Last night's Brit Awards were the first Brit Awards to be televised live for a few years, lending events an edge of danger – literally anything could happen, and if it did you could be sure that ITV would politely dip the sound until it stopped happening.
It's a sad state of affairs when Joss Stone is the most rock and roll thing at an awards ceremony, but – hey – that's The Brits. The big winners of The Brit Awards last night were Arctic Monkeys, who didn't turn up; The Killers, who did turn up but nobody really noticed; and Amy Winehouse, who turned up, sang a song, got given an award, sort of didn't understand how to work her microphone and walked off again. And Lily Allen didn't win a single thing. Hooray for The Brit Awards!
The Brits are the UK's answers to The Grammys, only they're more overtly sponsored by a credit card firm and instead of opening with The Police reforming to universal acclaim they have to make do with The Scissor Sisters doing a sort of pretend-legged sing-song thing to a tune that everyone's quite sick of. But that's not to say The Brit Awards weren't full of surprises, though.
Well, that probably depends on your definition of 'surprises'. Personally, we were fairly surprised when – after two hours of watching a show where Fearne Cotton intermittently popped up to deliberately fill her reminders to text-vote for the Best Single Brit Award with several pretend glottal stops to try and impress The Fratellis – we hadn't started chewing on unearthed power cables or stabbing our TV screen with a kitchen knife. And it goes without saying that Joss Stone surprised us by appearing at the Brits with an accent that kept lurching between Paris Hilton and Worzel Gummidge, only to stumble into a confused anecdote about how Robbie Williams is an inspiration to us all because he took so much prescription medication that he ended up in rehab. But the actual results of The Brits were a surprise, too.
For example, Lily Allen was nominated for more Brits than anyone else but left empty-handed, possibly because she dared call Corrine Bailey Rae boring the other day. Instead, winners of The Brits included Arctic Monkeys – who won Best British Band and Best British Album and dressed up as the cast of The Wizard Of Oz instead of turning up; The Killers – who won Best International Album and Best International Group despite their last album sounding like bad Meatloaf karaoke; and James Morrison – who won Best British Male even though not a single person knows who James Morrison actually is.
And, oh, the Brit Award performances – were they ever special. As well as the freaky-legged Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol managed to get upstaged by a handful of lightbulbs, Corinne Bailey Rae performed in front of some bricks to emphasise how urban she is even though she's about as urban as a titting combine harvester and five Oasis songs were performed by a ropey Oasis tribute act fronted by a builder with a bald spot at the end.
But that's The Brits for you. Everyone who won will end up selling a few thousand more records and everyone who watched will remember why they don't like Joss Stone and Fearne Cotton. Same time next year? If you must. Here's a full list of last night's Brit Awards winners:
British Male Solo Artist James Morrison
British Female Solo Artist Amy Winehouse
British Group Arctic Monkeys
British Album Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
British Single Take That Patience
British Breakthrough Act Fratellis
British Live Act Muse
International Male Solo Artist Justin Timberlake
International Female Solo Artist Nelly Furtado
International Group The Killers
International Album Killers Sam's Town
International Breakthrough Act Orson
Outstanding Contribution to Music Oasis