Ant and Dec were on hosting duties yet again, talking about “upping their game”, which they said throughout the show. It was like when sitcoms try to make a catchphrase “happen” but it never takes off. To be honest, this year was one of Ant and Dec’s worst attempts at presenting. They were stiff and stilted. They had a few comedy sketches sprinkled throughout the show. Ant using a flamethrower and pretending it set off the smoke alarm. A fake awards announcement to say Dec had ‘won’ the role of announcing who was going to announce the winner of the next award. Ant pretending he was having a piss in the toilets when he was supposed to be presenting an award. Both changing costumes and Ant coming in a big purple dress. I can see why all this could be funny, but it just… wasn’t really. It was a bit like when you groan after you find a bad overdone joke in a Christmas cracker.
The most memorable moment about Ant and Dec’s hosting this year was an unscripted one which didn’t involve them as such, when model Sadie Pinn in a see-through catsuit with a star-shaped bikini came and stood between them.
The circular stage caused problems, with many of the winners and those presenting the awards not knowing which direction to look for the camera.
It’s obvious by now that there is a significant overlap between winning a BRIT Award and performing on the night, and that trend continued this year.
Coldplay won Best British Group, predictably, and they performed their single ‘Hymn For The Weekend’, surrounded by bouquets like a marketplace florist.
James Bay (Best British Male Solo Artist winner) sat playing his guitar next to Justin Bieber (Best International Male Solo Artist winner) while he performed ‘Love
Yourself’ in front of what looked like a barbecue that had caught fire, before Justin Bieber went into a performance of ‘Sorry’ with the fire effects spreading to the next stage.
James Bay also performed later with his own song, ‘Hold Back The River’ which is an excellent song and he gave a good performance with a full band. My second favourite
performance of the night for what it’s worth.
To be fair, not every performer took something home. Jess Glynne didn’t win anything, but her performance, a medley of her hits ‘Ain’t Got Far To Go’, ‘Don’t Be So Hard
On Yourself’ and ‘Hold My Hand’ was one of the vocally better ones of the night. A lot more was said about her huge frizzy red hairstyle though, which looked like
Sideshow Bob’s does when he gets it wet.
Little Mix came out of giant multicoloured grinning neon skull wearing glittery green dresses backed by a hypnotic green and white spiral screen to perform ‘Black Magic’.
Rihanna had pulled out of performing at the Grammys, and there was speculation whether she would turn up for her scheduled performance here, which she did. Yep, that’s
about as exciting as things got this year. She performed ‘Consideration’ and ‘Work’ with Drake and SZA, with a TV static screen effect over the performance, which got in the way somewhat. The Weeknd also used a similar TV static effect in his performance of ‘The Hills’, but it was in the background so it worked better.
Some winners didn’t perform. Australian band Tame Impala won Best International Group. Best International Female Solo Artist was won by Bjork, who gave the obligatory “already have plans for tonight, but thanks anyway” video acceptance speech all award ceremonies have.
Best British Breakthrough Artist was won by indie rock band Catfish and The Bottlemen. I feel really out of touch, as while I’d heard of them, I never bothered to
check them out, but I decided to after their win here, and I really like them from the tracks I’ve heard listened to, so thanks for that BRITs.
Best British Video is voted for by social media, so it’s the one with the most
obsessive dedicated fanbase, so obviously it went to One Direction. Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne turned up to accept it. Liam’s grumpiness was one of the funnier parts of the evening.
The Brits Icon Award was essentially just a way to have a tribute to David Bowie. Annie Lennox and then Gary Oldman came on to give speeches. They were a little on the
long side, to be honest. Sure, David Bowie deserves honour and recognition, he was one of the best and most creative and groundbreaking pop stars Britain has ever produced
and it is tragic he is no longer with us. But, still. David Bowie’s touring band performed a medley of his hits and Lorde, who apparently David Bowie himself saw as “the future of music” came on to perform a rather lovely cover of ‘Life On Mars?’.
Adele was the main winner of the night, taking home four awards. British Female Solo Artist, Best British Single, Global Success Award/Special Award for Being
One Direction Sam Smith Adele, and the big award of the night, MasterCard British Album of the Year.
Overall, Adele was the best thing about this year’s ceremony.
In her British Female Solo Artist award speech she decided to publicly voice her support for Kesha.
When she won Best British Single for ‘Hello’ and they played it as she went to collect the award, she asked for it to be turned down as it was too loud. “Oh shut her up! Turn me down!”
Her Global Success Award was presented by Tim Peake, from outer-space via live link-up from the International Space Station. Adele said to Tim Peake “I hope you’re OK and not too hungry!” She had been composed in her previous two awards, but by this point was getting emotional, crying and swearing, with ITV not quite managing to mute the audio fast enough.
She was a gracious winner as well, saying she was proud to be nominated among the other female artists and the other big singles. In her final award acceptance speech
for winning MasterCard British Album of the Year for 25, she apologised for swearing earlier and thanked her fiancé and her son, and quipped that at least she didn’t
get cut off early like when she won for 21 in 2012.
Then she closed the show with a performance of ‘When We Were Young’. The background scenery was almost Christmas-like, very sparkly. It’s a nice song, she has a great voice,
25 was the biggest selling album of last year, she deserves it, and The X Factor style pimp slot or not it was the performance I most remembered afterwards, my favourite one of the night.
What else? Oh yeah, the Critics Choice Award winner Jack Garnett got a quick interview, sat next to last year’s winner James Bay.
It was a bit odd that apart from ‘Love Me Like You Do’ being among the Best Single nominees, Ellie Goulding was not nominated at all, despite huge international success and those MasterCard adverts she did for the ad breaks.
I was quite sorry to see Years & Years not get anything either despite a lot of nominations.
But other than that, it was alright I suppose. A sea of grey with some good performances floating around, like most years.