The Grammys, that wedding ceremony and Madonna…

As the awards season begins, Mark O’Connell gives his irreverent take on the Grammys wedding ceremony, which, he says, would not have been complete without a cane wielding Madonna…

I really cannot wait to get gay married at the Grammys in that oh-so historic and beautiful Staples Centre (sort of like a Los Angeles’ IKEA but with the ghosts of four of Michael Jackson’s faces replacing the Swedish meatballs). Yes, the mawkish awards season is upon us. This also means the mawkish award season’s political conscience is upon us too, bearing down on every interval act like Steve Tyler’s new jowls.

I couldn’t watch much of the Grammys. The early footage of a cathedral-like auditorium recreating a Moonie wedding straight out of the 1998 box marked “Equality” was just too much. There may have been some statement to be made about gay marriage and the recent and ongoing ride it is having in the various political arenas of the world. There may too have been an anti-Russia stance that would have partly helped our LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia. Or maybe African-American music stars could be aware of the persecuted gays and lesbian who listen to their music in the likes of Uganda and the 38 other African countries same-sex canoodling is very illegal. Heck, even America itself and its own recent softening towards a marriage that dare not speak its name could have been relevant as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were Stannah chair-lifted in behind the scenes. But no – why let a global conscience get in the way of a good LA conscience, filtered nicely through the all-inclusive lens of the Grammys and their “message to the world”.

The Oscars and their televised gong-fest cousins always use ‘seat fillers’ – beautiful and very not-famous people on the outside (but living a carb-craving loneliness on the inside) who will edge into any empty seat during the live broadcast. It is to stop the show looking empty, or like any 1978 episode of Top of The Pops should any of the Yewtree investigations actually happened on time (rather than wait for a Now That’s What I Call Hindsight compilation thirty years later). The Academy Awards does the same. Every time James Franco or Jack Nicholson go to the restroom some male model comes in and fills their seats. It’s like Give Us A Clue in reverse. Only, this year’s Grammys decided to take all those seat filling people culled straight from a very ethnically correct game of Guess Who and let the Lady Pope of New Jersey that is Queen Latifah marry them in one foul swoop. Actually, the stunt had a lot of foul swoops just to underline simply how much the music fraternity of America has come to accept the gays in the last twelve months.

As we cut away to all those unknown seat fillers committing the cardinal awards show sin of being on their feet (but they were allowed as they were either gay, non-White or experts at hand-fanning invisible tears away), a strange wedding singer, Madonna tribute act hobbled onto the stage (after the Reverend Latifah had been elbowed away to make room for the new hat and cane). Incidentally, did anyone else wonder who that small boy was with Madonna?  My first thoughts were it was his turn to raise money for the school science trip by taking an old lady into the shopping mall that is the Staples Centre. I jest. It was Madonna’s youngest, looking so natural and not at all like a terrified 1920s jazz dandy caught in the headlights. Madonna’s children are like a high school history motto – “Divorced, Beheaded, one of Guy’s …. Divorced, Beheaded, Rescued”. Is this really what Ms Ciccone has been reduced to – playing Kathleen Turner as Mae West doing a Madonna tribute act circa Music? And did she mean to put her own click-track on the wrong speed? But it’s Madonna!! We love her and her onstage messages. And we would all like her to sing at our nuptials and get photographed with us outside the pebble-dashed 1970s registry office that will always be a long way from the Staples Centre. A message is not important or ready to be imparted until Madonna pops back to say hello like Steve Tyler’s new jowls. All that was missing was Jarvis Cocker mooning the acts as the Moonie wedding in the audience pit felt like an Opening Ceremony of a Winter Games no-one would ever hold, not even Sochi. It was so bad it was…awful. But then it is awards season. The Brits might do the same. But as much as we can and will knock the deity (or gaiety) likes of Madonna and Queen Latifah, they will always do that sort of crass histrionics so much better than the Brits and James Cordon and the cast of Hollyoaks in bridal gowns doing We Are The World.

Words : Mark O’Connell

Mark O’Connell is still waiting to see if Madonna can sing the first dance at his wedding (there is probably someone that can give her a lift to the station) and can be found at @Mark0Connell and www.markoconnell.co.uk


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