Trevor Noah had a particular visitor on his Spotify podcast What Now? With Trevor Noah on Thursday (Feb. 8) – Ben Winston, who was one of many government producers of the Grammy telecast on Sunday, Feb. 4 (together with Raj Kapoor and Jesse Collins).
Noah, who has hosted the present the final 4 years and this 12 months was additionally credited as a producer, opened by saying “Can I tell you there are few gigs I’ve done in my life that are more stressful than the Grammys? It’s exciting, it’s fun, but … it’s too much stress.”
Winston agreed. “I worked on that show for like four months and then the last three or four weeks it becomes intense and then the last few days it’s even more intense and then the last hour before the show is like the worst of all of it because that’s when everything you’ve been planning for a year falls apart because artists aren’t showing up … I’ve run the Grammys for four years now. For the last two years that half-hour before we’ve gone live I would say without question are the two most stressful half-hours of my entire life. Just the stuff that comes in and how just feel like you’re sinking on a ship that you’ve been building for months.”
One of many main stressors was numerous prime stars arriving late for the 5:00 p.m. PT beginning time, the results of a mixture of things – all the time heavy L.A. site visitors aggravated by a rainstorm on present day, tight safety and demonstrations close to Crypto.com Area the place the present was taped, which impeded site visitors.
Trevor requested Winston if a narrative he had heard was true – that Mariah Carey, who was set to current the primary award, was picked up in a golf cart to get to the present on time.
“That’s 100% real,” Winston mentioned. He recalled that at 4:48, not one of the first three presenters (Carey, Christina Aguilera and Kacey Musgraves) was within the constructing. “It was an absolute nightmare. So, Patrick Menton, head of talent and co-executive producer of the show, got a guy in a golf cart – this is the God’s honest truth – to drive the wrong way down the [freeway] on the hard-shoulder, drove over a mile, got Mariah out of her SUV, stuck umbrellas to each side of it so she wouldn’t get soaked [and got her there].”
Winston communicated with Noah by means of an earpiece the host was carrying through the telecast. “I’m trying not to stress you out because I’m in your ears the whole time. I have to give him his props here. Trevor is unbelievable at taking information live in your ear. I was slowing you down because Mariah wasn’t ready yet. [As soon as] they went ‘Mariah is ready,’ you went ‘Time for our first award.’”
Noah and Winston additionally mentioned Jay-Z’s calling out Grammy voters for repeatedly denying his spouse Beyoncé the album of the 12 months prize. Jay’s remarks have been surprising, however each males defended his proper to say what he mentioned.
The podcast performed an excerpt of Jay’s remarks: “Think about that: the most Grammys, never won album of the year. That doesn’t work. Some of you are going to go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category. When I get nervous, I tell the truth.”
“I’ll tell you this much. I didn’t expect it,” Noah mentioned, likening it to the second in 2005 when Kanye West went off-script on the Hurricane Katrina telethon and mentioned “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” Noah mentioned when Jay made his shock remarks, “I felt a little bit like Mike Myers” [who was West’s shocked co-presenter on that telethon].
Noah set the scene: “I have just presented Jay with the Dr. Dre [Global Impact] Award. I’m on stage. I’m standing to the side. I’m expecting Jay-Z to come up and make a speech and I expect it to be a speech the way everybody makes a speech, “Reach for the stars, dream big, this is inspiration, hope for the best, thank you so much, I love you all, good night.”
After which Jay will get up and begins his speech. There are moments the place I’m like, ‘Am I hearing this correctly?’ as a result of I’m behind and you’ll’t actually hear precisely what he did. … Persons are laughing. It was virtually like a roast meets an acceptance speech. I appreciated it, although, I’ll say that. I prefer it when individuals are trustworthy, I received’t lie.”
Winston agreed. “I don’t assume it was as disrespectful to the Grammys as has been taken. He and his spouse between them have received 60 [56, actually] Grammys as a pair. So he stood there as an actual honored man. Hear, I’ve nothing to do with the awards. I’m not even within the Academy. I can’t vote. I make the TV present with you Trevor. I’ve completed it for the final 4 years.
“Of the last four years, they’ve turned up three out of the four. The only one that they didn’t come to was the one in Vegas [in 2022]. So, I think it matters to them. I think the Grammys and the Recording Academy matters to them as an institution. And any institution that matters to you, you want it to be done right, and you care about that. I respect that. And I also say ‘fair play’ to the Grammys for saying ‘speak whatever you feel.’ He also gave it credit saying the Black Music Collective has done a lot of good work. So yeah, he feels like Beyoncé should have won an album of the year…”
Noah interjected, “which I second, by the way.” Noah parodied West’s notorious interruption of Taylor Swift on the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and mentioned, “Ben, I’mma let you finish, but I do think Beyoncé should have won for one of the greatest albums of all time” [an apparent reference to Lemonade, which lost to Adele’s 25].
Later within the dialog, Noah returned to the topic of Jay-Z’s blast. “I appreciate the moments where Jay-Z comes on stage and just throws a little spice into the pot. Man, thank you Jay-Z. If Jay-Z can’t do it, who can? Maybe he’ll inspire more people to do it. This is life. It gets people interested. It gets us talking. It’s entertainment.”
Each defended Swift, who has been criticized for not acknowledging Celine Dion, who offered her with album of the 12 months.
“To be fair, she was excited she had just won album of the year,” Winston mentioned. “I don’t think she meant disrespect by it in any way. I think she was just excited.”
Noah concurred. “In those moments, speaking from experience, humbly, you do black out a little bit when it’s like a major moment.”
Noah could have been referring to the second on Jan. 15 when he received a Primetime Emmy as government producer and host of The Every day Present With Trevor Noah, which was voted excellent discuss sequence. For his half, Winston has received at the least one Primetime Emmy in every of the final eight years. He received final month as an government producer of Elton John Farewell From Dodger Stadium, which was voted excellent selection particular (stay).
Winston requested Noah if he was frightened when he began his monologue that so few of the individuals who have been talked about within the monologue have been within the room but.
“Live TV is live,” Noah mentioned. “… On this second particularly, you’re about to do one thing in a room the place folks aren’t even form of in but, but you’re speaking about them and to them and so they’re not there. I’m actually scanning the room praying that I’ll see anyone, anyone, anyone of their seats. So, you go searching and say, ‘Oh thank God, there’s Ed Sheeran, there’s 21 Savage.’
“Like when Meryl Streep came in … First of all, she’s Meryl Streep. She didn’t need to run in because she was late. She ran in. She apologized for being late in a really nice, respectful, human way .. In that moment I was like, ‘OK, everything is going to be OK and thank you Jesus. I think we’re doing to get through this thing.’”
Winston gave Noah credit score for his willingness to do his opening monologue within the viewers, among the many superstar company. “Most of the time with comedians at the beginning of the show, they’re on a stage, they’re safe, they’ve got their prompter. We literally stick you in amongst them, for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s much more of an interesting watch. You walking around the room shows off who’s in the room. The second reason is … [we’ve] got to clear that stage for the next artist. We don’t have space for you on that stage.”
“I both love and hate it,” Noah mentioned of performing his opening jokes whereas standing within the viewers. “I love it from a producer’s perspective. I see why you wanted to do it and I enjoy that element of it. As a performer, it’s chaos….I won’t lie to you guys. It’s terrifying, but I do enjoy it.”
Winston concluded the podcast by explaining his function as one of many government producers of the Grammys.
“My job I think is to program that show to do the best I can to make sure I have something for everybody, whether you’re Auntie Margaret in Alabama or you’re Cool Kid in New York, there’s something for you. You only get a viewing figure [good rating] for a Burna Boy if you follow it up with a Billy Joel. So, you’ve got to find that balance so you can actually get audience for those new artists, get people excited by Victoria Monét, Burna Boy, because they’re watching these other ones that they came for.”