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Gold Derby nuggets: Taylor Swift odds-on favorite at Grammys | Beyonce could be Grammys spoiler | Oscars shorts get longer exposure

January 29, 2010 |  3:56 pm

Taylor Swift Fearless GrammysJames Montgomery previews Sunday's Grammys and reports that the betting world is touting Taylor Swift as the favorite to win. "Nick Weinberg, Ladbrokes' chief sports, politics and novelty oddsmaker, says, 'Beyoncé's odds are probably a bit shorter than they should be. Because she's a name, she can release a terrible album, and it would be nominated for an award. But Taylor Swift is the selection. All things being equal, she should win it. Quite an impressive record, which is why we made it our favorite.'" And Bodog.com sportsbook manager Richard Gardner agrees, "This Year's Grammy Awards could be a clean sweep in the three main categories as Taylor Swift is the favorite to win Best Album, Record and Song of the Year." MTV

Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Mesfin Fekadu offer up their Grammy predictions in eight categories including record of the year. Moody says, "Swift's 'You Belong With Me' has more momentum, but it's likely she'll split the blonde Grammy vote with Lady Gaga and Beyonce, so the Kings of Leon benefit." However, for Fekadu, "If Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' had been nominated here, it would win. But it's nominated in the song of the year category -- a songwriter's award, when it really deserves recognition for its production. That's the only song I could see competing with 'Use Somebody,' which will win here." AP

Melinda Newman looks at the top race at the Grammys and says, "The slightly off-center selection this year is Dave Matthews Band’s 'Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.' For that reason, a number of pundits have picked it to win, certainly not because it signifies a high-water mark for the band. This is a race between Beyonce, whose star continues to rise ever higher, and relative newcomers Gaga and Swift. Although we think Beyonce is the most deserving, Swift will get the Nashville vote and a fair amount of mainstream vote, so we’re going with her." HIT FIX

Beyonce I Am Sasha Fierce • Among the Grammy Awards categories considered by Todd Martens is song of the year: "It's rare for a dance song to take this category, but 'Single Ladies' was a club hit with an upbeat and feisty message. Its success should steal votes from Maxwell. Watch out, however, for a strong rock contingent push for 'Use Somebody.' This should be a tight race between Beyoncé and Kings of Leon, but with Beyoncé also up for album of the year, she should have the edge." POP & HISS

Anne Hathaway proved to be a great sport as she was named woman of the year by the Harvard Hasty Pudding theatrical troupe Thursday. As Eric Newcomer writes, "Hathaway, who called the event 'thrilling and wonderful,' may have been the star of the afternoon, but in order to officially collect the Pudding Pot, the starlet had to endure the cutting humor of the event’s hosts and the taunts of the wacky characters that populated the stage." Newcomer notes, "Hathaway joins the ranks of Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, and last year’s winner Renee Zellweger." HARVARD CRIMSON

• The academy will be hosting its 21st annual Oscar night party for New York City-based members at the Palace Hotel. As per the announcement, "The evening’s festivities will begin with a reception in the GILT Bar, renowned for its selection of signature cocktails. Following the reception, the invited guests will adjourn to the restaurant for a multi-course Oscar-themed dinner and live viewing of the 82nd Academy Awards telecast. Executive chef Justin Bogle and executive pastry chef David Carmichael will create a special menu for the occasion." AMPAS

Oscars New Members movie news 1357986 • The Oscar-nominated animated and live action shorts will be showcased in a program offered at 100 cinemas in the U.S., Canada and the UK beginning Feb. 19. This marks the fifth year that Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International have teamed up to bring these contenders to a wider audience. As the press release notes, "The series' popularity has charted a spectacular 289% increase in attendance at the domestic box office since its inception in 2005, breaking the record last year for the highest gross ever on a single screen at New York's IFC Center." THE OSCAR SHORTS

• For Greg Ellwood, January may not even be finished but the 2010 Oscar race has already started at Sundance. "At the top of the list is 'The Kids Are All Right,' which if it had been included in the dramatic competition instead of the premieres category probably would have duplicated 'Precious' double wins last year. If Oscar keeps its 10-nominee system it's already in the conversation and Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo are all real acting contenders (although start the debate now on whether Bening or Moore is lead or supporting). Additionally, Lisa Cholodenko has a shot in the directing race and screenplay with collaborator Stuart Blumberg. With Focus having picked up the dramedy, the film will be in good hands for a strong awards campaign. Other potential contenders include Fox Searchlight's 'Cyrus' and Sony Classic's 'Please Give' for screenplay, 'Winter's Bones' Jennifer Lawrence for best actress, both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams for their amazing performances in 'Blue Valentine,' James Gandolfini in 'Welcome to the Rileys' for best actor, Chris Cooper in 'The Company Men' and Tilda Swinton in 'I Am Love' (which premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival)." HIT FIX

Top photo: "Fearless" by Taylor Swift. Credit: Big Machine Records

Middle photo: "I Am Sasha Fierce" by Beyonce. Credit: Sony Music Entertainment

Bottom photo: Academy Awards. Credit: AMPAS

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