Backstage at the Grammys 2009
With all the talk regarding the Chris Brown scandal that came to light at last night’s Grammys, I contacted one of my sources who worked the show to see if she had any interesting inside tidbits. Here’s our conversation (she wished to remain anonymous).
Q: When did you first hear Chris Brown and Rihanna had dropped out as performers?
A: At about 2:30 or 2:40. [The show started at 5 p.m. PT]
Q: What happened?
A: There was mad scrambling. One of the stage managers had to revamp the listing of performers for the day. They had to move talent around. Someone had said [Brown and Rihanna] were in a car accident; that was a rumor that was going around early in the day. It wasn’t ’til the end of the night when a member of the press told a production person what happened that we were like, “Oh my gosh, is that really what happened?!”
Q: After the mad scrambling and revamping of talent lineup, was there another quick run-through?
A: There wasn’t time because the red carpet opened at 3 p.m.
Q: Were people nervous about whether things would go well?
A: They were pretty indifferent. Awards shows are generally always high stress and high pressure. Whether it be a presenter being late or canceling last minute, there is pretty much always some sort of last-minute change. Changes are not as extreme as what happened Sunday but the main focus of awards show people is to adapt.
Q: OK, let’s talk about other things. Did you have a plan in place if M.I.A. had gone into labor at the show?
A: There was a gurney in the back. I wasn’t sure what/whom it was for but we’ve never had one there during past shows.
Q: Any backstage scoop you want to share about anything?
A: Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift were adorable. They were joined at the hip, went everywhere together. Miley got starstruck when Gwyneth walked by. By the way, the announcer should’ve said “Grammy-nominee Gwyneth Paltrow” [in the Best Spoken Word Album for Children category for her reading of Brown Bear and Friends] when she came out to introduce Radiohead.
Justin Timberlake’s people were so pretentious. All the talent had signs on their dressing room door with their names on it and someone from Timberlake’s team took it off as soon as he got inside, like they were afraid people would know where Justin was and rush his room or something. But he was in the same hallway as U2, Sir Paul (McCartney), John Mayer, Miley, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and all their signs were still up! It just made my colleagues’ jobs harder when they had to locate Justin and do it quickly.
Q: That does sound annoying. If I were walking down that hallway, I’d be rushing U2’s, Coldplay’s, and Sir Paul’s dressing rooms, not JT’s!
Now, I gotta ask the inevitable fashion question. Who looked the best?
A: Fran Drescher looked really good, Katy Perry’s dress was gorgeous, and Sheryl Crow was flawless.