Loser: Twenty One Pilots
Been there, done that. Pretty much everything Twenty One Pilots does incites an eye roll (or a dozen), but their acceptance speech for winning Best Pop Duo or Group Performance took the cake. As they exited their seats to receive the award, both members unzipped their pants and left them on the floor, walking onstage with smirks that read equal parts smug and nervous. Fake nudity isn’t funny, being pantless isn’t funny, and shock value stunts aren’t funny — especially when pulled off without enough confidence.
Blink-182 immortalized the humor of stripping down in 1999’s “What’s My Age Again?” music video. The difference? They embrace toilet humor and prepubescent humor without trying to make morals from them. Twenty One Pilots’ actual speech — a throwback to when they watched the Grammys in their underwear with friends, never aware that they would win Grammys themselves in the future, and promised to sport briefs onstage if they did — represents the mishmash of everything they stand for.
They want to be the bullied kids, the ones who step in to break up a fight, and the ones cool enough to start the fight in the first place. They’re a band that lacks genuine sincerity but packs enough gimmicks to, apparently, make up for it. The only good moment was a quick pan to Travis Barker and his kids — shout-out to the person who organizes Grammys seating for putting Erykah Badu, of all people, next to them — to show he couldn’t have cared less. Funny, neither could we. —Nina Corcoran