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Power rankings: The 59th Annual Grammy Awards

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FEBRUARY 14, 2017

If you didn’t watch the Grammy Awards last night, then what were you doing with your life? Wait. Who are we kidding? This is UC Berkeley. Sunday nights are for frantically finishing our homework from last week.

While the night might have been all about Adele’s clean-sweep of the top awards and Beyonce’s (aka Sun Goddess) medley performance of her hits from Lemonade, there were still quite a few epic, review-worthy performances in between. While we at the Clog are no Simon Cowell, we’ve decided on four criteria to rank this year’s most memorable Grammys performances: pitch (because if you’re going to sing live, you have to do it well), stage presence (no one likes or remembers a forgettable performance), aesthetics (our eyes wish to be pleased, not in pain) and shock value (this isn’t the VMAs, but some performances might have left us pretty shook). With these criteria in mind, let’s see how last night’s performers stacked up.

The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

Clad in Darth Vader-like armor and perched atop an icy stage, Daft Punk couldn’t have made us feel more like we had entered the Star Wars planet of Hoth as they performed “I Feel It Coming” and “Starboy” on their synth machines behind The Weeknd’s mesmerizing vocals. The Weeknd was spot on as always, but the stage set-up and enormous amounts of fog and lasers left us a little confused.

Pitch: 9/10

Stage presence: 6/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Shock value: 6/10

Total: 29/40


Queen Bey delivered the mother of all performances last night. Literally. From the gravity-defying chair tilt stunt (careful, there are twins in there!) to the opening video that seemed to be an extended version of her Instagram post unveiling her pregnancy, we couldn’t be more in awe. While we weren’t necessarily surprised by her perfection, there was no denying that everything about Beyonce’s “Lemonade” medley was absolutely and utterly #flawless.  Please be our mom.

Pitch: 10/10

Stage Presence: 10/10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Shock value: 7/10

Total: 37/40

Bruno Mars

Last night, Bruno Mars had the honor of performing his own hit, “That’s What I Like,” as well as a tribute to the late artist Prince in his performance of “Let’s Go Crazy” along with Morris Day and the legend’s former band, The Time. Owning the stage as always, Mr. Mars kept both of his performances funky, fresh and flirtatious, giving us cool boy band vibes with his synchronized dancing and unbelievable harmonies with his backup crew. In his next performance, he even donned a purple sequined blazer and played a wicked guitar solo in memoriam of The Purple One.

Pitch: 9/10

Stage presence: 10/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Shock value: 5/10

Total: 32/40

Ed Sheeran

After performing on Saturday Night Live less than 24 hours earlier, Ed Sheeran shaped up and performed a solid, one-man show version of his newest hit, “Shape of You.” Using a loop-pedal, a couple of microphones and his acoustic guitar, our favorite ginger casually delivered with his raw, outstanding vocals. There wasn’t a ton of aesthetic value besides a couple of large studio lights in the background, and it may have been a tad bit forgettable, but sometimes simplicity is key, right?

Pitch: 9/10

Stage presence: 7/10

Aesthetics: 4/10

Shock value: 2/10


Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley

After serving as Hillary Clinton’s celebrity wing-lady all throughout 2016, Katy Perry made her return to music last night as she performed a vaguely political rendition of her newest single “Chained to the Rhythm” alongside Bob Marley’s grandson, Skip Marley. Donning an armband reading “PERSIST” and spinning around on a rotating suburban house with a mirrored picket fence, Katy’s performance left us scratching our heads during a few moments. For a song that seemed to have no political meaning, the performance seemed to go from zero to seemingly anti-Trump real quick, as it concluded with Perry and Marley standing in front of a massive projection of the words of the Constitution. Nonetheless, she didn’t lip sync, which was definitely a plus.

Pitch: 8/10

Stage presence: 5/10

Aesthetics: 5/10

Shock value: 7/10


Lady Gaga and Metallica

Coming off an incredible Super Bowl halftime show, last night was unfortunately a fail for Mother Monster, as well as Metallica. The performance started off with Lady Gaga rising out of an intense crowd of moshing backup dancers, which then progressed into a realization that someone had apparently forgotten to turn Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s microphone on. The whole thing was overshadowed by eye-straining pyrotechnics, a lot of gyrating hips and an unexpected three seconds of crowd surfing by Gaga herself. We could barely hear the vocals or see anything at all after the performance, but we at the Clog were definitely shocked.

Pitch: 8/10

Stage presence: 5/10

Aesthetics: 2/10

Shock value: 10/10

Total: 25/40

Adele’s tribute to George Michael

Poor Adele — well, not really, since she won Song, Record and Album of the Year (a clean sweep!). After making it about a quarter of the way through her own rendition of the late George Michael’s song, “Fastlove,” the singer cursed and asked the band to start the song over again, saying she couldn’t mess it up for George (then apologized for swearing, again). Whoops. Luckily, Adele redeemed herself, showing off her chops with her powerful, pitch-perfect voice.

Pitch: 8/10

Stage presence: 6/10

Aesthetics: 7/10

Shock value: 9/10

Total: 30/40

The clear winner here is the queen herself, Beyonce. From her glow (that’s not just because of her pregnancy) to her vocal grace, we’re not even a bit surprised that Bey has taken the crown for the best performance of the 59th annual Grammy Awards.

Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].

FEBRUARY 14, 2017