The Grammys: The good, the bad, and the really, really awkward

Categories: Pop Culture
Perhaps the biggest surprise from this year's Grammy Awards broadcast is that there are actually some honest-to-god surprises to report, the biggest of which was notoriously indie artists Arcade Fire coming out on top in the Album of the Year category.

Here, we present a rundown of some of the most memorable moments from this year's Grammy Awards, complete with plenty of jaw-dropping and downright awkward moments that'll keep Twitter buzzing for at least the next day or two.

Biggest upset, part one: Arcade Fire lit up Twitter and had indie fans rejoicing with their award for Album of the Year. In an awards ceremony dominated by mainstream artists from Top 40 radio, Arcade Fire's win signals a continuation of the trend toward indie musicians and labels being able to achieve widespread success without the help of the old-school major label hype machine. In the words of Rob Harvilla, music editor of our sister paper the Village Voice, "WE WON."

Biggest upset, part two:
Relative unknown Esperanza Spalding, who Prince has championed of late and who performed as part of the Purple One's Welcome 2 America in NYC this winter, took the Best New Artist award, beating out omnipresent pop star Justin Bieber. Within minutes, Spalding's site became overwhelmed with traffic and came crashing down, while Beiber fans took to her Wikipedia page and started vandalizing her bio.


Biggest non-upset:
Lady Antebellum sweeping the Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and Best Country Performance by Duo/Group categories for their blase country-lite, radio-friendly single "Need You Now." Insert obligatory indie snob eyeroll here.

Best joke played by Bob Dylan: To further enunciate the juxtaposition of his wry, deeply poetic folk-based Americana music with the shamelessly earnest offerings of newcomers Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers, Dylan chose to end the "Tribute to Acoustic Music" segment by pulling out his 1965 classic "Maggie's Farm" -- the song he "went electric" with at the Newport Folk Festival. Well played, Bob. Well played.

Most psychedelic moment:
Cee Lo Green performing his hit "Fuck You" (or "Forget You," in FCC-friendly terms) while dressed in a multi-colored, armored Mardi Gras peacock costume and Elton John-inspired sparkly shades, while backed by a crew of second-rate muppets straight out of Fraggle Rock. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow came out halfway through the song to trade off verses and traipse around atop a grand piano in four-inch heels. Yep. That happened.

NEXT PAGE: Most awkward moments, plus a list of all the big winners

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