grammy Awards proved to be one small step for the human voice, and one giant blow against Auto-Tune.

RELATED | The 2013 Grammy Awards: Best and Worst Moments

Indeed, while there were certainly a couple of subpar showings among the telecast’s 20 individual performances, there was really only one full-fledged catastrophe in the mix. So click through the gallery below to get the scoop (plus letter grades) for every Grammy performance, then hit the comments and share your own thoughts!

RELATED | The 55th Annual Grammy Awards: Winners List



Comments (105)

  • I guess Alicia Keys didn’t get the memo from CBS.

    Comment by Bob – February 11, 2013 10:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nice call on Justin Timberlake. I am impressed that you had it in you to call him out. I was disappointed by that performance. The amazing thing is that I was actually kind of looking forward to hearing what he would do. I have always, still do, and will always despise all things boy band. For a very long time, I found JT to be a precocious little punk who needed to be punched in the head, much the way I now feel about Justin Bieber. The thing is that Justin Timberlake has grown up, remained sane, and moved on to do other things that I liked. I was interested to hear what an adult Justin Timberlake might sound like. When you said there was only one clunker, this was the performance I immediately thought of. If you are going to do the pop star with an orchestra thing; see Brian Setzer.
    ~
    I too liked the Kelly Clarkson performance. I really liked the Patti Page part of it, but when she shifted to “Natural Woman,” I kind of wished that Crystal Bowersox would have jumped up there and done it with her.
    ~
    I liked a few performers last night better than ever. Both Taylor Smith and Rihanna sounded better than I have ever heard them. I don’t listen to either of them regularly, mostly I just know them from Idol and award show performances. In particular I liked that Rihanna did away with the dancing and production, and just stepped up to the mike and sang.
    ~
    I think that Adele’s showstopping performance of “Rolling In The Deep” last year was a real shot across the bow to the auto tune crowd. The way that Adele just walked to the mike and blew away the room was a reminder to the industry that virtuoso talent trumps all the production in the world every time. I don’t know if that was the reason, but it seems that nearly everyone upped their games this year.
    ~
    I am surprised that you were so down on the Frank Ocean performance. I didn’t really know who the guy was, or what the song was about, but I’d been reading about him in the lead up to the Grammy’s. I thought he was some new rapper or hip hop guy, and maybe he is, but my general impression was “Whoa, this guy can sing.” I don’t know if that was his personal best, but it wasn’t a bad first impression; I’d have sent him to Hollywood.
    ~
    I saw a few people for the first time last night, and I was glad to see a trend toward people who can actually play and sing. Showtime has the Mumford and Son’s movie running this month, and I just saw it a few days ago. The Lumineers were new to me, and I liked them too.
    ~
    Jack White is a strange, but talented duck. The thing is that every time I see him I wonder, “Where’s Meg?” I always liked her.
    ~
    The were only a couple of sour notes in the whole show for me. The first was Elton John feeling the need to bring up the Sandy Hook kids. What in the world did they have to do with the Grammy’s or a Levon Helm tribute??? I’ll leave it at that. The other was the LL Cool J rap thing at the end. I just don’t like rap, period. That was an unfortunate way to close such an otherwise great show.
    ~
    I would like to thank Katy Perry for being the only rock star in the room with the balls to take CBS’s memo and wipe her yummy little tush with it. Bless her hearts!

    Comment by Tahoe Mike – February 11, 2013 10:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Snowed in up at Tahoe, eh? :)

      Comment by Alienate – February 11, 2013 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Nope, three feet of snow overnight in Tahoe and we are open for business in the morning. First chairs go up the hill at 9:00.

        Comment by Tahoe Mike – February 11, 2013 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jack Black killed it…amazing performance!

    Comment by Brittany – February 11, 2013 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ugh…I meant Jack WHITE! Why can’t I delete or edit?!

      Comment by Brittany – February 11, 2013 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Uhh…Taylor Swift over Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons? She sounded fine, but that’s because she was singing a song that doesn’t require you to sound anything other than fine. I don’t know who she thought she was trying to be, but a spectacle-type performance does her zero justice. I felt some second-hand embarrassment.

    Comment by Jennifer – February 11, 2013 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not a fan of Justin Timberlake, but even I have to admit that his performance was pretty good. It deserved higher than a D, and I thought it was much more electrifying than other performances. He was hitting all of his notes flawlessly.

    I’ve never listened to Frank Ocean before, so I was excited to finally listen to him and see what all the buzz was about. Once I did, I couldn’t figure out why everyone was raving about him. I didn’t like the lyrics to “Forrest Gump” at all and didn’t understand the point of the song. I also thought he was singing horribly, not hitting most of his pitches, and it felt like he wasn’t really trying. Needless to say, he didn’t convince me to become a fan.

    Comment by Julia – February 11, 2013 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Justin was easily the worst performance of the night. When there was a commercial shortly after with the same music, I grabbed something to gauge my eardrums out with. Also, Taylor Swift’s performance might have been ok, but the CONSTANT mid-performance shots of her for the next 3 1/2 hours got real old, real fast.

    Kelly was, as always, superb…but kind of sorry they didnt have her sing one of her own songs too. Rhianna got to sing twice…

    Comment by Chris – February 11, 2013 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ARE YOU JOKING WITH JT? His performance was flawless. He sounded good, was energetic, danced, looked good, set was awesome. EVERYTHING was perfect. Great comback!

    Comment by Mia – February 11, 2013 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where I can watch the performances online? Grammys.com just has video of the winning speeches…

    Comment by Elaine – February 11, 2013 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • bs’d
      Go to EZTV.IT. It went up yesterday.

      Comment by Mamamitzvah – February 11, 2013 09:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Lumineers should’ve gotten the Grammy for Best New Artist. How Fun. gets it is beyond me.

    Comment by jimbo – February 11, 2013 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Woo hoo, A+ for The Black Keys and Preservation Hall Jazz Band! You’ve made me happy, TVLine. The Jack White one was really good too. I haven’t been too impressed with his latest solo album, but that performance gave me renewed hope in his work. It was fantastic.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 11, 2013 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would have personally rated Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, and the Levon Helm tribute (that deserved a resounding A++) higher, while significantly lowering Taylor Swift’s grade. Also, I am a little bummed you failed to mention the MCA tribute during LL Cool J’s awesome performance. That was a huge emotional high point for myself, and I am sure for other’s as well.

    Comment by Sara – February 11, 2013 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ha! I know 2 people who are big Taylor fans and thought she sucked live. Your ratings are a joke!! What are you, 12?

    Comment by Pattygale – February 11, 2013 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • bs’d
      Sorry, dude. This is Michael’s opinion. There is no need to be insulting if a person’s opinion does not mesh with your opinion. Some people like ketchup and others do not. You are entitled to like who or what you like. Enjoy the performances you liked, but don’t dis another person who may have different tastes. Grow up.

      Comment by mamamitzvah – February 11, 2013 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Black Keys was freaking amazing.

    Comment by ABC – February 11, 2013 03:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SORRY….but you missed THE BEST Grammy performance of the night…okay..not really a Grammy performance but a Grammy STEALING performance….ADAM LAMBERT’S KEEK OF “STAY”!!! 10 out of 10 stars! WAYYYYYYY better than RiRi’s! just sayin.

    Comment by DuckBert (@voiceworkstk) – February 11, 2013 03:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Why does Adam Lambert have to be shoehorned into this discussion?

      Comment by marm – February 11, 2013 06:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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