Viewers guide to the Grammys

EminemTelevisionEntertainmentMadonnaRadiohead (music group)David BowieJill Scott

Usually the Grammys are a predictable snoozefest. One word that explains why Wednesday night's broadcast (7 p.m. on WBBM-Ch. 2) will have at least a little excitement: Eminem. What if he wins? Will he keep the expletives to a minimum in his acceptance speech? There are a few other interesting things to watch for in this year's broadcast:

Eminem and Elton John: The weirdest duet since Bing Crosby teamed up with David Bowie to sing a Christmas carol on a Crosby TV special. Will the outspoken Elton use the live broadcast to take the rapper to task for his homophobic lyrics, or will this be a harmonious lovefest?

Oldsters versus youngsters: Mainstream artists like Steely Dan and Paul Simon are up against "kids" like Radiohead, Beck and Eminem for album of the year; the academy will probably hand this top award to Simon, but it'd be a massive upset if one of the youngsters wins.

R&B versus rock and pop: R&B and rap now outsell rock and pop, but will that be reflected by the winners for song of the year (in which songs by Destiny's Child and Macy Gray face off against Faith Hill, LeeAnn Womack and U2) and record of the year (Destiny's Child and Gray vs. Madonna, U2 and 'N Sync)?

Madonna: Everyone expects Eminem to shock the TV audience, but the Material Mom, who's scheduled to open the show, was giving censors heart attacks when Eminem was in kindergarten.

Moby and the Blue Men: The petite dance-music maestro isn't exactly eye candy, but he'll be joined for his performance by R&B chanteuse Jill Scott and the Blue Man Group, which ought to be cool.

'60s legends department: Joni Mitchell is to present an award. Wouldn't it be cool if she got to give fellow icon Bob Dylan the best male rock vocal Grammy?

Christina vs. Britney: Their PR people always go out of their way to say how much these teen-pop princesses looove each other, but they're up against each other in the female pop vocal category. Watch to see the girls' reactions when the winner is announced.

Jon Stewart: Finally, a Grammy host with a quick wit. Will he use it to skewer Christina Aguilera's increasingly bizarre fashion sense?

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times