Lady Gaga is keeping the censors busy. The kids from Glee are imposing. And Justin Bieber fever is catching.
Things we've learned hanging out backstage at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards:
6:20 p.m. PT: The other best thing about being back here? A raw TV feed! When a happy, apparently shocked Gaga won Pop Vocal Album, and accepted her trophy with a resounding, "Sh-t!," we got to enjoy the exclamation in all its four-letter glory--unlike, we understand, you poor, sheltered folks back at home.
- The nice boys of the Black Keys, winners for Alternative Music Album, are new to the red-carpet scene. The worst part of the process? "Having to answer [The Situation's] questions, it was awful," Dan Auerbach joked (we're pretty sure).
- Yes, Virginia, those were Jim Henson puppets performing on stage with Cee Lo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow. And they were old-school Muppet-style puppets, too, we heard--no electronic wizardry, just hand-held magic.
- Ah, the glamorous life... Muse won Rock Album (for The Resistance), did some official Grammy press and then got shuffled out of here, pronto, to catch a flight.
- What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, Green Bay Packers star Clay Matthews was madly running down Pittsburgh Steelers. Tonight, he was nicely walking the press line, and, thankfully, looking no worse for the wear.
5 p.m.: The best thing about being here? Literally feeling the kick of the bass drum as Jennifer Hudson's wails on "Respect."
- Did we hear reporters make fun of Christina Aguilera's way with words at the beginning of her Aretha Franklin tribute performance? We did. Did we hear reporters making fun of her at the end of it? We did not.
- Supportive Katy Perry hubby Russell Brand walks a hallway much, much fleeter of foot than his movie self, Aldous Snow.
- When do you become a Grammy winner? When you win, sure. But when you have your photo snapped for the awards-show archives, like the guys from Train, whom we saw smile pretty, then you're officially official.
- Train might be as surprised as you that it won Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for its inescapable "Hey, Soul Sister." Said lead singer Pat Monahan: "When you're in a category with Glee, you basically say, 'Congratulations, Glee.' "
- We asked the Train guys if, given their new-found Grammy glow, they planned to arrive at future awards shows Lady Gaga-style. "Sure. Absolutely," guitarist Jimmy Stafford tells us. "We love eggs."
- If you think Stafford looks like Howie Mandel, you're not alone. Last we checked the band's Wikipedia page, somebody had inserted the shiny-skulled comic into its lineup.
- Justin Bieber's Never Say Never almost went No. 1 at the box office this weekend--and Stafford's partly to credit. He said he went last night with his tween-aged (natch) daughter.
- As far as further proof that Bieber fever is a real condition, we have never seen so many fans gather in one act's name at the Grammys. We literally had to work our way through a gaggle of Bieber believers--and this way hours and hours before the telecast.