. . . Tuesday February 15, 2005

Where Have All the Midriffs Gone?

At one point during the Grammy Awards, Bono remarked that he felt like this was probably the greatest Grammy show he’s ever seen.

That statement by Bono (and the general agreement of a crowd that applauded his remarks) definitely brings up a tree falling in the forest question. It turns out almost no one was there to hear Bono’s realtime review or the rest of the show in which he participated.

The Grammys pulled in their worst ratings in a decade suffering a dramatic 24% drop-off, not from the good old days, but from last year’s show.

Maybe the poor audience numbers were due to the now unexplainable Desperate Housewives phenomenon? But not that many of those who watched Desperate switched over to the Grammys after it was over.

Maybe it was the absence of exposed midriffs and half-dressed teeny poppers making out with their musical grandma? The truth is that this was the first music awards show in years that couldn’t double as a borderline softporn. Even the most enthusiastic teenage boy would be hardpressed to pleasure himself to a Skynrd reunion.

Maybe it was the fact that the CBS chose to focus much of the Grammy marketing on the bizarre duet served up by JLo and her latest husband (for a second, I thought I was watching a musical version of a soap opera on Univision). Here’s a positioning tip when it comes to showcasing JLo: Market the the ass, not the marriage.

Maybe it’s just because we have too many awards shows and almost all of them are nothing more than three and a half hour opt-in ads masquerading as a really bad show.

Whatever it was, it’s a shame that the show attracted such slim ratings. Because Bono was right. It was the best music show on televsion in years. Perhaps the now infamous SNL and Orange Bowl fiascos will mark rock bottom for the music industry and this year’s Grammys represented the music business (especially that portion of the industry for whom sound comes out when lips move) rising like a phoenix from the faux ashes of an Ashlee Simpson live performance.

Either that, or next year we’ll be watching as the castmembers of Desperate Housewives each perform their latest singles while dressed in glittered bikinis.

Concentration is important!