You don't present awards in 98 freakin' categories, as the Grammys pretelecast did this afternoon, without serving up some surprises.
Here are five:
1. Eminem Won't Sweep! Any notion that the rapper might go 10-for-10 was dismissed in the very first awards presentation of the "night" when Lady Gaga pulled the sorta upset in Short Form Music Video for "Bad Romance" (over Em's and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie"). In all, Eminem lost five times in the preshow, and won "just" once (for Rap Solo). He's up for four more categories, including Album of the Year, during the primetime show.
2. Glee Got Dissed by Jeff Bridges! OK, what technically happened was the soundtrack for Bridges' Crazy Heart beat out Glee's The Music: Volume 1 for Best Compilation Soundtrack. "No Air," indeed.
3. We Couldn't Get a Rise Out of Team Gaga! Hey, we tried. We asked Gaga collaborator Kathy Angstadt, a cowinner of the Short Form Video award, what she thought of accusations that "Born This Way" sounds a tad like Madonna's "Express Yourself." "No," she said, "not my deal."
4. Kathy Griffin Wasn't the Only Presenter to Drop the F-Bomb! But she was the first—something for which singer-songwriter (and fellow presenter) Sara Bareilles was grateful: "I'd like to thank Kathy for breaking the ice with the swear words because I'm usually the one with the potty mouth," she said.
5. Mitsuko Uchida Didn't Show! We're used to the big-name acts big-timing the pretelecast. But the classically trained winner of Instrumental Soloist Performance With Orchestra?! (In fairness, maybe she's bigger than we thought…)
Other pretelecast winners who didn't show included: the egg-trapped Gaga (hey, at least she had a good excuse…), Jay-Z and Alicia Keys Usher, Lady Antebellum, Rihanna, Fantasia, Jon Stewart and Julie Andrews.
The legendary Herbie Hancock, the legendary Neil Young and the lovely Tia Carrere were among the (very few) brand-name acts who actually accepted their trophies in person.
One Bonus Shock: Gaga's and Beyoncé's "Telephone" lost?! It sure did, getting nothing but dial tone in the Pop Collaboration With Vocals category opposite "Imagine," by Hancock, Seal, Jeff Beck and friends.