Watching the Grammys

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

A couple of minutes ago on E!, one of the red carpet reporters touted her network’s “exclusive camera angles” on the musicians walking by. It’s a funny boast—right here, a successor to the Dutch tilt, discovered?!—but it’s also fitting, given how much of this award show about music can rise or fall on its visuals.

Which is another way of saying that for most folks, the performances and pageantry matter a lot more than the awards. The credibility of the Grammys when it comes to recognizing significant achievements in music is not high. But as a chance to launch conversation-starting TV moments, it is perhaps the best awards show there is. This year, there’s more suspense around those performances than usual.