When Adele took the stage at Sunday night's Grammy ceremony to accept the award for Best Pop Solo Performance, she was greeted by presenters Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, along with an unexpected well-wisher. Ukrainian TV journalist Vitalii Sediuk snuck into the Grammys without a ticket and made it all the way up to the stage before anyone noticed.
Sediuk is a semi-notorious celebrity prankster who previously made headlines when he tried to kiss Will Smith on the red carpet during the Moscow premiere of Men in Black III, earning a shove and a slap from the star. But his Grammy-crashing is by far his biggest stunt yet — even if the moment was so deftly handled by Jennifer Lopez that viewers at home probably missed it. (Watch video of Sediuk's stage-crashing below.) How did Sediuk manage to slip past security at the tightly controlled event and end up on stage with one of the biggest pop stars in the world? Here's what you should know:
Okay — how did this guy get in?
On Tuesday, Sediuk revealed his disarmingly simple Grammy-crashing technique to The Hollywood Reporter: "My channel didn't get credentialed, so I went with a friend who had tickets. They didn’t check how many we had, so I was let in. First I went to the media line and interviewed quite a few celebrities, like Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman." When attendees began entering the Staples Center for the Grammy ceremony, Sediuk "followed one girl in a green dress" inside — only realizing after he entered the arena that he was following Katy Perry.
What did he do when the show started?
When Sediuk was told that the show was about to begin, he found an empty seat in the second row, alongside celebrities like Beyonce and Sting, and directly behind Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. The seat was actually assigned to Maroon 5's Adam Levine, who took a seat on the floor when he saw that his assigned seat was filled.
Why did Sediuk rush the stage when Adele won?
Sediuk might have gotten away with it if he'd kept his head down and enjoyed the ceremony from his seat — but when Adele won the first award of the evening — Best Pop Solo Performance, for "Set Fire to the Rain" — he spontaneously decided to join her on stage. "When I heard 'Adele' — to be honest, Adele is my favorite singer," explains Sediuk at The Hollywood Reporter. "I know all of her songs, 'Set Fire to the Rain', everything. And I [came] up with the idea to go up on stage and say what I said."
And what did he say?
"It's such an honor to receive this award. I love you, Adele," according to The Hollywood Reporter (though only the latter sentence is audible in video of the telecast). Realizing that something was amiss, Jennifer Lopez gestured Sediuk away from the microphone with a thumb motion, and Sediuk walked backstage — where he was greeted by some very unhappy members of the Grammy security team.
What did security do?
Sediuk was taken into custody and interrogated by police, who were understandably curious as to how he'd managed to gain entry to the ceremony. After questioning, Sediuk was cuffed, fingerprinted, and sent to a jail cell, where he spent the night before being released on Monday morning. He has been charged with trespassing and assigned a March court date. Sediuk, for his part, sounds relatively unrepentant. "My purpose is to entertain and to show a different emotion of celebrities," he explains. "I'm not a crazy guy. I just think differently."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
Subscribe to the Week