Normally award shows are like my kryptonite, but I was actually looking forward to this year’s installment of the Soul Train Awards. Last year’s show wasn’t too bad and this year’s event promised to be a nearly three-hour tribute to Soul Train’s grand conductor, the legendary Don Cornelius.
They can’t possibly mess that up, right? RIGHT?
1. Whatever doubts I had about the show were immediately erased after a tremendously funky opening number. Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton, Charlie Wilson and Leah LaBelle covered some of the most soulful tracks in history and tore the house down. But who invited Fantasia? She tried her best to scream the performance into oblivion – which I’m guessing is her mutant power – but her colleagues still held things together.
Soon after the performance, we got our first random 2 Chainz reference. Hmmm…
2. I love Miguel, he’s one of R&B’s shining stars. Still, I wonder who lets him out of the house with his hair looking like that?
He looks like a Pokemon.
3. It’s been a long time since BET’s Comic View closed up shop – had you forgotten how funny Gary Owen is? His Teena Marie rant was the best of the night: “Y’all thought Teena Marie was Creole!”
Random 2 Chainz reference count: 2
4. What do you think of Ne-Yo’s outfit? I’m not a fan of the urban Inspector Gadget look.
5. Did you ever think you’d see the day when Donny and Marie Osmond would appear on a BET Awards show? I mean, it was in a pre-recorded segment, but still. And Marie wasn’t lookin’ too bad! Thankfully the wifey wasn’t home to smack me for eyeballing that lady.
6. George Wallace in the house! No, not THAT one… What was up with his outfit? There was a LOT of glitter on his suit. He must have just left the strip club.
7. So they’re really making a Real Husbands of Hollywood show? Much like fried Oreos, I can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing.
8. Keyshia Cole’s performance was pretty good but why were her background singers doing the laziest dances known to man? They looked like they were taught hula by Bugs Bunny.
9. When is Tom Joyner gonna admit he’s really Fat Joe’s long lost father?
10. Wait, Tyrese’s “Stay” wins Song of the Year? If that’s the song of the year, the Zune is the mp3 player of the year. “Stay” sounds like something your drunk uncle sang to your aunt after Thanksgiving dinner.
11. And are Tyrese’s cohorts Tank and Ginuwine really trying to go through with this TGT thing? To quote the Highlander, there can be only one:
12. That earthquake you felt last night? That was Gerald Levert thrashing around in his grave while host Cedric the Entertainer butchered “Casanova.” Thankfully Gerald’s dad Eddie came to save the day.
13. Geez, John Legend only sings about three things these day – sex, making love and breaking headboards. Is he becoming the male Adina Howard?
Random 2 Chainz reference count: 3
14. All those random 2 Chainz references finally made sense after he accepted the award for Hip-Hop Song of the Year for Kanye West’s “Mercy.” He claimed he didn’t even know the song was nominated – are we REALLY supposed to believe that? I’m betting the constant name-drops were to keep the kiddos from changing the channel.
15. Here’s the bigger question: Why was Trey Songz’s pitiful “Heart Attack” song nominated for a hip-hop nod, along with being up for pretty much every other award? BET was determined to give that guy a metal train trophy to take home.
16. New Edition winning a Lifetime Achievement Award is cool, but when is Keith Sweat gonna get his award!? The NE boys clearly still have the moves but a couple of them could use a throat lozenge. They still sounded worlds better than:
17. Elle Varner. Why on earth do y’all like her? Her voice sounds like screeching tires fleeing a crime scene. But the second I said something negative about her, the Ellefans (playa please) threatened to burn me at the stake on social media.
Random 2 Chainz reference count: 4
18. When does Django Unchained finally hit theaters? I swear it has been hyped on every award show since Will and Jada last hosted the BET Awards.
19. It wouldn’t be a BET awards broadcast without someone to ratchet up the ignorance factor. We just HAD to have a 2 Chainz performance, right BET? As 2 Chainz lurched around on stage like the monster from Harry and the Hendersons, Uncle Charlie Wilson returned looking about 974 years old in the face. Or he was wearing a rubber Robert Townsend mask, I’m not sure.
20. We wrapped things up with a finale from Stevie Wonder, who is still hanging on to those sad braids. How long are we gonna use those “he can’t see” and “he’s a legend” excuses? I don’t understand why one of his handlers can’t just say, “playa, your braids are looking like week old Ramen noodles, it’s time to give it up.”
I know it seems like I gave this show a hard time but it wasn’t too bad. I really wish the Cornelius tributes were a bit stronger than “he thought hip-hop was cool!” and “he SHOLL loved those Soul Train dance lines!” But things could have been much worse. The opening number and Marie Osmond were good enough for me.
One thing’s for sure – if they’re still talking about Django’s upcoming debut in theaters during the 2013 awards, things have gone horribly wrong.
We wish you love, peace and soul, playas.