Look, what did you want me to do, kids? Criticize the children at the Kit Kitteridge: An American Girl premiere? (Abby Breslin looked awesome, by the way.) Run, like, twenty pix of Will Smith at some international Hancock opening? No. For your sins, you get the 39th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees at Manhattan's Marriott Marquis. Know that in today's judging I "went strange" as we say in my family (generally the prelude to being thrown "in the bin." Yes.) Choices may seem idiosyncratic, even baffling. I have done my utmost to justify these decisions, but, as ever, invite you to take it up with me. Loretta Lynn, John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield, Joan Jett and more in The Good, The Bad and, of course, The Ugly, after the jump.

The Good:

Loretta Lynn is, obviously, a law unto herself and this is how we like to see her: Regal, adorable, with just a hint of underlying steel.

Songwriter Madi Diaz has a great dress, cute date.


I'm no Strokes apologist, and I can't say I've ever given guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. much thought beyond thinking that if you were going to do lead vocals in one song, "Last Nite" was a good one to have chosen. But he looks very dapper here. And, more to the point, warms the heart supporting his father, songwriter Albert Hammond, Sr.

Singer Lee Ann Womack looks crisp, extremely excited in white.


John Legend doing John Legend, convincingly.

The Bad:


Now, you could certainly mount the "Loretta Lynn" defense here: that Joan Jett is a law unto herself, not to be held to normal standards. I took this into account, though, and still thought she looked kinda creepy last night.

I, too, would probably use my hair as an impromptu tucker (that's the 19th c term for a little bodice cover-up) were I revealing the amount of cleavage of Johnny Rzeznik's date.


I thought long and hard about this one, because Natasha Bedingfield's getup is certainly not terrible, even leaving aside my expressed aversion for the color combination of purple and red, her unfortunate stance. Ultimately what damned her was the general disharmony of accessories, and a certain "offness" of proportion - the skirt was just slightly too long for that boat neck. (As a short person, I am obsessive about hemming. It can make or break, people! Half an inch!)

The Ugly:


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The band Rouge.