Well, this year I did better than last: 51 out of 110, for a total of 46% (for point of reference, random selection would've likely given me an accuracy of 18-19%). This year I got most of the major categories right, too, something I'd completely bombed on the year before (I ended up at 43% in 2008). I feel I could've done better if I'd reworked the rules a little bit. The following standards would've helped out:
1. Whenever it's one female versus four male nominees, always vote for the female. (this one trumps all rules, including the Barack Obama rule)
2. Never go against artists traditionally loved by Grammy voters - B.B. King, Natalie Cole, Mary J. Blige, and anyone named Winans.
The reality is that it's possible to be fairly accurate in the areas that you actually know something about - from the major categories through the end of the Country section, I was 25 out of 43 (58%). Twenty-two categories later, I was 29 of 65 (45%). The sections that killed me were the ones where I knew nothing: Latin, Jazz, New Age, Production. I did random, fun guesses - and went 1 for 19. With everything else, I was solid to excellent.
Mostly, though, I found that the rules worked! The Old Guy rule, the Barack Obama rule, and surprisingly, the Get Drunk and Guess rule, were across the board near-perfect in selecting the winner. I may use these strategy in future for other things - movie rentals, car shopping, choosing friends. Who knows the benefits this system can give?
Frankly, I feel next year I can do even better, come back even stronger. But guessing the Grammys is still a fool's errand - of the 110 categories, I'm really only qualified to guess maybe 30 to 50 with what could be called a valid opinion.
Of course, in categories like the Latin awards, that's half the fun.
Until next year...
Oh! As a final note, I have to say: every year I put my faith in the Grammy voters to get the Gospel section right, and every year I am deeply, painfully disappointed - but this year I found it truly scandalous. That Brandon Heath should have the biggest single in Christian music history and lose Song Of The Year to Kirk Franklin is an embarrassment of epic proportions. The Grammy Foundation should be completely ashamed of itself.