Since Wednesday night's unveiling of the 2010 Grammy Awards nominations, most of the conversations have been about the three-way dance between Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Beyonceé, the trio of women who lead the way in the most important categories (those being Song, Record and Album of the Year). But there are plenty of other competitions that provide intriguing showdowns between artists. Here are the four that we will be talking about until the show, which will air live on January 31, 2010.
Best Rap Solo Performance: This category pits two heavy hitters (Jay-Z and Eminem) against two newcomers (Drake and Kid Cudi) and a dark horse on the comeback (Mos Def). Though Jay-Z may seem like the favorite, the true head-to-head in this category is between Slim Shady and Drake. It's the new kid on the block versus an able veteran, and they both showed up on one of the best hip-hop singles of the year in the "Forever" remix. While Eminem reigned supreme on that track, but will Drake score an award for what was certainly one of the biggest songs of the summer in "Best I Ever Had"?
Best Pop Vocal Album: Just about every form of "pop" is represented in this category, which is one of the most eclectic in the lineup. It features the Black Eyed Peas, Colbie Caillat, Kelly Clarkson, the Fray and Pink. The Peas' album was a commercial juggernaut, while Caillat and Clarkson had a quieter form of success. Taken on balance, the Pink album is probably the best of the lot, but the Fray have quietly redefined a lot of what you hear on the radio, which could put them over the top.
Best Electronic/Dance Album: Is there a category more all over the place than this one? Techno mavens the Crystal Method, glam pop superstar Lady Gaga, disco traditionalists the Pet Shop Boys, David Guetta and frat house booty shakers LMFAO round out the nominees. While Gaga is the biggest star, the Crystal Method could ride their "Bones" theme song into Grammy history. Then again, stranger things have happened than an LMFAO win.
Best Comedy Album: Another team of juggernauts, including late night star George Lopez, metal jokesters Spinal Tap, political pundit Stephen Colbert and stand-up phenomenon Patton Oswalt. This seems like a good time to finally give the Tap a nod, though considering the roll that Oswalt is on, this might be icing on the cake.