The 2021 Grammys were truly one of a kind. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the opening ceremony ditched a screaming crowd and instead gathered iconic nominees like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish to watch each other perform in the Staples Center. It gave the performances a somewhat ~unusual~ vibe, as evidenced by these positively awkward tweets about the 2021 Grammys audience (or lack thereof).
Host Trevor Noah opened the 2021 Grammys with a monologue beginning in an outdoor tent outside the famed performance venue, on stage in front of small tables reserved for nominees only. "This looks different, the whole thing is going to be different, but folks will be even more excited because our impressive nominees will be sitting at those tables for their awards," he said, joking, "Right now, there is more tension in that that tent than Buckingham Palace."
The camera then followed Noah as he headed into the Staples Center, where all the live performers were positioned around a big, circular stage. That way, musicians like Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and HAIM could safely open the show and still provide plenty of memeable live reactions. Even so, watching nominees perform only in front of their peers instead of a packed music venue had some cringey energy that viewers immediately buzzed about on Twitter.
There were plenty of lovable, awkward Grammys moments outside of the performances, too. When Lizzo took the outdoor stage to present the award for Best New Artist, she proclaimed, "B*tch, I'm back," before gasping and apologizing to the audience. She also struggled to open the envelope to announce the winner, all as Megan Thee Stallion teased her from the audience. Sure, it wasn't a normal awards show, but fans still got the quality celeb content they needed.
And as Noah pointed out in his opening monologue, after a year with almost no concerts, the Grammys are ultimately about everyone's shared love of music. "Tonight's all about bringing us together as music can, music and vaccines," he said. "Tonight, we'll celebrate music and hopefully forget all our problems. Unless one of our problems is getting obsessed with Harry Styles, because that's only going to get worse."