2012 Grammy Winners Revealed … Possibly

We take a look at both the 'actual' and 'bizarro' Grammys (and try to pick some winners) in Bigger Than The Sound.

Last year, when the Arcade Fire shocked everybody (especially Dog the Bounty Hunter) by winning Album of the Year at the Grammys, it set in motion a chain of events that culminated in one rather troubling realization: Perhaps everything has changed.

I say troubling because, really, the Grammys have never been cool (and there is something like five decades of empirical evidence to back up that claim), and voters bestowing the night’s top award on an indie act — instead of Eminem, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, each of whom were also nominated — was a hip, hip move. So it stood to reason that, if one of the stuffiest of award shows could get with the times, then perhaps everyone could. Perhaps the Arcade Fire’s AOTY win fractured the space-time continuum itself, sort of like on “Lost,” when Benjamin Linus turned that wheel and the island started skipping through time and there were actually two islands, one existing in current time and one that was stuck in the 1970s, and that old woman had a pendulum and Jack ended up detonating a hydrogen bomb with a rock or something (“Lost” definitely got confusing for a while there).

What I am trying to say is that it is not entirely inconceivable that, post Arcade Fire, there now exist two Grammy Awards: the one where Led Zeppelin has zero wins (but Sheryl Crow has nine) and the one where cool bands take home the biggest awards. You know, the actual Grammys versus the bizarro Grammys.

It’s an insane theory, yes, and yet, it is also (sort of) backed up by this year’s Grammy nominations. In actuality — given she had one of the best-selling albums of the past decade and almost single-handedly saved the industry in 2011 — Adele is not only one of the night’s most-nominated artists, but she’ll probably end up walking away with the most golden gramophones, too. In fantasy, Bon Iver stuns the Dog the Bounty Hunters of the world and takes home three-quarters of the “Big Four” awards. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, I suppose either is probable.

Shoot, at the very least, the theory makes the Grammys a lot more interesting … and impossible to predict. Still, I’m going to try my best. So here are my theoretical picks for the 54th Grammy Awards, where I’ve weighed the actual against the bizarro in a misguided attempt to predict just who will triumph in the night’s biggest categories. Hey, it’s better than just saying “Adele is gonna win everything.” Even though she probably will. It is just a theory, after all.

Album of the Year
» Adele, 21
» Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
» Lady Gaga, Born This Way
» Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
» Rihanna, Loud

“Actual” Grammys: Dude, come on, Adele wins this one by a mile.

“Bizarro” Grammys: The most bizarro winner would probably be Rihanna, who’s not exactly celebrated as an “album artist,” or maybe Bruno Mars, though, thanks to “F— You” (much-nominated at last-year’s Grammys) and his string of hits this year, he seems to be a favorite among voters.

Continuum-Uniting Winner: Remember in 2009, when Taylor Swift’s Fearless won AOTY and everyone got all upset? Well, it was the year’s best-selling album, too, and at the time, Swift was credited with keeping a sinking industry afloat. Adele’s 21 has sold nearly as many copies as Fearless … and has done so in less than a year. So, uh, yeah, she’ll win this.

Record of the Year
» Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
» Bon Iver, “Holocene”
» Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
» Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
» Katy Perry, “Firework”

“Actual” Grammys: It’s Adele’s to lose, though she may face a tough challenge from Mumford & Sons, who not only landed nominations last year, but had 2011′s best-selling rock album based mainly on the strength of “The Cave.” Still, a win by them here would be an upset in every sense of the word.

“Bizarro” Grammys: Got to be “Holocene,” which on the surface, doesn’t stand much of a chance. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that Bon Iver wins something on Sunday, and so, much like 1657527">I (sort of) predicted Arcade Fire’s Album of the Year win last year …

Continuum-Uniting Winner: … I’m going with the bearded dude from Wisconsin. Look, voters aren’t going to give Adele everything, most likely because they don’t want to deal with the backlash. There’s also the Arcade Fire momentum from last year, not to mention the fact that since this award goes to not only the artist, but the producer, recording engineer and mixer, too, it tends to go to classically constructed tunes (Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” Alison Krauss’ and Robert Plant’s “Please Read the Letter”) as opposed to songs with massive commercial appeal. So I’m taking “Holocene” for the upset.

Song of the Year
» Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
» Bon Iver, “Holocene”
» Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
» Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie, “All of the Lights”
» Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”

“Actual” Grammys: Again, Adele.

“Bizarro” Grammys: “Holocene,” though how amazing would it be if “All of the Lights” actually won here? Would Kanye even let anyone else talk during his acceptance speech?

Continuum-Uniting Winner: “Rolling in the Deep.” It was 2011′s biggest song, and one look at previous SOTY winners — massive hits like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” “Rehab,” “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” — well, you can see which way this one tends to go.

Best New Artist
» The Band Perry
» Bon Iver
» J. Cole
» Nicki Minaj
» Skrillex

“Actual” Grammys: Adele. Oh, wait, this is the only category she’s not nominated in (though she did win it in 2009). OK, well, then how about the Band Perry? They’re a country act, and over the past decade, when nominated, country acts tend to win BNA (Shelby Lynne in 2001, Carrie Underwood in 2007, the Zac Brown Band in 2010). Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that their “If I Die Young” was a certified crossover smash, either.

“Bizarro” Grammys: It actually wouldn’t be all that odd if Bon Iver wins here (since, even though I picked him to take Song of the Year, there’s a pretty good shot this is the “Big Four” award he wins), so, can I interest you in some Skrillex?

Continuum-Uniting Winner: Barbz rejoice, I’m taking Nicki Minaj! Why? Well, after a massive year, she was ignored everywhere else in the “Big Four,” so a BNA win would be a nice olive branch extended by Grammy voters. Also, no hip-hop artist (male or female) has won this award since Lauryn Hill in 1999, and how bizarro is that?!? So fittingly, Best New Artist is hers.

Make your predictions for the Grammy Awards in the comments section below!