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Don Cornelius

Don Cornelius

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I gave organizers extra points for even trying to pull this thing together with only a few days to work out the kinks, so I suspended some of my disdain for the network.� Also making them look good is that they took time out to salute regular everyday citizens and local luminaries, including three doctors who are helping their community and the mayor of a city who as a child-- along with his family -- was terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan.� We all know Viacom runs all of its awards shows over and over again ad nauseum, so you won't be able to avoid it.� But I can save you a little time with the following look back at the program.� I'll talk about the more important performances and the best/worst aspects.� The awards list is here, but I'll take care of everything else.

Spoiler Alert: Look out for multiple references to cheap-looking Michael-Jackson esque jackets, shout outs and a few less-than-smooth "tribute" additions to artist sets.Pre-show: Dotty at best, and not helped by a lackluster performance of newcomer Pleasure P.� I promised my Facebook friends I would reiterate my wall comment about this man's "Boyfriend No.

2" car wreck, including the observation that it might have been helped by better singing and back-up dancers who did NOT get their costumes in the paint aisle of the Home Depot.� Highlight: Chicago's Jeremih did us proud with a pre-awards "Birthday Sex."� I am sick of� hearing the song on the radio, but it is refreshing to see someone with actual musical talent.� �Opening Act: Nice to see New Edition back together, but their singing was a little on the ca-razy and, to quote Randy Jackson, a bit on the pitchy side.� Not sure why they were wearing fringed vests that didn't resemble any Jackson 5 attire I recall, but nice try doing a last minute Michael Jackson medley.

And thanks to Bobby for not bungling things.Jamie Foxx Intro: The host with the most started with a very cute Michael Jackson impression clad in a too-tight red, leather jacket and floods.� Nice moonwalk, too.� He may have laid it on a little thick loudly claiming Michael Jackson as a "black man" that "belongs to the network" (as if we didn't know the man's skin shade), but I appreciate him defending the late, great Jackson from a postmortem media dissection.� Even as a member of The Media, I think the over analysis of Jackson's personal struggles is going too far.� Appreciate him as an artist, eh?� Let the man rest in peace.� Moving on, Foxx did his best with obvious last-minute material and a respectable (but somewhat sluggish) attempt at a moonwalk.Ginuwine: Props to the "Pony" man for shouting out Motown 25, the performance that I think made Michael Jackson immortal.

Quick check, the DVD of this performance (about $13 this winter, according to my sis, Haute KoKo who contemplated buying it) is now about $70.

�� Keri Hilson: Wearing a leather jacket, skinny jeans and looking a bit like a bronzed Rizzo from "Grease," the talented singer and songwriter brought it with an interesting, varied performance including "Turning Me On" and "Knocks You Down." � Not sure if she nailed the MJ legacy with a crotch-grabbing, shuffling routine at the end of the set.� She visibly stumbled, and her attempts to stomp were inaudible.� Nice try though, Keri.Neyo: Began with the best chance of big upping MJ.

The man can sing, and he did a wonderful job with "Lady in My Life" from atop a stool.

Sitting.� Smart.

That definitely prevents shuffling/stomping mistakes.

Video medley: Cool medley of Michael Jackson and his amazing dance moves to the strains of "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough."� Where can I get a copy, BET? �Younguns Love Michael Jackson:� Actress KeKe Palmer sings her glitzy, little dress-wearing butt off when challenged by comedian Anthony Anderson that she and actor Bobbe' are not old enough to know MJ.� Of course, it was planned, but nice job, Miss Niceklodeon.� She kinda stole the thunder from Bobbe', obviously waiting to do an MJ spin.� Maybe next time, lil guy.� Now, time for a performance from host Foxx.Blame it on the B-B-B-B-E-T Awards: Turn that damn Auto-Tune off, you know you can sing Jamie Foxx.� Liking the Michael Jackson T-shirt Foxx is donning for "Blame It on the Alcohol," but is that what passes for a tribute these days?� And how come some of his famous friends didn't rush the stage?� Loved seeing Ron Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal and other Hollywood players in the vid for cameos.

As I mourn the MIA actors, i am cheered by big Snoop Dogg arriving on the stage looking like he just beamed in from "The Matrix," doing his cool scarecrow dance in a leather jacket.� Too bad, the Dogg had to make room for T-Pain.� Where's the off button on this ubiquitous producer? Go 'way, won't ya, T-Pain?� Highlight of the performance: Travis Barker coming in on the skins, and banging hard, boy.� So glad to see him back in action.

� Beyonce: Looks beautiful, as usual, this time in a white Vicky's Secret ensemble, but so sorry: the slow, syrupy "Ave Maria" and "Arms of an Angel" combo did not cut it.� Beyonce's singing/dancing/combo is excellent, but she is not exactly Celine Dion.

Add a break where dancers and yellow-clad grips come to put a tutu and Claire's Boutique crown on her: not so good.

Add a weird screen saver-y green backdrop: not much better.� I think I know where she was going, but she took a left turn and the set came off like a surreal and silly attempt to welcome MJ into heaven."Set it Off" with the Ugliest Actresses Ever: Shenehneh (Martin Lawrence) and Wanda (Jamie Foxx) reprise their comics-in-a-dress roles in a faux trailer for "Skank Robbers."� Please don't let any Hollywood producers think this is real and try to get the green light.

�� Foxx and Neyo Duo: Hey, Foxx.� Stop abusing your hosting privileges by snagging all the song time.� "Independent Woman" rendition cool, but Neyo, those ugly red gloves and matching shoes better not be an attempt to imitate Jackson.� And Mr.

Foxx, put that hideous black pleather jacket away...that's only cool for Jackson fans under the age of 12 and not yet responsible for their own clothes.

Throwback Gems:� Pay attention new-schoolers.� This medley of back-in-the day male crooners Guy shows you how they used to do it.� The fellas -- looking great-- broke it down with slick dance moves.

They were a bit winded, but wonderful and Lebron James showed his appreciation from the audience with some jamming of his own.� I also enjoyed seeing BBD bring it with "Poison."� Watch these guys work it out, old-school style and rival any sound on your radio today.� They also stuck it to Souljah Boy Tell 'Em in an otherwise forgettable earlier performance.� (Note to Souljah: Jumping off a faux bed and rapping like you're sleepy does not an impression make.)� Now, I'm dancing.� Yo, slick, blow."Real Housewives of Atlanta" and Ray-J come onstage: Score two points for dumb reality shows.� As a bit of karma, their mikes were hot.Don't Ruin B-Day:� What were show producers thinking?� Beyonce accepted her female artist award and then was almost pushed off the stage by Foxx.� Why?� Because they had a surprise for her.� B didn't look too happy when said "surprise" was her hubby performing his death-to-Autotune anthem.� Tribute to O'Jays: So nice to see Tevin Campbell again during a tribute to the wonderful O'Jays, as introduced by Don "Soul Train" Cornelius.

The velvet-voiced Johnny Gill was joined by Tyrese and Trey Songz.� Johnny and Tyrese were the best, but Songz put it down for Generation Next.� Poor Don Cornelius was seemingly shocked when the Ojays interrupted his overlong intro, and even more so when they teased him for being slow and wordy.� But Cornelius knows the game...he'll be okay.Ring My Bell:� Lucky, lucky Sherri Shepherd.� She gets to share the stage with Stringer Idris Elba.� He is every kind of fine.� Biggest Boss: Debra Lee, of BET, is raising her profile.� The often-maligned BET boss popped up all over the show and seems to want to wrap things up with class and style.

She summed up Michael Jackson's humanitarian contributions and presented Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys for their efforts abroad to improve our world.� A well-produced montage demonstrated Jean and Keyes' respective commitment to the world communities, in Africa and Haiti.� I love that Jean said he came from a hut, graduated to the projects and ended up in a mansion.� "You have no excuse," Jean said.

When the man is right, he's right."Baby Boy": If you have not seen this semi-terrible John Singleton movie, you didn't miss too much.� But apparently, it's still a big hit on BET, according to Taraji Henson, who won a best actress award on the show.

That's why it was incredibly funny when Henson was joined by her fellow "Baby Boy" stars, Ving Rhames and Tyrese, for an encore performance of the movie.� Very funny.Maxed Out: Maxwell came out and smoked up the screen.� What a beautiful voice, and his new clean-cut look is growing on me.� I love that Jamie Foxx said the alluring soul singer almost had him in a "Prop 8" situation.I Wish I Could: Yes, that Lil Wayne "I Wish I Could [Bleep] Every Girl in the World" song is bouncy and addictive, but it doesn''t play well on the BET Awards.

It comes off as "I Wish I Could Bleep Every Word in the Song."Janet Jackson: I just wanted to hug her.� So brave of her to get up and speak about her brother's death so soon after it happened.� I tell you, I couldn't do it.� So nice to see Miss Jackson.Jamie Foxx and Neyo Duo, Part Deux:� "I'll Be There" is touching, but I've had my fill of� you two tribute hogs.� Maxwell would have blasted this out of the park.

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