The Al Walser fiasco.
One can only hope that the Grammy committee wipes the neon-colored egg off of its face before the February ceremony is aired. This not only shows how ridiculous the way people get nominated for some of these categories can be, but how easy it might have been for Al Walser to troll his way into an awards show of this magnitude.
Al Walser hails from Liechtenstein, a country out in Central Europe, although he now calls Hollywood home. He's written books about making it "big" in the music business, but based what we've found, it feels like it's just multiple pages with phrases like "spam everyone" in them. If you're not familiar with his name, don't worry - not too many others were before this week. Whomever he is, Al's now a Grammy-nominated EDM artist, although Spin reports that the video for "I Can't Live Without You" was listed twice on YouTube and had only been viewed 7K times. When you take let this one play, you'll see why it was so thoroughly forgotten:
We can't imagine that anyone who understands how the dance category differs from pop could have even included this in the category, just from one listen. House.net says they spoke to record label execs who have no idea how he got on the nomination and that the Grammy administrators are strict, but how could a strict process allow a virtually unknown to get past the no-doubt numerous levels that are in place to be in the final nomination process? Maybe because the process to get nominated has the potential for spam and trolling?
Kudos to elitaste for having an inside track on how the Grammy nomination process is run. In their breakdown, it looks like Al's use (abuse?) of the Grammy organization's social media site, Grammy365, might have allowed Al (who is among those who can vote on these matters, as is Skrillex) to spam his 4,000+ contacts to get his track in the Best Dance Recording category, and keep it there. If this is in fact the case, and he spammed his way through this process, a lot of the credibility in the Grammys covering emerging genres can be considered shot.
You'd think that it was backdoor, record-label trickery that might get some names on the ballot, not a troll with a keytar singing about love. On the one hand you almost have to commend him for trolling this far, but the credibility of the nomination process will be undervalued in our opinion. What's next, counting the number of retweets to determine who makes it next year?