Album of the Year: Beck (“Morning Phase“)
Beck sat in third place in our predictions center with 7/2 odds behind frontrunner Beyonce for her self-titled disc (3/2 odds) and Sam Smith for “In the Lonely Hour” (19/10). Even though he was the veteran in this category and part of the more voter-friendly rock genre, the win was still quite a jolt to most viewers including me.
Pop Solo Performance: “Happy” (Pharrell Williams)
This may have been Billboard’s number one song of the year, but it was way down in third place with 33/1 odds of winning. Williams bested two Record of the Year nominees, “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith and “Chandelier” by Sia, which were our top two at 4/9 and 10/3 respectively.
Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Say Something” (A Great Big World f/ Christina Aguilera)
This ranks as the biggest shock of the night as it was in fifth place at 25/1. Record of the Year “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX was in first with 2/3 odds followed by “A Sky Full of Stars” from Coldplay, “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J and “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.
Alternative Music Album: “St. Vincent” (St. Vincent)
St. Vincent’s self-titled fourth album was in third place in our predictions center at 10/1. What really made this win shocking were the two Grammy heavyweights ahead of her: “Lazaretto” by Jack White (2/5) who has won this category before and “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire (5/1) whose previous album took home Album of the Year.
Urban Contemporary Album: “GIRL” (Pharrell Williams)
While this was also nominated for Album of the Year, it was in second place in our predictions center with odds of 20/1. Rival Album of the Year nominee Beyonce’s first place odds were just 1/10, which was an huge disadvantage for Williams to overcome.
Country Duo/Group Performance: “Gentle on My Mind” (The Band Perry)
This was definitely not on our minds as it was in fourth with 25/1 odds of winning, ahead of only “Raise ‘Em Up” by Keith Urban and Eric Church which was at 100/1. The Band Perry took down “Somethin’ Bad” by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, “Meanwhile Back at Mamas” by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and “Day Drinking” by Little Big Town.
Musical Theater Album: “Beautiful“
Most of us had our eye on the cast recording of the Tony-winning revival of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” with odds of just 1/5. We were thinking that Neil Patrick Harris would be a shoo-in to grab a trophy here and be just an Oscar shy of the coveted EGOT. “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” took the prize despite being in third place at 16/1. We should have known better since two other jukebox musicals have won this award: “Jersey Boys” in 2006 and “American Idiot” in 2010.
Metal Performance: “The Last in Line” (Tenacious D)
I have nothing against the comedic rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass but I would not describe them as a metal band and would never have picked them to win this, especially over established artists like Anthrax (“Neon Knights”), Mastodon (“High Road”), Motörhead (“Heartbreaker”) and Slipknot (“The Negative One”). Looks like the recording academy actually agreed, in this instance, that Tenacious D is the best band in the world…kind of.
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