The 2017 BET Awards did not hold back on the assortment of tweetable moments from stars of the stage and screen. We watched the show with you from start to finish and were able to assess what moments thrilled us and which ones chilled us (for the wrong reasons).
Check out a few of the high and low moments from the night below.
High: Bruno Mars’ Energetic Opening Performance
The 24K man rocked it out with his equally-as-entertaining band to his song “Perm,” which featured interpolations of Outkast’s “The Way You Move.” Serving up tons of subtle-yet-impressive dance moves, and also making sure the audience was “all the way live,” there was no denying that this was the perfect way to start the show.
High: Honoring Those Making A Difference
It was heart-warming to see the likes of Solange take a moment to acknowledge those (like Tamika Mallory) who have dedicated their lives to fight for social change or serve others less fortunate and without (like Michael and Martellus Bennett).
Low: Leslie Jones’ Bush Joke
…and no we’re not talking about George W. Host Leslie Jones missed the mark early on with a joke referencing Amber Rose’s infamous Slut Walk promotional picture from Instagram, where she bared all in a now-deleted snap. Jones said that Rose and her have “a lot in common,” and stated that her…um…area is more like “Frederick Douglass,” while Rose’s is more like “James Harden.” That’s when we promptly got up off of the couch due to sheer second-hand embarrassment.
High: Remembering The Faces Of The Black Lives Matter Movement
The stars of the upcoming film Detroit (Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell and Laz Alonzo) made sure to bring the spirit of awareness to the awards. They named some of the figures central to the Black Lives Matter movement before announcing the Centric Award winner, such as Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and more.
“Our generation has the power to influence change” said Mitchell.
— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) June 26, 2017
High: Migos’ Iced-Out Trap Medley
Starting off with Post Malone and “Congratulations,” the trap trio got the crowd going with “T-Shirt” and the Donald Glover-approved “Bad And Boujee.” We couldn’t ask for anything more turnt, and the audience was loving every moment.
Low: Trey Songz Singing Live
Don’t get us wrong, Trigga Trey has his moments. However, during his performance of “Nobody Else But You” and “Animal,” the incredible amount of activity on-stage (hamster balls full of scantily-clad dancers, a rotating stage, smoke machines galore) did not make for show-stopping vocals. Maybe next time.
High: Leslie Jones’ Fantasy Basketball Camp Sketch
You may not be able to ball out like LeBron or Chef Curry, but thanks to Leslie Jones’ “Fantasy Basketball Camp,” you can at least cook on the court like “a six-foot tall b**ch” who quit playing the sport in college to smoke weed. With signature moves like the “Devil’s Elbow” and help from Los Angeles Clippers star Austin Rivers, this camp has everything you need. Just make sure you have $5,000 big ones to enroll.
High: Michelle Obama’s Video of Praise
What better way to receive your Humanitarian Award than with the former First Lady of the United States of America personally giving you your props by way of a visual message? Yeah, we don’t know either.
Low: Chris Brown’s Underwhelming Performance
Despite silhouettes of seduction during “Privacy” and a dance session to “Party,” CB’s performance felt just a bit unfulfilling. We long for the days where Chris didn’t sing with a backing track and danced as full-out as we know he can.
High: Mary J. Blige Shows Her Strength
With renditions of “Set Me Free” and “Love Yourself” featuring A$AP Rocky from her 2017 LP Strength Of A Woman, Mary shut it down vocally, showing us not only her strength but her talent as well. Not to mention, she was serving body and stunned in an intoxicating sequined number that had our jaws on the floor.
Low: The Show Runneth Over
While pressed for time during a live broadcast, things start to go a bit haywire. During the near 11:30 PM slot, legendary rapper MC Lyte announced presenter Issa Rae as Yara Shahidi, and while SZA was starting her performance of “Love Galore,” technical issues screwed up the very beginning of the set, forcing her to start over.
Then around the 11:45 PM time slot, we got a DJ Khaled performance, a trailer for BET’s upcoming show Tales, and a Lil Yachty joke that didn’t quite land.
The show ended up finishing officially at 11:59 PM (EST). Some of us had to wake up today, but hey, life goes on.
High: Throwbacks Galore from New Edition and Xscape
Whether it was Xscape performing their hits “Understanding,” “Who Can I Run To,” and “Just Kickin It,” or the incredible medley of New Edition hits from the stars of the BET film, The New Edition Story and the legends themselves, we were taken back to decades of yesterday for a night of good fun and great tunes.