Just one topic this week, as Twitter went to town on the Brit Awards – the UK’s equivalent of the Grammys. There was a time when watching the Brits was a guarantee of silliness and/or controversy, but not in this year’s carefully produced and stage-managed show. The Twittersphere was not amused. Here’s a sample of what they thought on the night.
The Jam (sort of)
The fun started even before the show got under way. There’s something reassuring to know that even celebrities can have the same trouble with rush hour traffic as the rest of us. Of course, they’re never too busy to tweet. Here’s Simon Pegg and Lily Allen‘s erudite commentary on the government’s roads policy (coming to an episode of Question Time near you soon):
It’s actually harder to get to the Brits in a car than it is to get fucking nominated. #roadrage
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) February 20, 2013
@simonpegg still in traffic ? We are
— lilyrosecooper (@lilyrosecooper) February 20, 2013
@lilyrosecooper Yeah it’s shit innit?!
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) February 20, 2013
And I bet we all wish we’d been first in with this tongue-in-cheek rebuttal:
— Ruby Woods (@Rubles20) February 20, 2013
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Most people would say they tune in to the Brits to see who wins which awards, or perhaps to catch a favourite artist’s live performance. Really, of course, we’re hoping something really spectacular or controversial – preferably both – happens. Who can forget Jarvis Cocker mooning Michael Jackson on stage, for instance? Or the comedy presenter duo of pint-sized Page 3 girl Samantha Fox and the 28-foot tall Mick Fleetwood? (Showing my age there …) Adil Ray, creator, co-writer and star of BBC sitcom Citizen Khan was more honest than most:
Lets face it we are watching waiting and hoping for something to go wrong. Couldn’t care about actual awards. Someone swear or fight. #brits
— Adil Ray (@adilray) February 20, 2013
Presenter James Corden didn’t exactly go down well with everyone. Here’s Daily Mirror columnist Ian Hyland:
On tonight’s evidence James Corden will soon be appearing in “One Man, Two Jokes” on Broadway #brits
— Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) February 20, 2013
Corden did suffer a couple of embarrassing tumbleweed moments but the worst thing about him for me was that there was nothing edgy about his performance as a host. It was all terribly anodyne.
Killing Me Softly
One live performance which polarised opinion was that of boy band One Direction. I know their cover version of Blondie’s One Way Or Another is all for charity but it was the most God-awful piece of ‘singing’ I have ever had the misfortune to watch. (Except maybe for any time Tulisa or Cheryl Cole sing, that is.) I could only stand it for 30 seconds before my ears started to bleed, and believe me when I say even that was about 28 seconds above and beyond the call of duty. I find myself 100% in agreement with this next tweet.
There should be a ban on certain cover versions. One Direction murdering Blondie does nobody any favours. Awful. #Brits
— The Media Blog (@TheMediaTweets) February 20, 2013
That didn’t stop the organisers creating an award for them at the end of the evening, though, with the Outstanding Contribution Award being replaced by the
Random One Direction Global Success Award.
Speaking of Adele, after last year’s controversy in which her acceptance speech was cut short because the show had overrun, she made a point of reminding everyone of it as she accepted the award for Best British Single (for Skyfall) via satellite from LA.
It was by far the best moment of the entire evening, putting the Brits firmly in their place as the Twittersphere passed verdict (in 140 characters or fewer, naturally) on the whole affair. Here’s music and comedy journalist David Quantick:
Jesus, it looks like home taping really did kill music after all #brits
— David Quantick (@quantick) February 20, 2013
Others took a more existentialist approach to their critique of the evening:
But this tweet probably sums up the prevailing mood most succinctly:
Worst. Brits. Ever.
— Andy Dawson (@profanityswan) February 20, 2013
Despite the swathes of criticism which flooded Twitter during and after the programme, the Brits were watched by an average of 6.5 million viewers – the highest audience for a decade – with a peak of 7.5m during One Direction’s performance. Hmm. Rock ‘n’ roll is dead. Long live the new rock ‘n’ roll?
I’d better end it here before someone cuts me off to switch to News At Ten. See you all next week.
To read previous Tweets of the Week columns, click here.