Long considered the least relevant of the major awards shows, the Grammys suddenly, shockingly got with the program this year. The nominees list zeroes in on the intersection of widespread popularity and critical acclaim, resulting in eight nods for Lil Wayne and a slew of mentions for acts that can truly be called this generation's best and brightest.

This isn't your father's Grammys.

Long considered the least relevant of the major awards shows, the Grammys suddenly, shockingly got with the program this year. The nominees list zeroes in on the intersection of widespread popularity and critical acclaim, resulting in eight nods for Lil Wayne and a slew of mentions for acts that can truly be called this generation's best and brightest.

Furthermore, producers have lined up a stellar, wide-ranging lineup of performers for the show, including Radiohead, Jennifer Hudson, The Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, Coldplay, U2, Justin Timberlake and many more.

The point is The Grammys might actually be worth watching this year. As Sunday's ceremony approaches, let's guess who might go home with hardware.

Best New Artist

I have to admit I've never heard of Lady Antebellum or Jazmine Sullivan, but that doesn't mean the academy won't pick one of them, especially since Lady Antebellum appears to hail from that ever-popular genre known as country. Still, it seems safe to say Starbucks-friendly soul songbirds Adele and Duffy - especially the heavily nominated Adele - are the favorites. And don't count out those Jonas Brothers as a dark horse.

Best Rock Album

Coldplay's Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends is up for album of the year, so presumably they will take this category. Otherwise it would be a toss-up, as Kid Rock, Kings of Leon, Metallica and The Raconteurs each turned in Grammy-friendly releases. Is it funny to anyone else that Metallica and Coldplay are in the same category?

Best Alternative Album

You can apply the same logic about Radiohead's In Rainbows - it's up for Album of the Year, so it ought to win here. Thom Yorke and company would be the favorite anyway against a field that also includes Beck, My Morning Jacket, Gnarls Barkley and Death Cab for Cutie.

Best Rap Album

There's pretty much no doubt Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III will win this. But kudos to Grammy for assembling a quality slate of also-rans including Jay-Z's American Gangster, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, T.I.'s Paper Trail and the self-titled Nas album.

Record of the Year

As opposed to Song of the Year, which goes to songwriters, Record of the Year goes to artists. Although an M.I.A. win for "Paper Planes" would be amazing, Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" seem like more likely candidates. Adele's surprisingly solid "Chasing Pavements" and the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration "Please Read the Letter" have to be considered in the mix. Unfortunately, M.I.A. seems like the least likely contender here.

Album of the Year

Although both releases are superb, Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman and Radiohead's In Rainbows seem like the least likely winners here. As the top nominee, Lil Wayne has a fighting chance to win for Tha Carter III. But if I had money on this, I would go with Coldplay's Viva La Vida or Alison Krauss & Robert Plant's Raising Sand. If the Grammys stick with this youth-friendly theme, the award goes to Coldplay. If they return to their old-timer roots, Plant and Krauss prevail.