There are only two true approaches to being in the audience at a major televised awards show, forever in conflict: full, 100-percent commitment to having the time of your life, and full, 100-percent commitment to not giving a shit. On Sunday night at the Grammys, Taylor Swift took the first path, and Jay-Z took the second, and those of us watching at home were far better for it.
Here is Taylor Swift reacting to Mumford and Sons.
Here is Jay-Z reacting to Mumford and Sons.
Here is Jay-Z yelling "you're welcome" at Fun. after their award. Note the snifter of brandy.
Here is Taylor Swift filled with glee at Fun. winning their award.
Here is Jay-Z reacting to J Lo.'s revealing dress.
Here is Taylor Swift dancing to Sting during the Bob Marley tribute.
At the top of the post you can see Swift dancing to the Lumineers. She knows the words to the song! This is incredible because I have it on good authority that the Lumineers are not a real band. You cannot tell me with a straight face that this band "The Lumineers" exists, in real life. No one else on the planet knows the words to this song, because this song is fake, and was probably improvised, and yet there is Taylor Swift singing her heart out to her friend—and her friend is pretending she doesn't know Taylor. That is how much fun Taylor Swift is having, that her sidekick friend is embarrassed by her.
Meanwhile, here is Jay-Z accepting a Grammy. What does he do with his televised national audience? He zings The-Dream. No one has performed not giving a shit better than Jay-Z:
Fun. and Frank Ocean won a lot of Grammys, the individual awards. But Taylor Swift gave the performance of a lifetime, as someone having an amazing time at what is almost unquestionably the most boring three-hour concert on the planet, while Jay-Z nearly matched her with his peerless performance of "rich businessman who dressed up for this and everything and yet still somehow could not possibly give less of a shit about it."
Together, they showed all the possibilities of America. Together, they saved the Grammys.