Song of the Year is determined based on a combination of lyrics and melody. In my opinion, song should not be evaluated based on performance, but this is often inevitable. Except in the absurd case of the same song being performed by multiple artists ( “I Swear” and “I Can Love You Like That” both performed by John Michael Montgomery and All-4-One (1995 & 1996 – both lost)) voters typically only have a single well-known performance of the song to judge by.
A great song supersedes its performance. It should be equally relevant if performed with a full band, on an acoustic guitar, with a string section, or on a ukelele. Certainly, some versions will be better than others – some vocalists will be stronger than others – but the song itself should be able to stand on its own. Oddly, some of the most covered songs of all time including “Yesterday” (The Beatles) and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon & Garfunkel) failed to win the award in their given year. All that to say, you can’t really trust the relevance of a win in this category for predicting long life for a song.
Song of the Year: Despite it’s catchiness and memorable “hook”, “Call Me Maybe” does not belong in this category. If anything, it belongs in the already over-crowded Record of the Year category. Maybe this one and Frank Ocean should switch categories.