Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

I waited patiently for the controversy — the flaming cars outside the Staples Center, the fistfights between Eminem lovers and haters, the mail bombs going off at GLAAD headquarters, the general chaos that promised to surround the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards.

I'm still waiting, folks.

There was nothing. No fuss, no muss, just a lot of hype. I'm glad no one was hurt and there was no violence, but boy, talk about blowing smoke …

The Grammy Awards were decent. Performances by such acts as U2, Destiny's Child, Macy Gray, 'N Sync and Faith Hill were nice — a word often used to describe someone's unattractive cousin.

Elton Polka-Dotted, Eminem Bleeped

Madonna's big splash of an opening number wasn't much at all. First, she was completely dressed. She arrived onstage in a limo covered in mirror ball glass. It was a little too showy for my taste, although we'd expect nothing less from Ms. Madonna. (I would've done a feather-coated Humvee.)

Surprisingly, hearing her sing "Music" without a recording studio backup was, in a word, "ugly." The dancers/minions afforded some distraction, but her voice still shone through — the way the sun comes through that crack in the drapes and right into your eyeball when you're hung over.

I'd also like to mention that I'm even more disappointed in her shameless plug for her husband, director Guy Ritchie. The license plate on the car read "SNATCHED."

One of the outstanding performances (there were some), was the collaboration of Jill Scott, Moby and Blue Man Group. It was definitely a thrill. Eyeballs blinking, things flying around. It was a multicultural Cirque du Soleil. The performance was soulful and exciting and it's a good thing because it came halfway through the show and everyone needed a little pick-me-up to keep them from snoring through part deux of the ceremony.

And, of course, the much-ballyhooed Eminem/Elton John performance of "Stan" came toward the very end of the broadcast. From what I could tell, the engineer had a rough time bleeping the curse words, but there was no earth-shattering moment, no big crescendo, just Elton in one ugly pink polka-dotted suit and an overzealous audience who sprung to its feet for the night's only standing ovation. As my grandfather used to say, "Yep, yep, yep, yep. Thought so."

The Fashion Front

On the fashion front, the most fascinating part of the Grammys was the LACK of plastic surgery. There is, of course, one exception … that being Joan Rivers, who covered arrivals for E! Entertainment Television. If she appears embarrassing when she covers the Emmys or Oscars because of her lack of knowledge regarding actors and their work, music is even further removed from her brain center.

Most artists on the red carpet didn't even bother to talk to Rivers and those who did were distant and seemed a bit befuddled. They all appeared to look at her rather oddly, as if they were thinking, "Why are your eyes over your ears?" and "Were your cheekbones always by your forehead?"

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