You can check out my predictions and how I did here. Not bad: 39 out of 70 categories called right. As for the show, it was solid, fast-moving and with the emphasis where it belonged -- on the music.
THE POLICE -- a good "Roxanne" but the highlight for me was that they bleached their hair again, a very funny "We're the Police again!" idea.
TONY BENNETT AND STEVIE WONDER -- Surely the low point of the night was watching Stevie Wonder choke up with emotion as he dedicates the win to his late mother, only to followed by Tony thanking Target for being such a great sponsor.
DIXIE CHICKS -- the intro by Joan Baez was the best pairing, while they built up some steam on the song. Natalie says she gets very emotional and struggles through the tune every time she sings it and you can still hear her throat closing up as she pushes through the early lines.
BEYONCE -- a nice sneak-peek at her performance for the Oscars. Great dress, so sheer you wonder why she bothered.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE - the first of many appearances for Justin. Good if not amazing.
CORINNE BAILEY RAE/JOHN LEGEND/JOHN MAYER -- the highlight of the night for me. Rae was delightful as always, singing "Like A Star" with her coustic guitar, peeking out shyly every once in a while. Then Mayer joined in with bluesy backup that worked great. Then Legend sang "Coming Home," with Rae on backup. It's one of the best songs on his solid second album. Then Mayer sang "Gravity" with Rae and Legend joining in. An unlikely trio (w Mayer being the odd man out) that worked great. Rae and Legend are going out on tour.
SHAKIRA -- seen in a dozen times already, but she certainly is toned.
GNARLS BARKLEY -- the more stately military pacing gave "Crazy" a new twist. Not as terrific as their Letterman performance, but very fun. Ce Lo is just so appealing and seems to be having a blast.
LUDACRIS -- His shout out to Bill O'Reilly and Oprah was definitely an acceptance speech highlight.
MARY J BLIGE -- I always worry about someone who speaks of themselves in the third person. But she did a great Patti LaBelle when working over her song.
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM -- What the hell were Luke Wilson and Mandy Moore doing handing out this award with LeAnn Rimes? Every other presenter made sense but this was a head-scratcher.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD/RASCAL FLATTS -- a tribute to Bob Wills and the Eagles, who are three times as important as Wills apparently since they did one Wills song (an okay "San Antonio Rose")and three Eagles songs (a weak "Hotel California"), a v good "Desperado" and a fine "Life In the Fast Lane."
SMOKEY ROBINSON/LIONEL RICHIE/CHRIS BROWN -- Smokey sounded a little shaky, but Lionel was very polished, reminding us of the talent he used to be before he began dancing on the ceiling. Following those two old school performances, Brown was very poorly presented -- his dancing in a mask just looked silly and his song was so lacking in melody and charm he just seemed out of place, rather than the next generation. Very cute when the little kids danced with him, though.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA -- Every time I make up my mind about her, Aguilera surprises me. V beautiful, of course and sure at times she was just belting it out, but by and large her tribute to James Brown doing "It's A Man's World" was pretty terrific. No wonder Jamie Foxx shook his head afterwards as if to say, 'Wow, I wasn't expecting that."
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND ROBIN TROUP -- they duetted on "Ain't No Sunshine" and another number. Was a star born? No. Did it serve any purpose? No. Did the Grammys look pathetic trying to ape "Amrican Idol?" Yes.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON -- She's working on an album???