2013 Grammys Best & Worst: Taylor Swift's Circus, Justin Timberlake's Return and Nip-Slip Memo Talk

Music, performances, awards and the best and worst moments from music's biggest night

By Erik Pedersen Feb 11, 2013 4:30 AMTags
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The 2013 Grammy Awards offered appearances and performances from Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, RihannaAdeleJennifer Lopez, The Black KeysGotyeMumford & Sonsfun.Beyoncé and more, including the ever-present hope worry that someone might have a dress-code violating, wardrobe malfunction.

And we didn't just mean host LL Cool J.

So read on to find out the best and worst of the night.

Biggest Statement: Taylor Swift turned "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" into a total circus as fire performers, a stiltwalker and some poor stand-in for the guys who've provided her with her hitmaking fodder by treating her poorly. Wherever they are, in the audience or cowering at home, at least they weren't the ones nearly getting their junk fake-stomped on by the fierce young star.

Second Biggest Statement: Host LL Cool J thanked his pal "T.Swizzle" and then proceeded to surprise some of the night's biggest stars—Adele, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake—by namechecking them in a heartfelt speech about how Grammys are a "dream come true."

Extra-Special Effects: Playing to the audience, pop trio fun. astounded the L.A. crowd with an in-house rainstorm…that didn't create an instant traffic jam. (Also, bonus points for keeping it classy and not "making it rain" with dollar bills.)

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Best Duet? Which was your favorite? Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, Wiz Khalifa and Miguel or who?

Best Self-Deprecating Quote: While accepting the award for best song, fun. singer Nate Ruess revealed that, as those with HD screens could surmise, they aren't all that young.

Biggest Rock Star Appearance: That'd be by Johnny Depp, who somehow managed to look way more like a rock star than anyone else in the room.

Second-Best Tribute: Jennifer Lopez revived Angelina Jolie's leg's pose, and no one was complaining at this obvious uncover version of an award show classic.

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Chris Brown's Ocean View: It was hard not to notice that everyone rose to their feet as Frank Ocean picked up his award. Everyone, but Chris Brown. (Hey, if you're going to sit in the front row with Rihanna, people are going to notice you.)

Justin Timberlake's Big Band Revival:The Social Network actor was pretty convincing in what seems to be his next big movie role as a swing-era big band leader. That guy can really act.

Biggest Fan: Kelly Clarkson's delirious enthusiasm defined gracious as she thanked all the other acts in her category, and then came out to sing tributes to Carole King and Patti Page.

Coolest Cat: Jay-Z already pretty much defines cool, but he killed it tonight: enjoying a snifter while enjoying the show, sliding out of his chair to go onstage to rap with Timberlake or just joking about the Dream's hat while accepting an award.

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Marley and We: Not content to channel Elvis Presley, Bruna Mars teamed up with Sting on "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Walking on the Moon," before morphing into a Bob Marley tribute with Rihanna and Ziggy and Stephen Marley. The tribute seemed kind of cobbled together—we're pretty sure Marley had more than enough great songs just to focus on him—but you couldn't argue with the legitimate looking joy on peoples faces.

Most Helpful Feedback: Jack White, who led two different bands, one an all-female group and the other an all-male band, held up Katy Perry's intro for Best New Artist by leaving his guitar lying on the stage bleeding noisy feedback. Yeah, rock and roll.

Best Performances? Who were the best of the night? Rihanna or Jack White or The Lumineers? Someone else?

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Wardrobe Malfunction or Functional: Carrie Underwood's dress seemed to have a mind of its own—or at least a TV of its own—as it displayed images of butterflies in a custom THEIA gown.

Biggest Scene-stealer: Prince somehow got Gotye so tongue-tied at the start of his Record of the Year acceptance speech that the "Someone That I Used to Know" singer appeared to be giving a speech about Prince. (Prince didn't seem to mind.)

Best Tribute: Which one did you like the best? The Bob Marley tribute or the Dave Brubeck one (with Kenny Garrett, Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea) or the celebration og the muisc of the Band's Levon Helm?

Worst Edit: We're not sure what Marcus Mumford was saying to Adele when the sound dropped out in his speech accepting the Record of the Year, but we choose to believe it was the funniest thing of the very long night and we missed it.

Second Worst: While we're not sure the rap supergroup LL Cool J was the best way to end the show, it definitely was jarring to have the announcer start talking over the performance before it was over.