GMA week: The Dove Awards
The Dove Awards present the student of sg with a bit of a quandary. In order to see the awards given in the southern gospel categories, you have to sit through the pre-show – a 2+ hour slog with very few (if any) live performances to interrupt the tedious scripted banter from the counter-intuitively paired presenters who don’t read the teleprompter well (that’s probably one reason why they’re in the pre-show in the first place). But by the time you’ve sat through hours of this pre-show tedium, you have little energy left for the two or three hours of the “real” show that follows. Which is too bad because last night BFA and the Crabbs performed live … but late in the evening.
The pre-show was horrendously bad. The host – a comedian, … Thor somebody – did his best, but he was working with crappy material. The script drooled with insipidity, bad jokes, and lame set-ups with cheesy punch lines.
Presenter No. 1: Wow [insert name of co-presenter here]! Isn’t it exciting to be at the 38th annual GMA Dove Awards tonight?
Presenter No. 2: It sure is. Almost as much fun as when Nathan Nockels snuck his capow onto the Barlow Girls guitars. [Ha ha.]
The only real moment of interest was, of course, unscripted. A black artist (hip hop, I think) who was part of a group of mostly black presenters giving out the last award of the pre-show, wisecracked that of course the black people got to give out the very last award. The mostly lily white audience sat with awkward grimaced smiles on their faces. When the award (for producer of the year) was announced, in which (if I recall rightly) there was one black nominee, the same presenter said, “and the award goes to … some white guy … heheh … no, I’m just kidding. ED CASH.” It was actually kinda funny in an acerbic sorta way. But I think everyone was just too bored at that point to care one way or another.
The GMA just needs to treat the pre-show like what it is: a place to give all the awards no one on TV cares about. Ditch the script. Scrap the quirky co-presenter pairings. Keep the hosting to a minimum and let us get to the real deal that much sooner. This has the added bonus of making it unnecessary for the producers to keep forcing the host to keep pressuring the artists to keep their acceptance speeches short because we’re running low on time, only to have the host then spend two minutes plugging national day of prayer or some presenter to engage in mindless babbling chatter. Unlike the main show, people only come to the pre-show for the awards. So just give away the freakin awards.
So anyway, I only stayed for about an hour of the show that will be televised. But I did say long enough to see Young Harmony not win in any of the categories in which they were nominated, especially song of the year. Indeed, Lamon Records, YH’s label, did very poorly all around last night (they were nominated for maybe half a dozen awards). You can see a run-down of sg awards here.
Some industry insiders I talked to were rather surprised that Lamon didn’t take home more awards, given how strongly they were represented in the nominations. One theory is that the outcry about the YH nomination for SOTY made the Lamon Records voting bloc go wobbly for fear of a more serious backlash if they did win SOTY or sweep several categories. I dunno. Maybe sometimes the system just works out right in the end. Certainly you expect Gaither to win. And he did.
Obviously, I’m relieved at the YH outcome. If they had won, I was prepared to console myself with the idea that this would focus the GMA’s attention on reform.
That said, the YH episode this year should be a wake up call to the GMA, win or no win. Specifically, they’ve simply got to implement something like NARAS’s standards for who can be a voting member. In fact, GMA should simply adopt NARAS’s approach wholesale: to be a voting member you have to have six verifiable cuts with your name on them in some professional capacity – singer, songwriter, player, producer, engineer, bgv, that sort of thing. It will probably cost the GMA memberships (and so, revenue) on the short side, but in the long run it will give the Doves a great deal more credibility and significance as the premier honor in gospel and Christian music.Email this Post