The Grammys are this Sunday night, and while Vulture is officially advising you not to watch, it is still our duty today, as culture bloggers, to speculate a bit on the evening's probable victors. Only problem is, Grammy winners are historically selected by an untrained team of paint-huffing, dart-throwing chimpanzees with little regard for artistic merit, making their choices virtually impossible to anticipate. The only thing of which we can be sure is that they will be completely baffling. With this in mind, we combed the list of nominees for categories in which there are four reasonable-ish picks, and one whose very presence can be explained by no earthly means (these are the winners, obviously).
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace
Vince Gill, These Days
Herbie Hancock, River: The Joni Letters
Kanye West, Graduation
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Should win: LCD Soundsystem, hands down … Oh. Then Kanye, we guess. It's his third nomination in this category, and Graduation did sell a million copies in a week.
Will inexplicably win: A case could certainly be made for the Foo Fighters, but we're going with Herbie Hancock. We're not saying his talent and legend don't dwarf those of all his competitors, because they surely do. It's just that we had no idea he'd recorded an album this year — or since Future Shock, for that matter.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Should win: Amy Winehouse was the music business' one true breakout star in 2007, even if her success had more to do with Perez Hilton than Doug Morris. Plus, Back in Black is the only one by any of these artists to score an Album of the Year nod, which makes her the logical winner by default…
Will inexplicably win: …if the Grammys made any damn sense at all, which they clearly do not. Feist will pick this one up easily, never mind the fact that she's made eight albums (as a solo artist and with Broken Social Scene) since 1999. We love Feist, but she's been around since before iPods were even invented.
BEST ROCK ALBUM
John Fogerty, Revival
Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Bruce Springsteen, Magic
WIlco, Sky Blue Sky
Should win: We'd be fine with Springsteen or Wilco. Daughtry would make sense, since his album did sell 3 million copies. And the Foo Fighters are the only ones also nominated for Album of the Year, implying the Grammys have already decided that theirs is the year's best rock album…
Will inexplicably win: …which leaves only 62-year-old John Fogerty, who'll be performing Sunday with Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, presumably to encourage viewers to get their prostates checked out.
BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Common, "The People"
50 Cent, "I Get Money"
Jay-Z, "Show Me What You Got"
T.I., "Big Things Poppin'"
Kanye West, "Stronger"
Should win: Kanye West, for sure.
Will inexplicably win: Did you know that anything released after September 30, 2007, was ineligible for this year's Grammys? That's because the recording industry thinks that if they finalize the nominees by early December, consumers will actually give their friends and loved ones CDs for Christmas! Have you ever heard anything so crazy in your entire life? Anyway, this is why the lead single from 2006's secret Jay-Z album is in here, rather than the far-superior "Roc Boys" from 2007's secret Jay-Z album. Naturally, since its inclusion makes very little sense, it's probably a lock.
BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Christina Aguilera, "Candyman"
Fergie, "Big Girls Don't Cry"
Nelly Furtado, "Say It Right"
Amy Winehouse, "Rehab"
Should win: Out of these contenders, it would be hard to argue for anyone other than Winehouse. After all, for an award ostensibly designed to honor a vocal performance, hers in "Rehab" is the only of these to actually sound like one.
Will inexplicably win: We can't think of a single reason why Fergie would even have a shot — which is precisely why she'll definitely win.