And now onto the second part of The Week in TV with a special look at this year’s Brit Awards
The show started well enough as all Brits do – having a big star of last year to perform a couple of his big hits. The star in question being Mika who’s original set was covered in Jules Verne style balloons and as warbled his way through ‘Love Today’ before the set changed to some kind of zig zag mosaic thing and then someone squeezed Beth Ditto, dressed as a purple quality street, through a hole in the set and she and Mika performed ‘Standing in the way of Control’ before she went off again. For some reason Mika then performed a third song this time ‘Grace Kelly’ accompanied by a illuminated set. The only reason I believe Mika (and Ditto) were on stage so long as he was told to pad while someone poked Ozzy Osbourne with a stick to get him to wake up or to give Sharon Osbourne more tranquillisers.
Yes the shining hosts of this year’s Brits are The Osbournes, while Kelly and Sharon tried to read the autocue, and Jack stood there embarrassed Ozzy decided to do nothing but shout ‘come on!!’ every so often. The set was a big giant skull with two thrones behind it, different combinations of Osbournes would come out from time to time and provide links. Sharon Osbourne’s ‘future son-in-law’ Chris Moyles came out and Kelly almost avoided his eye which meant that he would either have to marry the daughter no-one sees or Jack in a civil ceremony. I wondered at this point whether Earl’s Court had been giving sedatives with each drink they bought as Moyle’s moderate gag about bringing his dad to the Brits was met with no reaction whatsoever. The first award was Take That for Live Act, the voice-over girl gave me the first laugh of the night as she said ‘this award is usually won by, well – Muse’, Jason Orange than rambled on for about five minutes before the boys (sorry men) were ushered off and Ozzy stumbled over the autocue to tell us Rihanna and The Klaxons were next on. This was an odd mix as The Klaxons started by singing the first part of that – ‘woo-woo’ song and that Rihanna started to sing ‘Umbrella’. As the song continued Rihanna seemed to be controlling a prism of light that was attached to the set. Towards the end of the number things started to get a bit awkward as The Klaxons started their song again while Rihanna was still singing hers it seemed like some kind of brawl at a pub where the winner of the fight is decided by who can sing the loudest.
We were then presented by the first of several backstage vignettes by the ‘lovely’ Fearne Cotton who did a bit of filler with Take That. After the break Will Young (where’s he been) presented the Critics’ Choice Award to the lovely Adele who did her usual boisterous acceptance speech which I’ve heard a few times as this award was actually given to her in December. During Adele’s speech she thanked ‘The BRIT School’ who basically comprised the mosh-pit. Basically the Brit school is a stage-school brat educational institute which has had a few successes but just think how many acts who went there that we’ve never heard of. Sharon then told us that she wanted to give Jonathan Rhys Meyers a good licking, Meyers than presented Mika with Breakthrough Act before getting as far away from that stage has he possibly can. Kylie has been incredibly brave or at least that’s what Kelly tells us before she performs ‘WOW!’ complete with the cast of Tron. There is then another Fearne Cotton segment with Mika and Adele in which the latter completely upstages Cotton as she tries to work her way through defrauding Brits out of their hard-earned cash by getting them to vote for Best Single.As we hit the 40 minute mark I realise that only two awards have been given out (Adele doesn’t count), so the male awards are quickly rushed through firstly Kelly Rowland almost pops out of her dress as she announces Kanye West for Best International Male, Kanye again tries to be funny but because he’s not there nobody cares. Sharon Osbourne slips up again introducing the presenter for best International British Male. On comes Beth Ditto again she’s changed out of her Quality Street dress and is now wearing a chandelier. Outrage spreads over my face as Mark Ronson – a bloody producer! beats the much more talented Newton Faulkner and Richard Hawley to this award. Although Ronson is instantly likeable and his acceptance speech – I have never felt more male or more British is one of the best of the night. Ricky Wilson looks completely bored as he warbles his way through ‘Ruby’ as the rest of The Kaiser Chiefs stand around cardboard skyscrapers in a bid to recreate their video.
An hour into the show and David Tennant is conveniently presenting Best International Female to his old mate Kylie who he last saw drowning on the Titanic. Unlike all the other winners who’ve been lead to the stage by women dressed as hookers, Kylie is led by a big burly bloke who pushes all asunder out of the way to get her to the stage where she essentially molested by Dr. Who. One of the weirdest performances by the night was from Leona Lewis, now Lewis had nothing to do with this as brilliant and gracious as ever she performed her song like she always does. What made this bizarre was the dance routine as at least thirty or forty dancers surrounded the former X-Factor queen, dressed in black they did a stupid dance I’m not sure to what effect but it kind of detracted from the whole song. At the end Lewis was showered in petals again for no reason.Sharon and Ozzy must’ve been at the bar as The Osbourne Kids did the next few links. First up are Denise Van Outen and Hollyoaks Star Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Van Outen is trying to read the autocue while Lloyd-Webber is just being a bit pervy telling Denise than none of the International Groups are there because she tried and cop off with them if they were. Dave Grohl accepts Foo Fighters first award of the night and is semi-gracious that’s not going to last. Next up is James Nesbitt who gives a shot-out to a now rowdy Brit School who get even rowdier when one of their own – mockney tartlet Kate Nash who AGAIN mentions them. After slowing down the awards process the third award in six minutes is presented this time by Bionic Woman star (but maybe not for much longer) Michelle Ryan, Ryan isn’t even allowed to do a spiel as she presents Foo Fighters with their second award. This time Dave Grohl gets a bit antsy as he thanks Brit for not awarding him in the past saying he wishes he could be there but he’s just sold out Madison Square Garden and that he’s honoured to be in the same category as Culture Club, Shakespeare’s Sister, Huey Lewis and the News, Bros, Lisa Loeb, MC Hammer and Kula Shaker who’ve all previously won awards – so he should be!
I quite enjoyed the next performance as Mark Ronson did his producing thing and played a double guitar while Adele did a Coldplay song and some guy I didn’t recognise did some song I didn’t recognise. Then of course the Winehouse came out and did Valerie and everyone cheered and it was glorious however I thought Winehouse didn’t know whether she wanted to sing or dance so was moving round the stage like she was having a fit. Next up was yet another lord this time Sir Ian McKellen came out to present Best British Group to the Arctic Monkeys who after a year of pretending to be Oasis have tonight decided to pretend to be Blur dressed up as Country Gents one of them brings a Clay duck while another blows a bugle before being kicked off by Kelly who tells them to bugger off as she presents the second performance by Winehouse. For all of the comedy mishaps this was the moment of the night, this was a straight ballard performance by Winehouse who hasn’t sung since she’s been let out of rehab, I’d not heard this before but the crowd were almost silent as she made her way through this ballad she seemed very earnest and all in all this was a bit of poignance. Nothing to break a pit of poignancy than some more vulgarity from Sharon Osbourne and then Alan Carr. Even Carr got a taste of the tumbleweed as staggered on in a drunken stupor after claiming to put a straw in Amy’s beehive which I don’t think anyone found funny after her previous show-stopping number. One of the funniest moments of last year’s Brits was Carr’s molestation of Take That but when he presented them with Best Single for Shine he was restrained. However when the five of them were outside by Fearne Cotton she was upstaged once again as he did the fingers over the head bit. Sharon Osbourne hit the crazy switch during the last award presentation when Vic Reeves couldn’t remember what he was presenting she wrestled the envelope from him calling him a ‘Drunk Wanker’ but he managed to announce The Arctic Monkeys for Best Album. The Monkeys thanked the Brit School before being cut-out.
Ozzy then missed a cue in the last segment introducing Sir Paul when it was actually a VT. There seemed to be a lot of clips featuring Linda during this VT but obviously none of Heather, I bet it was edited by Macca himself. He then gave the shortest acceptance speech of the night after getting hugged by Ozzy. He then did three songs – first the one off the I-Pod Advert, then Live and Let Die and then everyone drunkenly sung along to Hey Jude. So that was The Brits and in all fairness the blame can be placed at one person’s door – Sharon Osbourne. We can accept incompetence from Ozzy and the kids, especially Jack were entirely professional. For a woman whose used to live T.V. she didn’t half make an ass of herself especially during the Vic Reeves debacle. Apart from The Arctic Monkeys and Dave Grohl all of the artists were quite dignified in their acceptance speeches and the performances from Mark Ronson’s lot and Amy Winehouse’s solo number were absolutely outstanding. But there were so many finger-clenching car-crash T.V. moments with the presenting that this made me wince almost as much as Russell Brand’s Queen gags last year. I don’t think it was necessarily a bad move, on paper this could’ve been good but sadly thanks to some crap gags, unprofessional behaviour, lots of alcohol and that bloody Brit school it just wasn’t.
Next Time: Rock Rivals, Love Soup and Empty