The Brits 2011 – Michelle Corbett watched it so you didn’t have to

The Brits is quite often a bit silly – a sort of Eurovision Song Contest with groups you’ve heard of whilst it puffs out its self important chest.

After last year’s rubbish Cheryl Cole ‘performance’ we had better things to do with our time. Luckily Michelle Corbett watched it for us

“Woo hoo! It doesn’t get better than the BRITS!” squealed newly-crowned ”˜International Female Solo Artist’ Rhianna – breasts straining in her ”˜Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ dress. Yes it does love. It’s called the Grammys which, as evidenced by the poor turnout of ”˜big-name talent’, took place the night before.

This massive own-goal in the planning stakes rendered the 2011 BRITS nothing more than a nasty hangover. Just ask ”˜International Male Solo Artist’ Cee-Lo Green.

Lifting his sunglasses to reveal a pair of eyes that would put Withnail and I’s Danny to shame, the great man confessed it’d taken the allure of a private jet to haul his ass over the pond.

Pity his suffering was compounded by presenter James Corden’s embarrassing banter and an ill-advised pairing with Paloma Faith. Singing ”˜Forget You’ they looked and sounded awkward – especially compared with last year’s genius Dizzee Rascal and Florence Welch mash-up.

Jarvis Cocker baring his arse; Geri’ Halliwell’s Union Jack dress; the effing Gallaghers”¦ the BRITS is supposed to be about controversy. Tonight it felt too safe. The party is officially over ”“ killed by the disastrous monotone voiceover revealing a string of ”˜fascinating facts’ about our winners.

Ah yes, the music. In all fairness, by and large, the judges got it right. Tinie Tempah and Arcade Fire were both double winners – picking up the awards for ”˜British Breakthrough Act’; ”˜Best Single’; ”˜International Album’ and ”˜International Group’ respectively.

The coveted ”˜Mastercard British Album of the Year’ award went to banjo-twanging folk rockers Mumford & Sons for their sublime debut ”˜Sigh No More’. Whether they are a cattle-prod’s poke away from a Kings of Leon-style stadium rock transformation remains to be seen. But their stripped-back performance without any pyrotechnics or hoopla was a personal highlight of the night.
Ditto previous ”˜Critic’s Choice’ award winner Adele, who delivered a devastatingly fragile performance of ”˜Someone Like You’.

Plan B put Plan A into action walking away with the gong for ”˜Best British Male’. It’s the first of many BRITS to come I reckon for super-talented Ben Drew. His typically entertaining on-stage performance prompted a severe case of déja vu as, not for the first time this year, we witnessed baton-wielding police officers charge a mob of fire extinguisher-brandishing youths.

Predictably Justin Bieber won ”˜International Breakthrough Artist’ ahead of Bruno Mars and The Temper Trap. Only the Cast of Glee could have been a more ridiculous choice. Then again, no- one wants to see a schoolboy cry – especially one with legions of hormonal Twitter fans.

Bizarrely the YouTube sensation called his manservant Mike up on stage to share his glory in one of the night’s many tumbleweed moments. Robbie Williams take note ”“ saying ”˜Shabba’ twice is not edgy – nor are harem pants. You’re in our ”˜Best British Group’ ”“ sorry, man-band – for crying out loud!

The BRIT award itself may have had a Vivienne Westwood makeover but it’s the event that needs seriously examining. Hire Johnny Rotten to present and get Lemmy in to organise the bash. What say you?

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33 comments on “The Brits 2011 – Michelle Corbett watched it so you didn’t have to”

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  1. Had several moments of severe disquieting. Notably the quasi 1984/fascistic images during both Take That and Plan B.

  2. Wot no Extreme Noise Terror doubling up with KLF or John Prescott enjoying a ‘water drink’ c/o Chumbawamba?? Bah! Actually Jarvis didn’t actually bare his arse he kind of wafted a fart in MJ’s direction but kept his troosers on… Judging by the upset MJ fans posting on the Youtube footage of this tomfoolery the effects still resonate some 17 years later… “MJ will always be the king of pop, but just where is this so-called ‘Jarvis’ now?” Erm, still alive???

  3. Thank god I didn’t watch it!! So no life time achievement award then?? With all the talent this country has produced over the years and they couldn’t or dare not give an award to those who really made this country’s music truly great!!! I could think of a few names. What about an alternative to the Brits?? Too right, John Lydon & Lemmy now there’s a classic line up in it’s self & two for the lifetime award as well… Jez

  4. If a man had written of Rhianna, “breasts straining in her “Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Dress” …and included a patronising put down reply, “Yes it does love” then the reader would wonder if the journalist was writing in the style of a Life on Mars detective. Michelle. Could you google some info on the “objectification of women?.” The idea, back in the seventies and eighties was to get men to stop putting women down like that. Once you’ve done that, make the connection..if MEN can’t use women’s bodies to sneer, then WOMEN can’t do that either.
    Repeat – Just becuase you are a woman..it does not mean that sexist sneers about another woman’s body are fine. It was embarrassing to read, frankly.

  5. Must admit, I did expect a bit better than Sun newspaper journo-laddish attention grabbers on this site. And you don’t get away with it because you are a woman. Nothing worse than someone putting down an individuals’ sexual attributes in order to seem superior or gain some sort of status.
    There’s a word we use in Glasgow – snidey. (Rhymes with Friday)

  6. Robin, you seriously need to chill out! Frankly your post was embarrassing to read. It’s self-righteous, arrogant and points towards a rather poor grasp of spelling and punctuation. STOP USING CAPITAL LETTERS TO MAKE YOUR POINT. IT IS UNNECESSARY. IT ISN’T BIG AND IT ISN’T CLEVER. IT’S FUCKING ANNOYING.
    The review is tongue-in-cheek and is in no way sexist – well that’s how I read it anyway, but what would I know? I’m a big hairy Neanderthal with a brain the size of a pea and plagued with grazed knuckles from a lifetime spent dragging them over a plethora of surfaces. I enjoyed Michelle’s review. It gave me all the info I needed without having to watch the bloody thing! Looking forward to the next Corbett blog, which I’m sure will rival Roy Chubby Brown and Bernard Manning for sexism and bad taste!

  7. Jooster junkie, I’m sure you did enjoy this tabloid journalist style.. It is aimed at the sort of people who like to sneer and snigger at the physicality of others..and if those others are celebrities, then all the better.
    Gathering up the readers to enjoy written bully-tactics is an old story. It is aimed at people who share that mindset.
    Your reply to me makes it clear that you are a willing particpant of such manipulation…you don’t see that it is wrong.
    When I pointed out that is was, you tried some of the nasty-verbals on me.
    Thanks.
    I still say that if a men can’t write sexist crap then women can’t either.

    • I don’t sneer at the physicality of others. As far as Rhianna is concerned she is perfection personified – an Amazonian creature blessed with an exotic beauty. Oops, is it sexist to call her a creature? I do mean it in a complementary way. It was her stylist’s choice to stick her in a dress a couple of sizes too small – leading to her ample bosom gasping for air during a red-hot performance – and as such I don’t think it’s sexist that Corbett’s blog highlighted this fact. It’s merely an observation – as were my comments on your initial blog. I don’t indulge in nasty-verbals (???) and perhaps you should consider the point you made that the blog was embarrassing to read. You refer to a point made in the opening sentence of the blog. Did you read the rest of it or were you so traumatised that you couldn’t get beyond the intro? Some men (and women for that matter) will continue to write sexist crap whether we like it or not. As Bruce Hornsby once crooned: “That’s just the way it is.” I’m no fan of sexism, but I felt compelled to defend the blog as I genuinely feel it was not intended to be sexist in any way – more just a tongue-in-cheek account of an awards ceremony.

  8. If you like reading copy that is cruel about other people, then go ahead. I’m bored with this now.

    • It’s not cruel FFS – it’s a bit of fun. It comes with being a celeb. They’re richly rewarded for what they do and there’s no such thing as ‘bad press’. I’m bored with this as well so let’s just agree to disagree.

  9. Remember that the Brits isn’t really aimed to genuine music lovers, it’s aimed at selling more of the same to the gullable masses. Cue loads of people heading out to buy Tinie Tempah and Laura Marling this week, because these artists now carry a tag that says “yes, I love this lot now that the media have told me I do”. Take That as BEST band ? I know a lot worse than them but surely they are MOST POPULAR band not the best ?

  10. Two reactions to cruelty:

    1)See it, object to it and walk away from it.

    2)See it, enjoy it, absorb it and pass it on to others.

    And then throw your toys out of the pram yelling “For Fux Sake” at those who tell you what you’ve just done…

    I let you carry on with “giving peace a chance” shall I jooster junkie…?

  11. Feel a li’l confused that this review is qualified as tongue in cheek. Much of it right on the money: P Faith & Corden vs Dizzee Rascal & Florence Welch – check; BRITS as infamous for controversy – check; that vocoded, triumph of market research incubus Justin Bieber as International Breakthrough Artist – check is always better. “Tumbleweed moment” – ace; “cattleprod poke away” – classic. Why go & sabotage yourself w post-feminist rubbish, isn’t that Rhianna’s game after all?
    All right Jooster the jig is up. Remove your strap-on at once – we know it’s you Michelle under that conchiglie wig

  12. I remember when I a lecturer got ill, and I was booked at the last minute to teach writing at Bangor Uni… The students had been taught “No such thing as Bad Press” and also “Celebrities have to take whatever crap we throw at them..”
    One of the students called Julie Burchill a “lippy dyke” and bullying of Paula Yates in the press.

    The basic fact that cruelty is wrong and doesn’t belong in any newspaper copy, did not occur to them.
    Oddly,
    When I asked them “Which newspapers do you read?” They said, “Oh.. we don’t really…don’t like them.”
    Proof perhaps that people don’t like being invited to sheer in the humiliation of others. Michelle..next time you want to be cruel on the page, ask yourself.. do people really want to read it?

  13. Sorry, that should read, “and supported the bullying of Paula Yates in the press.”
    My point is that the training of journalists, seems to produce the idea in them, that dishing out nasty remarks to celebrities, is part of the job. It isn’t.

  14. that should read, “share” the humiliation of others.
    damn…late night last night.

    Actually, this is flogging a dead horse.

    If a person lacks the ability to feel empathy with others, (whether those others are celebrities or not) then nothing can change that. Michelle is never going to think “Is being cruel to others on the page, wrong?”

    Wonder why I keep trying? Time to get bored again.

  15. Michelle Corbett

    Couple of things…
    @Poppy Cockerel – I’m not Jooster_Junkie. I don’t feel the need to hide behind a pseudonym (which is not a dig at anyone who prefers to rename anonymous by the way). I stand by my review 100%.
    @Frank McNab I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to write for nearly every single red-top tabloid in the country and I’m very proud of that. Not sure why my writing in that style is being scorned at or derided. Why is tabloid or populist journalism any less valid than the broadsheets?
    @Robin Brunskill Wow! Love that four days later you’re still thinking about my blog and Louder than War in general. ‘Breasts straining’ was a physical description – not a slur. Rhianna’s boobs were popping out of her dress. You’ve decided this is a bad thing for some reason?? You’re upset that I called her ‘love’ but not bothered I refered to Robbie Williams as ‘mate’. Double standards, much?

  16. HaHa.. gotcha…If you look at the paragraph directed at me, it does read as if Michelle is Jooster. “You upset that I called her love” is a dead giveaway.
    Come on Michelle….you came on here pretending to be a man and now you’ve slipped up and it was you all along. Excellent. Thanks for the laughs.

  17. I think you have lowered the writing standard of Louderthanwar, and brought in the “lets be cruel to celebrities” idea that was popular with the undergraduates of Bangor university and indeed in many newspapers, tabloid and broadsheet.
    Which is why people buy them less and less.
    Presumably, in your training, you were taught that this was fine and you lacked the insight, as a person, to question it.
    I trained as a journalist at London College of Printing, in 1990, and we ALL did question it. Because at that time, cruelty and attack were not the norm in newspapers, we did question our tutors about questions of morality.
    I guess it just didn’t occur to you.

  18. A good journalist is observational. Julie Burchill sometimes takes a side swipe at individuals, but she is never cruel, petty, personal and sexist to an entire group, inviting the reader into her mire, like some hormonal teenager in a strop.
    Have a look at what she does and give it a go ok?

  19. A perfectly excellent and wry article. Only a cider crazed rad-fem in Chorlton in 1972 could possibly take offence. Thank you Michelle and let’s have many more. The problem is that you need readers with a sense of humour, not these outmoded dullards.

  20. I’m not sure what this debate is about- I thought this was a great, well written blog. Is Robin a man trying to hard to pretend he is not sexist? His argument makes very little sense.

  21. I’ve got two main points. Firstly, if man are given the sack for being sexist, then why do women think that different rules apply to them

    Secondly, why write cruel things about anyone? What’s the point. If Michelle has been hurt by the critical remarks that people have made about her writing maybe she should consider this…
    The people she targets as fair game because the are celebrities…have feelings too…get hurt too.

    Michelle, if you can’t take it yourself, don’t dish it out to others.

  22. Blimey, my plan for some light Sunday afternoon reading has just combusted….not from reading the blog but the flippin comments! Good Lord has the world gone mad!? Thank goodness James Corden didn’t come out in some ‘buttock bearing’ ensemble or I fear World War III would have been upon us!

    I am female I comment on other females and males attire, as I expect to be commented on myself. If my breasts were ‘straining’ in my dress it would be commented on, prob by those closest to me before any stranger, why? Because it’s an observation, would this be cruel? No, I might just be tempted to buy the size bigger next time. Calm down, relax and enjoy life! If there are any mistakes in my comment that hugely offend anyone, sorry but I shan’t be commenting again to correct them because I couldn’t give a stuff!

    Michelle, I look forward to reading more of your work, but will leave the comments well alone!

  23. Would it be suicide to ask what Robin thinks of ‘Rastamouse’?

  24. Blimey Robin! You’ve been a busy woman haven’t you? I thought you said you were bored of the whole thing now… looks like you’re having a problem letting go. I haven’t been checking the posts as I thought we’d agreed to disagree but your dogged pursuit of this issue has moved me to write again. I couldn’t agree more with Nikki H’s post – and for God’s sake please don’t start on Rastamouse! I do believe that Nikki’s comment – much like Michelle Corbett’s blog – was made with tongue firmly in cheek.

    • Ah..jooster…you’ve just revealed your identity.

      Lets try this again…the basic point of this comment thread.
      Journalists who give out the nasty verbals, should not then be surprised, or hurt, when people object.

      If Michelle can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

      Its simple. Its obvious. And attacking the people who point it out,..that.s not going to change it.

  25. And I have to say.. When it comes to destruction and damage, Michelle seems intent on getting the job done.
    There is a word for that, and it isn’t “journalism”

  26. And Rastamouse? My generation had dangermouse… a vastly superior rodent.

    this debate is generational thing too.

    in 1990 the journalism tutor at LCP held up a device and explained we all needed one for our phones, because we needed to record our telephone conversations with certain people.

    i reached out for my copy of McNae’s Law for Journalists, to check the legality and sure enough, using information from people when they don’t know they are being recorded is not legal. I pointed this out and got a LOAD of abuse from the tutor…

    Which could be summed up as “Legal or not, that is the way journalism is going you half-wit!”

    True.
    Future co-horts of trainee journalists, bravely went out there, unquestioning this lack of integrity, and recorded private conversations from celebrities, used them, and only now are being taken to court for this.
    What will be the defence from the journalists? “Celebrities don’t deserve privacy and human rights…” and “No such thing as bad press.”

    What has this got to do with “Life on Mars” style comments about squealing and breasts? Alot. I think people are sick of journalistic-a-morality. Many more of them should be told to stop it and if they run around going “oh..I’m hurt!”..well…so what?

  27. I made the mistakes of reading the comments first so when I went back to the blog I was expecting a piece of savage tabloid journalism and all i saw was a witty, well written blog.
    I’m a bit confused by some of the comments on here, they don’t seem to relate to the blog. maybe they are a fan of the Brits or boring celebrity culture?

  28. Same. Seems rather an over-reaction. And could Robin just pick one thing to be angry about please, feminism, journalistic integrity, breasts in general. All this multidirectional rage makes me very uncomfortable. I know all you journo types are supposed to be misanthropic alkies but isn’t this taking the stereotype a bit too far?
    unless…..new conspiracy theory…

    Robin Brunskill IS Michelle Corbett!!!

    What better way to drum up interest in an blog than pretending to have picked up a obsessive stalker?

    Then again, maybe not.

    Amusing well written article, look forward to reading more.

  29. yes, its true. I am Michelle.. Well done. No Mickey Mouse Muddles there..it was all a post modernist publicity stunt. Game over.

  30. rico rodriquez

    In reference to the actual point of this article, I was at this years Brits, it was horrible, in the whole of the O2 there were possibly 2 maybe 3 hundred fans of the artists, the rest was a big corporate piss-up for mastercard. there was no atmosphere at all what you heard on tv was all overdubbed, the performances couldnt be heard at all because the pa was way too loud and just became a bassy noise. no-one gave the event any respect, the only performance anyone took any notice of was Adele. There was nothing to take the roof off the place, Mumford & Sons = safe, take that = safe, tinnie tempah = safe, ceelo green = safe, james corden = safe, the whole thing was more like a super sweet sixteen for mastercard employees with some awards thrown in. boris becker! come on it was the baftas a couple of days before the best you can do is boris becker! when roger daltrey came on to present something i was praying he would bring some rock’n’roll with him but alas no even he is now safe. The Brits used to be something to talk about for days, weeks after but now the smash hits poll winners party has more excitement, controversy and stars!
    I did make the best of a rubbish night by getting very pissed on £20 double vodka redbulls and shouting abuse at beiber albeit overdubbed out, bastards.
    Put the brits back in the hands of rock’n’roll because thats what its supposed to be about.

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