Ahead of tonight’s BRIT awards, we can make some fairly safe predictions. Dua Lipa will head home with an absolute truckload of trophies - probably enough to melt them all down and build a giant sculpture in her garden - Lorde’ll hopefully scoop International Female Solo Artist, and Jack Whitehall will probably make at least two highly inappropriate jokes that nobody laughs at. The guests, according to a copy of tonight’s menu, will feast on an array of traditional British grub including microleaves (huh?) from the Westlands. Lovely stuff.
That’s all well and good, but what about the dramatic happenings and controversies that make for a brilliant awards ceremony? Where will they come from? This is our official forecast for the night ahead…
Sam Smith seeks vengeance after being snubbed
Competition for Most Boring British Male is especially fierce this year, with Rag’N’Bone Man and Ed Sheeran blazing well ahead in the battle to strut the beige carpet and claim 2018’s coveted trophy. However, do not let the sheer boringness of this incredibly tame face-off between two gigantic record-flogging household names deceive you; tonight’s ceremony finds itself MIRED in controversy. The absence of one man in particular is causing a stir across the music forums of Mumsnet, and at least four serial competition enterers named Sharon have written to their local MPs about the matter so far. You’re gonna need to take a seat for a minute, because this is massive. Sam Smith has been snubbed, and he’s not having it.
Against the better judgement of seasoned pro and all-round legend Adele, who tells Sam to listen to his James Bond theme tune in a quiet corner until he’s adequately calmed down, Sam Smith bustles off to the ceremony with the intention of causing a ruckus. After bribing host Jack Whitehall with a pair of tickets to watch the cricket, and inspired by Kanye’s stage invasion at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he hides out undetected, until the moment comes. “And the award for Most Boring British Male goes to…” starts Jack with a hearty chuckle; Sam Smith does his very best action movie roll onto the stage, seizing the trophy in one deft swipe. Ragin’ Binman looks appalled. Ed Sheeran is too busy buying some flowers from a nearby garage - ready for his performance of ‘Supermarket Flowers’ - to notice. “I am the first gay man in the whole world to win this award!” Sam Smith yells across the room, addressing nobody in particular. Lorde, Laura Marling and P!NK head for the bar, disgusted. Security quickly usher him out the room, and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man collects his prize with no further incident. Order is restored. Later on in the evening Sam Smith returns for his scheduled performance, and satisfied with the accolade of being the first gay man to ever perform at The BRITs as a consolation, he goes home happy after all. (El Hunt)
*another less fun theory is that Sam Smith hasn’t been snubbed at all. In fairness, since his album will still be eligible in 2019, his label probably plan on entering Sammy Smith into next years’ Ed-Sheeran-free Brits instead, where he’ll be more likely to win. But hey, we love the drama here at DIY.
Kendrick Lamar steals the show with a surprise performance
Put on your finest Sherlock Holmes-esque coat, and take a look at Kendrick Lamar’s European tour dates. What’s that, you see gleaming through the lens of your magnifying glass, on today’s date? Why, dear Watson, it would appear that Kenny’s got a free evening, and is most likely still in London after his Wembley Arena gig last night. To be quite honest, we’d put at least two quid on Kendrick Lamar turning up as a surprise performance.
Not to be dramatic, or anything, but if this actually happens, it will Steal. The. DAMN. (geddit?). Show. And to quote another Lemar for a second, if there’s any justice in the world, Kendrick will follow up his surprise appearance by accepting his hugely deserved award for International Male Solo Artist. That would be ideal. (EH)
Liam Gallagher’s acceptance speech
Liam Gallagher. The Big LG. The man, the myth, legend. If Our Kid is good for a quip on an average Monday afternoon, then you’d better believe that’s he’s coming out all guns blazing when he’s on the actual telly. Live.
With nary a regard for the swear bleeper, Liam uses his time on the winner’s podium (“about fucking right”) to follow his previous Whatsapp Ricky (aka A$AP Rocky) misnomer with a speech that disses all of his fellow nominees: Raging Binman, Lyle Corner, Stormy and “that ginger bloke. What’s his fucking name? Alan Shearer?” He then proceeds to peel a potato while the camera cuts to Noel – sat on a table at the other end of the room – shaking his head and sighing. (Lisa Wright)
Harry Styles and Rita Ora prank the Payne
Zoom back two weeks, and Harry Styles and Rita Ora are on a messy night out at Dalston Superstore. They’ve had a few pints, and mischief is brewing. “I tell you what, Rita,” Harry says quietly across the bar in his tuneful Cheshire burr. “I’ve got an idea for The BRITs, and I need your help.” The pair whisper discreetly for a few minutes, solemnly shake hands, and slam their tequila shots together in agreement. They run away to the smoking area to mock Liam Payne’s latest Instagram post. A plan is born.
On the night of The BRITs, the pair of schemers take their positions; Rita picks the lock to the o2’s technical control room using the clasp she stole from Madonna’s Armani cape in 2015, while Harry dons a woollen coat, a white jumper, and a stunt harness. Meanwhile, Jack Whitehall is announcing the British Single award, and - spoiler alert - Liam Payne’s ‘Strip That Down’ does not win. Liam Payne is throwing a tantrum and is yelling about how only real A-Listers get jet-lag. Liam Payne is trying to throw his champagne bucket at an unimpressed Little Mix. Liam Payne is being a little brat, tbh.
In one swift movement, Rita Ora presses the button which sends Harry Styles zooming across the entire arena - a spilling pint in hand - in the manner of the flying montage from his ‘Sign Of The Times’ video. In one perfect swoop, Harry Styles lands next to his former bandmate, sarcastically tells him “better luck next time, pal,” and strolls on stage to collect his award for British Artist Video of the Year. Rita Ora, heady with her newfound power over the awards’ technical department, later mutes Justin Timberlake’s entire performance. She is given a CBE for her services to music. (EH)
Justin Timberlake confuses everyone with flannel ensemble
In case you hadn’t noticed, Justin Timberlake is no longer the slinky Trousersnake dancefloor god of his past anymore. No, no. Now, he’s a Man of the Woods. Salt of the earth. Going out to his cabin, in his flannel shirt and chopping some trees in a sexy manner. Sweating the appropriate amount. He could build you a table, girl, make no bones about that.
Problem is, none of his new songs are actually any good, so when it comes to his BRITs performance, Justin is faced with a problem. First of all, as mentioned, Rita Ora’s turned off his microphone. Secondly, trying to meet in the middle, he decides to play a track that people actually want to hear (‘Cry Me A River’) while maintaining his new plaid aesthetic. What results is a slightly confusing silent dance routine with an axe, JT miming his most famous bitter breakup anthem while a troupe of backing dancers shimmy round a campfire. Britney looks on confused. (LW)
Wolf Alice win Best British Group
If Wolf Alice do not win Best British Group tonight at The BRITs, it will be a gigantic travesty. Not to shit on The xx, Gorillaz and Royal Blood, or anything - they’re all quite good, actually - but if The People are cheated out of the majestic sight of Joel, Theo, Joff and Ellie muddling their way through an acceptance speech after drinking slightly too much beer with Haim after they (hopefully) win their own International Group award, it will be the bummer of the night; nay, disappointment of the decade. In fact, if Wolf Alice don’t win, ‘Yuk Foo’ very very much. (EH)