If you watched the 2012 Grammy Awards, you were exposed to an abundance of jaw-dropping fashions, hoards of celebs and a variety of live performances by some of the great musical artists of the times. We heard from newbies like Bruno Mars, veterans like the Beach Boys, and the ever-fabulous Adele. But if we take a look at some of the performances from this night, we see a definite pattern of talent noteworthy enough to share.
It is safe to say that when Adele or Jennifer Hudson performs, the audience is always captivated and blown away with their incredible voices. We are fascinated just watching them sing their hearts out on stage; they move us because we can relate to their songs on a personal level, and of course they sing beautifully and timelessly. At the Grammy Awards, they sang alone in black dresses, with only a spotlight and a microphone as their props. They did not require the use of extras, costumes, special effects or sets that look like they came out of a retired Broadway performance. Yet, they are among the most spectacular performances of the night, if not the best. Their talent is solely the sound of their voice and not what catches our eye, and that is the meaning of true talent.
Other performances, notably Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, relied heavily on the bells and whistles. I’m not sure Nicki Minaj even sang. The only thing I was watching during Chris Brown’s performance was his dance moves. It is an understatement that Nicki’s performance started a lot of controversy and had many people scratching their heads – what was she thinking? The only talent this performance showcased was her lack of shame. At least when Lady Gaga does something weird on stage, her voice makes up for it.
If we are looking at the pure talent of these artists, I am definitely a little confused. Their resumes deem them professional singers, but that is not the work they put forth. It is as if they are hiding their (lack of) talent with fancy spectacles and acting routines. I am not buying it. Don’t get me wrong, I usually enjoy watching Nicki for her craziness and Chris is an incredible dancer, but this is the Grammy Awards, not “So You Think You Can Dance/Act/Whatever Nicki Minaj Did”.
The bottom line is that true talent doesn’t need to be embellished. If you are talented at certain things, showcase them; don’t try to make up for something you don’t have by covering it up. When we look for certain skills and expertise, don’t be distracted by those that are flaunting all the jazz. Some of the best talent out there is plain and simple.