Let's face it—the Grammys are as much about the performances as they are about the awards. As such, there are the "official" winners, and then there are the real winners—and losers. The Arts blog has highlighted three of each—those whose presence and performance demanded respect, and those who fell flat.
WINNER: Justin Timberlake
JT is back. Donning his "suit and tie shit" and performing via a sepia telecast (because sepia is the classiest color scheme, of course), the former 'N Sync star crushed two new songs from his upcoming album and generally exuded massive swag.
LOSER: Taylor Swift
The anti-swag award goes to T Swift, who was shown awkwardly dancing in her seat for what seemed like every single song. Swift took home one Grammy, but got shut out in all the major categories and essentially lip-synced her way through a bizarre Alice in Wonderland-themed performance of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Ex-boyfriend John Mayer, sitting next to a scantily-clad Katy Perry, probably wasn't too upset over seeing her.
"Miguel, I don't know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. I mean, good God. That was the sexiest damn thing I've ever seen," gushed Kelly Clarkson about the R&B singer's performance. Miguel seemed genuinely pumped to be performing his single "Adorn," which took home Best R&B Song honors.
LOSER: Mikky Ekko
If you don't know that name, don't feel bad at all. You'd think that performing with Rihanna would bring out the best in someone, but this singer-songwriter slouched his way through the song "Stay" with the manner and dress of a bored ski lodge attendant.
WINNER: Mumford and Sons
The folk rockers ripped their way through an unsurprisingly raucous version of "I Will Wait" (although the crazy flashing lights seemed over the top for a band that's so consciously acoustic at its core). Later, they got their own tribute performance in the form of The Lumineers' "Ho Hey," and shocked everyone by winning the grand prize of Best Album. Not bad for a band that this publication has likened to "the Old Navy version of last fall's best style."
LOSER: Frank Ocean
It isn't a stretch to say that Frank Ocean won 2012 in music: His debut album, "channel ORANGE," was revered by critics and successfully catapulted him into the mainstream. It was shocking, then, to see him fall to fun., Gotye, and Mumford & Sons in the three major categories of Best New Artist, Best Record, and Best Album respectively. Even more disappointing was his plodding, out-of-tune rendition of "Forrest Gump," during which he looked visibly nervous. Even fellow Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt looked a bit confused after the performance. For all the pre-Grammys hype surrounding Ocean, this was a huge letdown.