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Thoughts On The 2005 BET Awards

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I enjoyed the 2005 BET Awards. It was fun, entertaining, and full of intentional (and unintentional) surprises.

Here are my thoughts on this year’s show:

-BET pulled an MTV Video Music Awards-like opening stunt by somehow reuniting The Fugees on national TV for the first time in years. Unfortunately, the performance wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. It was nice to see the three of them together again. Frankly, I was happy to see that Pras hadn’t disappeared off the face of the Earth. Lauryn Hill looked a little off during the performance and didn’t sound all that good. However, I was amazed that she was able to perform for the 10+ minutes that she did without freaking out as she did in recent performances. Just when you think things might be okay for her, she backs out of the show’s closing performance, one that was hyped by the announcer a few times as one “you will not forget.” I guess that’s true…we won’t forget it because there was nothing to forget.

-I enjoyed Will & Jada as hosts. I liked how both of them weren’t shy about poking fun at themselves. They looked they enjoyed hosting and they always looked comfortable. Their entrance, an homage to the classic Eddie Murphy comedy Coming To America, was great, right down to them walking on money instead of rose petals. I also liked their reunions with castmates from their past (Jada with the ladies of the film Set It Off, Will with most of the cast of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air). All in all, they did a very nice job. I bet Will will be receiving some calls to host another awards show (the Oscars, perhaps?) in the future.

-The moment of the night clearly belonged to Terrence Howard. The look on his face as Beyoncé did a lapdance for him during Destiny’s Child’s performance of “Cater 2 U” was great. I could imagine his thoughts: “Oh my God! I’m the luckiest man in America!”

-Even though Missy lip-synched her performance of “Lose Control,” it was an incredibly high-energy performance. I want that juke remix of “Lose Control” on my computer right now.

-The Game put in a pretty nice mostly solo performance. There were no disses of 50 Cent or G-Unit to be found, no random shouts of “G-U-Not!” or anything like that. The violins were a nice touch as was Mary J. Blige appearing to sing part of her “Hate It Or Love It” remix.

-Stevie Wonder went to work (as he always seems to) during the awards with three performances. His appearance with John Legend was a nice melding of old and new. His show-ending performance of his classic “Happy Birthday To You” for BET’s 25th anniversary was nice. However, if I was drinking something, I would have spit it out during his own solo performance. I mean…Stevie Wonder actually danced! It’s one thing for Stevie to rock back and forth. We all have seen him do that, but for him to actually dance onstage is damn near a miracle (thank goodness for the two dancers next to him). I wonder how long it took him to learn that.

-When Mariah Carey performed “We Belong Together,” I was pulling for her to make it through. Her voice sounded strained and that song is one that looks incredibly difficult to sing live. Somehow, she worked her way through it, like the pro she is. Her performance was sort of a breath of fresh air as it had no theatrics, fireworks, or crazy lighting tricks.

-I think the biggest surprise performance-wise had to be Sheila E. and her all-female band appearing during T.I.’s performance. Out of all the people to pop out and help T.I. with “Bring ‘Em Out,” I never imagined it would be Sheila E.

-I wonder if anyone will think Omarion’s performance was in bad taste given that soldiers are in Iraq dying and many soldiers are African-American. I didn’t take it seriously, but I know there will probably be someone out there who did.

-The Jackson family was very smart to send Tito Jackson to the BET Awards to thank BET and Michael Jackson’s fans. Tito is one of the few Jacksons who didn’t get plastic surgery or try to lighten his skintone. While he may be the butt of some jokes, I respect him for being the most well-adjusted of the Jackson siblings.

-No disrespect to Toni Braxton or Faith Evans but…wasn’t anyone else available for Gladys Knight’s tribute? I like both these artists but they were not at their best during the tribute. When Gladys performed, she proved exactly why she has lasted as long as she has.

-The award for most Source Awards-like performance goes to Mike Jones and his cast of many. Not only did one guy have a pimp cup with a straw onstage but that same person also decided to throw a huge stack of dollar bills in the air. I loved the surprised look on people’s faces as they picked up the money.

-Where was Ghostface Killah at during the Wu-Tang Clan’s tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard?

-I felt like I was watching Def Poetry when Teena Marie did her tribute to Rick James. I don’t know if she rehearsed that or if it was spur of the moment, but it was something different and a fitting tribute to such a creative person as Rick James.

-Michael Jordan must have sorted through Charles Barkley’s old suits for the one he wore to the awards. Pinstripes are nice but not on a dark brownish orangeish color suit

-For the first time in recent weeks, Tom Cruise made a public appearance that was actually restrained. It’s funny that it was, at all places, at the BET Awards.

-It shows just how much Robert Johnson is the face of BET when he announces his successor on his network’s awards show. I wish Debra Lee, the eventual chairperson and CEO of BET, the very best. I hope she can take the channel to places that Bob Johnson never did.

-For my final comment, I want to mention the one element of the BET Awards that I couldn’t stand. What I am referring to is the ads that were pasted at various places during the pre-show and the awards show itself. Ads were placed in various empty spots, most notably directly above the stage in the middle and on the side. The ads were similar to the ads used for some baseball broadcasts where only the audience at home sees them. Ads for CD releases and movies were pasted in those spots (in a wide shot) when the show went to (or came back from) commercial breaks. If this is the future of advertising in a TiVo world, I don’t like it.

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  • Dee

    I found the BET awards to be coming alone. It was finally not ghetto ass hell. Will and Jada did and excellent job hosting the show. It was no Mo’nique. But all in all an excellent job.
    The show could have had a little more “real singing” acts. Destiny’s Child showed why they are the best selling female group of all time. Their actual singing was very well harmonized, fresh and showed each member’s vocal talent. Who can’t forget the lap dance..
    Omarion’s act was very sorry. He should have gone to a club if he wanted to dance. Ciarra wasn’t impressive at all but we all know her vocals aren’t the best.

  • Divante

    Alicia Keys accepting her award for Best Female R&B Artist was my highlight.
    It is about time the BET judging panel recognised her as not only an incredible artist/performer,but also as an individual deserving BET Awards.
    She has been nominated so many times but “lossed-out” the same number of times.
    Congratulations girl!!!!!!



  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Ster, very well done and timely!

  • For the first time in recent weeks, Tom Cruise made a public appearance that was actually restrained. It’s funny that it was, at all places, at the BET Awards.

    He probably had to restrain himself from all the fine men that were at the Awards. I’m sure many were asking if he was on the ‘down low’ backstage.

  • I think the awards were actually good this year. Like a previous poster said they weren’t “as ghetto.” I was praying it there wouldn’t be a Source Awards type brawl there.

  • Jennifer Dacius

    I think BET Awards 2005 was the best ever. Will & Jada and the rest of team did a great Job. The people were nice and enjoying themselves. The most memorable part of the night for me was when Will shared a story about one trip he did in Africa and said how the people view us as The Impossible…It really convinced me that we need to be examples to one another not hating one each other (in success). Everything was great!! I had a good time watching from the Start to the End. Thanks BET :o)

  • mya

    I thought the performance were great except for O…it sucked.

    I also found it not so good because many of the winners were not even there?

  • lauren

    did anyone think Mariah Carey was going to fall over during her song? I think she is awesome.. i am not use what happened last night.

  • Earl

    Thanks for mentioning the disapperance of Lauryn Hill. I thought I was hearing things are going crazy because she was suppose to perform but did not. Not sure if Will or Jada were instructed not to say anything but why didn’t someone make a reference. Also, If Lauryn performed would Stevie have been able to sing Happy B-Day BET at the end???

  • Al

    I thought Stevie Wonder was absolutely fabulous!! The whole audience stood up as soon as he started dancing! And the song was great. It’s a shame the single didn’t make the top 40, like it deserved. He’s not just a legend, he’s now.

  • kevin

    mariah did her thing last night. especially considering shes been singing so much at all of these awards shows. even though her voice wasnt at it’s best, she still sounded off the hook

  • Rdizzal

    the show was great overall, i was sad that lauryn was not performing at the end, what the hell is going on? anywho i did not like the fact that BET is behind on being up to date with songs and records, people who’s songs were hot like 2 years ago WON? still not understanding that one? ALSO, where were the people who did win, no one showed up for the awards….. i was glad to see them show more celebrities in the audience….compared to last year…..was this show really live? i thought i heard it was previously recorded? well wonder what it will be like next year? will and jada did GREAT very tasteful and classy…..

  • Larry Holmes

    What type of sunglasses was Mike Jones wearing during the BET awards 2005? What type of sunglasses was Paul Wall wearing also?

  • Dan S.

    Mariah’s voice was rough (probably from so many TV performances-I hope!)and she seemed to be in a hurry to finish the performance and leave…she wasn’t even interviewed on the post-show or any of the “entertainment news” programs. I hope nothing’s wrong “behind the scenes”!

  • Brian

    Mairah did sound a little off last night but i think her voice is just tired or something she still sounded awesome though and i liked the way she performed the song, very classy. I think even though she was having a bad performance she still sounded better than half of the singers out there. She showed why she is one of the biggest artists in history not because she was at her best but becuase she pulled through.

  • niyshay

    I think that this was the the bes BET Awards Show out of all of them. I was not to fond of the way lauryn hill sang she sounded a hot mess. My favorite part of the show was to see terrence howars face when beyonce gave him that lap dance. i wonder how jay z felt

  • Howdy

    I cant believe Alicia Keys won Best R&B female. That song is 2years old???????
    That award should have went to Mariah Carey, she was robbed!

  • Lee S.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with you people, but Mariah sounded fine. She added in some higher notes and a little of gospel at the end during the climax; this might have thrown some people off, but I considered it to be perfect. Humm, maybe it was performance anxiety from having to please too many people like you.


  • tay

    giving to much credit to beyonce’s lapdance. Anyone could do that. Will Smith did it.

  • Rdizzal

    lee s, miriah WAS sick, you have a bad ear….anyone could hear that she was not at her best, of course we all know she can sing she was just sick…..

  • momo

    sorry but mariah was just georgous, she don’t use high notes or something like that to give us emotions. she was classy, beautiful.

    she was perfect even if her voice was not at her best.

  • fethi

    i’m sorry guys but try to sing the song We belong together it’ very difficult song i think she did something special and nice, she really strong this song because it’s very quick the lyrics like a rap song,
    so she was very nice…

  • fgdsgs

    gucci shades

  • Great BET Awards commentary HERE from DaveyD.com…

    Somethings to Ponder-Random Observations About the BET Awards in LA

    by Davey D

    So the BET Awards came through LA this week and put everything on tilt for the 3 days all the festivities and parties were in place. There’s so much to cover and so much to say that it’s hard to know where to began…

    I guess we should start with what down last night at the show itself. After being holed up in the Radio Room for two days where every major celebrity/rap star swung through no one had any idea that Wyclef Jean, Pras and Lauryn Hill were in the building. It was one of the best kept secrets to come along in a long time. Needless to say when they hit the stage to open up the show everyone was stunned. The Fugees were back.

    Now I will have to admit Lauryn who had just made headlines a couple of weeks before for exuding bizarre behavior at a concert wasn’t exactly on point when it came to hitting all her notes for classic gems like ‘Killing me Softly’, but who cares? It’s been a while, she’s been through a lot-so she gets a pass. I was just glad to see her back on stage trying to work it out. Whatever internal drama she’s had or is going through we hope, pray and encourage her to keep keeping on…

    The bottom line is Hip Hop needs the Fugees. Their return to the fold may send an even stronger message to folks that it’s possible to move forward, heal old wounds and create brighter tomorrows… Speaking of which, word around town is that EPMD is about to get back together… I didn’t know they were apart, but hey I’m all about Unity in the Community…

    This leads me to my next subject. The man they call Game. He did a good set last night. He obviously knows what needs to be done when you have a big posse and you wanna bring them all on stage. You don’t have them stand around grabbing mics and looking all sloppy. You line them up, get them synchronized, have them all wear the same shirts and put them to work. In this case it was good to see all the Black Wall Street cats doing a little two step routine on stage and if I heard it correctly even harmonizing. Rappers take note that’s how it should be done-no one on stage unless they are an active part of the show. Also him and his son rocking ‘Hate It or Love It’ with Mary J Blige was a good look.

    I didn’t hear any G-Unit disses which was good. I’m glad he had some sense to tone it down especially since he was all about it at the Laugh Factory a couple of days earlier.
    For those who don’t know, Chocolate Sundays is a big time thing in LA at this comedy spot. Game was in the building with his whole BWS posse. The host gave him his dap for being one of the many celebrities in the building and Game decided to be a part of the show and offered up a few G-Unit jokes. I couldn’t make out the first one, but the second crack was something about Olivia getting Tony Yayo pregnant. Maybe his timing was off or something ’cause the joke kinda fell flat for me…but the cats wearing those new G-Unot shirts thought it was funny and let out a few hearty laughs. I’ll give it to Game cause he did walk around the place and was cool with folks and showed the peeps some love.. I just wish the G-Unit beef would disappear…

    Later that evening Game had a run in of sorts with another guy known for beefs-Mr. Suge Knight. Record executive Steve Stoute had a big time shin dig at the Sunset Room. Everybody who was anybody was there. The event went off without a hitch until the end when people were leaving. Now here’s where things get a little fuzzy because I didn’t see the actual incident and there are a few versions to the story.

    The popular one that’s been circulating by people who claim to have seen it says. Game was with a couple of his cats when he and Suge crossed paths, a couple of things were said and the next thing you know one of the cats with Suge starts swinging on Game. Game does a few head bops to avoid getting hit, cats from both camps stand their ground ready for action and then some of Game’s BWS posse wisely pluck him from the scene before it gets too crazy. No one got hit, there was no bloodshed, no gunplay or nothing like that. I’m not quite sure why there was even a problem but it had everyone buzzing.

    Moving along, major props go out to everybody’s favorite rapper Mike Jones. I got a chance to chop it up with dude yesterday and he’s really humble for a cat that has the whole world saying his name and knowing his phone number. When we talked he explained that he is really grateful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon him. He was very passionate when he explained how it was his late grandmother who encouraged him to keep his head up and strive forward at a time when he was getting frustrated and ready to give up. In fact it was her who asked the 64 thousand dollar question-‘Who is Mike Jones?’ He noted that she never got a chance to see him blow up to the level that he’s at now, hence he dedicated his album to her and let the world know that she was his inspiration.

    Mike Jones has made it a point to follow through on his grandmother’s philosophy of reaching out and helping others less fortunate.