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It wouldn’t be Grammys without a few divas

Expect Eminem & missus to feud, Kanye to sound off, Bono to take wing
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

The 48th Annual Grammy Awards begin at 8 p.m. ET/PT February 8 on CBS, and despite a barrage of commercials promising exciting surprises, you’re probably thinking, “what else is on?”

Don’t dismiss the music industry’s biggest night just because last year’s ceremony hit you like a swarm of Lunesta butterflies. This year’s cadre of nutty divas and noted egomaniacs promises a cavalcade of award-show hijinks. If you’re brave enough to read past this SPOILER ALERT, here are just some of the highlights.

Mariah Carey shut out
Despite accolades, a jillion records sold, her former position as Grammy sweetheart, not to mention eight nominations for her “comeback” LP “The Emancipation of Mimi,” Carey wins nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Bubcus. Absolutely nothing.

Okay, that’s not what happens. But for all those kids forced (for various personal reasons) to endure “Glitter,” we can dream, can’t we?

Meanwhile, here’s what really happens. Grammy welcomes back Mariah, awarding her with so many gramophones, you’d think she was a recently-deceased blind piano player with a hit biopic starring Jaime Foxx. Fellow eight-Grammy nominee Kanye West is not amused. Newcomer and West protégé John Legend, who also received eight nominations, is just happy to be there.

Singer Kanye West poses in New York on June 2, 2004. West, Mariah Carey and John Legend will perform at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards Feb. 8, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.Jim Cooper / AP

Kanye West says some stuff. Oh, like someone had to tell you. When West isn’t wearing a crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, he’s at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards accepting a trophy for Artistic Achievement and telling the audience, “I still think I’m the greatest.” Then there was his unscripted complaint about the government’s treatment of Hurricane Katrina victims, his call for an end to hip-hop’s intrinsic homophobia, and his attempt to educate his audience about conflict diamonds. What? Did you miss the last two? While those comments weren’t outrageous enough for  “Access Hollywood,” turns out West is pretty darn smart.

Still, if West wants to keep his award-ceremony schtick as innovative as his music, he needs to mix it up. He could pull a Sinead O’Connor and refuse his awards — or present his gramophones to someone he declares more deserving — like Kelly Clarkson or something.

The Eminem Show, featuring KimFive years after their ugly divorce, Marshall and Kim Mathers are married again. This couple’s attendance proves more scintillating than Eminem’s Grammy duet with Elton John. Between the red carpet and the show’s end, we can look forward to a bitter argument between the newlyweds, leading to Eminem’s scathing freestyle rap dedicated to his new wife and a subsequent divorce request. This is followed after the 8:30 p.m. commercial break with Kim’s counter lawsuit demanding her share of Eminem’s income during their three-week reunion (about $10 million — $13 million if it’s closer to 9 p.m.).

Despite Dr. Dre and 50 Cent’s attempt to console him, Eminem loses it in the lobby when he sees Kim in the snack bar line, standing a little too close to Tim McGraw. Eminem pulls a gun, McGraw decides he doesn’t need Goobers, and Kim sees that Em still cares.

At 10:05 p.m., the contentious couple attempts a brief reconciliation. When this falls apart, the two each deal with their separate drug problems, Kim becomes pregnant by another man and Em cancels a tour and/or trip to the can. Because practice makes perfect, the couple is happily reunited in time for the E! after party.

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Sun is injured after a mysterious kidnapping attempt and the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors are starting to really freak out about the island trailer trash, a.k.a The Others. Meanwhile, hunky Sawyer takes off his shirt and cracks witty Southernisms over the tension between Jack, Locke, Kate and that chick from that movie “Girl Fight.” Actually, this doesn’t happen at the Grammys, but it’s what you’ll see at 9 p.m. when you flip to ABC for an all-new episode of “Lost.”

Speaking of girl fights…
For fans of female wrestling, the 48th Grammys promises a plethora of possibilities. Remember that weird thing between Mariah Carey and Eminem after he broke up with Kim? Carey said it never happened, but Eminem said it did. Now that Em’s back with Kim, Carey may want to request an escort on her bathroom breaks.

Gwen Stefani must be smarting over her five nominations to Carey’s eight. And who can blame her? Stefani’s out there, working hard and being fabulous. Then here comes Carey, back from the hinterlands, reclaiming Grammy like she never left. The newly-pregnant Stefani, however, refrains from tacky public behavior.

Meanwhile, who really believes the Destiny’s Child breakup is amicable? Can anyone even name a member who isn’t Beyoncé? What’s Her Face and That Other One must be fuming.

We might be in for a good show if anybody even remotely associated with “American Idol” stands too close to Kelly Clarkson. In fact, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll forget that Clarkson has anything to do with “American Idol,” let alone won its debut year. As far as you’re concerned, she sprung fully formed from Simon Cowell’s head.

Stone shows
The reclusive leader of Sly and the Family Stone arrives on stage during the schedule tribute to his band and slaps silly all the lame musicians massacring his music.

Bono’s beatification
At last year’s Grammys, in a three-act performance of “Jesus Walks,” a winged Kanye West ascended into Heaven via wires. This year, Bono does it for real.

In recognition of his selfless deeds of charity and diplomacy, the Powers that Be open the skies and pull Bono into the clouds. A technical screwup, however, sours the moment when Original Saint Bob Geldof clings to Bono’s leg, complaining that the Irish singer totally ripped his act.

Meanwhile, millions rejoice in Bono’s departure, joyful that they’ll never again endure his sanctimonious self-satisfaction. The only thing that could improve the 48th Grammys, millions realize, is if Bono instead set himself on fire mid-ceremony in protest of some sort of terrible injustice of which millions were previously unaware, happening somewhere millions can’t locate on a map, about which millions couldn’t care less.

Helen Popkin lives in New York and is a regular contributor to MSNBC.com.