Seat filler provides unique Grammy view

Guest column by Tansu Philip, freshman political science and television broadcast journalism major.


Taylor Swift is insisting for the 500th time over the speakers that she is never, ever getting back together with her ex-boyfriend. Drake has managed to epitomize swag by simply walking past me and offering a simple “wassup.” Neil Patrick Harris just stuck his tongue out at Beyonce’s backside.

No, it isn’t a dream, or an awkward nightmare. It’s the 2013 Grammy Awards, which I managed to attend as a registered seat filler Feb. 10.

A seat filler is someone who takes the seats of various award show guests – usually celebrities – when they get up for whatever reason so that there are no empty seats on camera. After five straight days of head to toe preparation, I was able to experience the Grammys, rubbing shoulders with everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Katy Perry.

So what are celebrities really like in person?

Exceptionally nice.

I kid you not. No matter how big the star, every single one was completely approachable and downright friendly. Even Adele (who is a Brit and thus should be notoriously infamous for a bad attitude) offered me a huge smile as I walked past. Would you like a fist-bump from Jay-Z? To compliment Marcus Mumford? Comment on how nice the girl from the Lumineers’ nails are? Ask, like I did, and you will receive.

However, the show itself left much to be desired. Not only were there random, irrelevant “celebrities” offering to present certain awards (Kat Dennings anyone?), but random, irrelevant performances by random, irrelevant people were abound. Jack White, though talented, was someone I hadn’t even heard of before he stormed the stage screeching like a banshee. Plus, a tribute to Bob Marley with a whiny Rihanna would have been great at any other time – not in the middle of music’s biggest night.

Additionally, there were other downfalls, such as seeing Chris Brown and Rihanna back together, hoping the band members of fun. didn’t get electrocuted when they decided to have water pour down on them during their performance (a move stolen from Swift’s “Fearless” tour), and witnessing Prince make his way upstage with a bedazzled cane. Pair that with a 30-second performance by Hunter Hayes and Ed Sheeran when they should have gotten 30 minutes, a whole boring song by Kelly Clarkson, and what could be called the worst finale in the history of forever by LL Cool J and you’ll see that there was quite a bit of disappointment for some of us.

In the end, however, I managed to spend an entire three hours with celebrities other people may never meet, and consider myself blessed.

Next time, let’s just leave the sparkly canes and weird finales at home.


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