A review of the 33rd annual BRIT Awards ceremonies

The 33rd Brit Awards took place at the O2 Arena in London last night.

The 33rd Brit Awards took place at the O2 Arena in London last night.

The prestigious annual music awards, in association with MasterCard, celebrate all things British with a subtle hint of international inspiration mixed in.

From outrageous outfits and drunken acceptance speeches the awards are a must see for any music lover; but behind all the drama and front page antics are a carefully selected list of winners every year. They are, quite simply, the best of the best.

This is the one award that everyone wants to have on their mantelpiece—from songwriters and singers through to record producers and charities. Since its humble beginnings back in 1977 to the present day, nominees know they have made it within the music industry once they receive Brit acclaim.

With 14 separate award categories, 11 of which are specifically for British artists and producers, the emphasis is firmly on the achievements of home grown talent.

In keeping with the British vibe the award itself has undergone a makeover and was this year designed by artist Damien Hirst. The white statue with multi coloured dots is synonymous to his art collection.

Celebrities lining the red carpet at the event included Jessie J, Rizzle Kicks, Kings of Leon, Boy George and Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy Winehouse. His minute in the spotlight on the red carpet was especially poignant as he had had a shirt made with Amy’s face placed on the back.

The host for the evening was actor and comedian James Corden, who is now in his fourth year of presenting the awards. With a more glamorous feel to the stage and décor than previous years, the opening few minutes gave the impression this was going to be an elegant evening.

Opening the show was Muse—fire, white strobe lighting and women violinists with thick black eye make-up created a dramatic yet impressive first performance. It was a great live piece as always from frontman Matt Bellamy, as he and his band belted out their track, ‘Knight of Sydonia’, showing the audience and millions of viewers that they were worthy of being on such an infamous stage.

Taylor Swift presented the first award of the night which was for British Female Solo Artist. This was a tough category this year as it has been a brilliant 12 months for female artists within the UK. Beating off competition from Paloma Faith, Bat for Lashes, Jessie Ware and the late Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande took the first polka dot prize.

Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw gave out the award for British Breakthrough Act, as voted for by the station’s listeners. This went to the humble Ben Howard, who previously used to study journalism before turning his hand to music.

He also performed one of his songs ‘Only Love’ towards the end of the ceremony. Singing only with a guitar and combining subtlety with outstanding vocals, this was one of the best performances of the night. Ben also picked up British Male Solo Artist, showing his natural talent as a musician isn’t going unnoticed.

With a world exclusive of his upcoming single, ‘Mirrors’, Justin Timberlake wowed the audience with his words and shiny leather dinner jacket and matching shoes. Justin has clearly aged since the last time he was showcasing his dance moves on British soil, however his vocals still remain fabulous and he has come back into the spotlight with charisma and class.

The highly sought after Critics’ Choice award went to new talent Tom Odell. This is an accolade from industry critics and is in association with children’s charity War Child. The award itself provides us a clue as to who is going to be ‘the one to watch’ over the next twelve months. Tom was shy but extremely grateful to have been chosen.

Previous winners have included Jessie J, Florence Welch, Adele, Ellie Goulding and last year’s winner Emeli Sande, who has proven that this award can lead to great achievements.

Another fantastic live performance was from Mumford and Sons, who won the Best British Group category, and was an extremely popular choice with the audience. With their track ‘I Will Wait’, the atmosphere lifted and all eyes were on the four piece folk/rock band.

The last award of the evening was the MasterCard British Album of the year, presented by Bryan Ferry. Deservedly this went to Sande who had another statue to add to her collection. She spoke eloquently and fondly of her fans and family and also of her album ‘Our Version of Events.’

Sande closed the ceremony by performing her most recent single ‘Clown’ mixed in with a popular choice ‘Next to Me.’ Singing with a choir and band she showed off her spectacular range of vocals and no doubt sent a shiver down everyone’s spines.

She was a perfect choice to end the awards for 2013 as she was the Critics’ choice for 2012. Showing that you can achieve anything with hard work and determination she sets a great example and ultimately the legacy of the Brits.

Other awards from the evening:

British Live Act: Coldplay

British Producer: Paul Epworth

British Single: Adele – Skyfall                    

Global Success Award: One Direction

International Female: Lana Del Rey

International Group: The Black Keys

International Male Solo: Frank Ocean

Special Recognition Award: War Child

What do you think of the winners? Were you happy with the decisions? Do you think someone was snubbed? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.