Cee Lo Green joined forces with Gwyneth Paltrow and a band of Muppets for a performance inspired by Elton John circa 1977 at this year’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.
This odd collection of a 2011 Grammy award winner, an Oscar-winning actress and Jim Henson’s creations put on a show that was without a doubt memorable, but not for the right reasons.
Green’s elaborate and colorful feather outfit was very similar to the one worn during John’s performance of “Crocodile Rock” on the “The Muppet Show,” right down to the large, round sunglasses and disco ball head piece.
The tribute to the flamboyant, English pop star was entertaining, but it ultimately lacked the quality that a Grammy performance should have.
Paltrow strutted her stuff on stage wearing a skin-tight, black bodysuit and stiletto heels. She saved the performance proving she has a decent voice (for an actress) and the attitude of a true diva, but Green was simply a molting mess.
He seemed scattered and nervous, sitting at a bedazzled grand piano trying to pretend to play the fairly simple chords of the song. But his constant grabs at the microphone and awkward hand movements made it blatantly clear that he was not playing the piano at all.
The choice of costume made some sense if you had already seen the retro performance from “The Muppet Show,” but the reference is fairly obscure, leaving those who haven’t seen it wondering, “What the hell?”
“Forget You” was put at a disadvantage from the start because it was edited and lacked the punch of the the naughtier, “Fuck You,” version of the song, and one of the lines was conspicuously missing with Green flubbing the lyrics as the likely explanation.
Though the song was nominated for five Grammys, including record and song of the year, the performance did not do it justice; it’s unfortunate when a good artist provides a disappointing performance.
Many online critics such as those from Time and The Washington Post applauded the performance for it’s fun spirit. Judy Berman from Flavor Wire named it the number one performance of the night, noting that it upstaged the notoriously exuberant Lady Gaga.
Green may have out-crazied Gaga this time, but that did not make his performance better. At least Lady Gaga knew the words to her songs and was able to belt out each one with confidence.
Overall, Green is a talented artist with a unique and soulful voice; however, his decision to channel the John’s performance from the ’70s didn’t translate well to the Grammy’s stage and should have been left on “The Muppet Show” where it belonged.