News Column

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Sonya Sorich column

July 1, 2013

YellowBrix

July 01--The 2013 BET Awards is under way on BET. Chris Tucker will host the ceremony. Here's what's happened so far.

8 p.m. -- Chris Brown opens the show. He performs "Don't Think They Know." Toward the end of the performance, Nicki Minaj joins the performance and keeps the censors busy. Is anyone else surprised by how normal Nicki looks tonight? She's really subdued her look.

8:06 -- Host Chris Tucker takes the stage and delivers his opening monologue. For the most part, he avoids making fun of celebrities and instead focuses on money-related jokes. Is it funny? Well, I'm a little underwhelmed.

8:11 -- Don Cheadle sends prayers and support to Nelson Mandela.

8:12 -- Best Male Pop/R&B Artist is Miguel. "Just do what you believe in and you can do anything," he says while accepting the award.

8:20 -- Robin Thicke takes the stage and performs what's arguably this summer's anthem, "Blurred Lines." Oh yeah, T.I. and Pharrell are up there, too. Interestingly enough, I just read an article about how some people think this song reeks of rape.

8:26 -- Best New Artist is Kendrick Lamar. Awkward. He's nowhere to be found. The presenters accept it on his behalf.

8:29 -- I can't wait for "Black Nativity," coming Nov. 27.

8:33 -- The Young Stars Award goes to gymnast Gabrielle Douglas. "This is definitely incredible," she says. Wow, those biceps are intense.

8:35 -- Kendrick Lamar takes the stage. Apparently, he's in the house after all. He performs "m.A.A.d City," then Erykah Badu joins him to perform a jazzy rendition of "Trick, Don't Kill My Vibe." I'm totally loving this.

8:40 -- Side note: Apparently, it's really hard to say "BET Awards" quickly.

8:43 -- Chris Tucker gives a tribute to Michael Jackson and says Michael was a fan of 50 Cent and Rick Ross. Then, he performs "Human Nature."

8:47 -- El DeBarge is in the house! Yes, really. Time for my annual reference to the "Facts of Life" episode featuring El DeBarge. Anyone else remember that? He introduces a Music Matters performance by Austin Brown, who's from the Jackson bloodline.

8:49 -- Apparently, B.O.B. has the best male look tonight -- based on fans' votes, that is.

8:56 -- Host Chris Tucker warns, "Get ready because something's about to happen." Challenge accepted.

8:57 -- Rows of gospel-type singers perform in the aisles of the audience and I'm initially confused. Until I recognize some lyrics from "Trapped in the Closet." Oh, yes. This is happening. Moments later, R. Kelly takes the stage flaunting a bedazzled jacket. He performs a medley of hits, including "I Wish," "Bump n' Grind" and "Seems Like You're Ready." At 9 p.m., my biggest dream is fulfilled when he treats us to "Ignition (Remix)." The most awkward part of the performance is its abrupt end. R. Kelly simply stops performing and says, "I gotta get out of here." Um, OK.

9:03 -- Best Gospel Artist is Mary Mary. They couldn't make it to the show.

9:04 -- Subway Sportsman of the Year is LeBron James. Subway Sportswoman of the Year is Gabrielle Douglas.

9:10 -- Mariah Carey performs "#Beautiful" featuring Miguel.

9:15 -- Time for an appearance by the "Real Husbands of Hollywood"

9:18 -- Best Actor is Jamie Foxx. He gives a special shout-out to Quentin Tarantino while accepting the award. He's wearing a Trayvon Martin shirt.

9:20 -- Apparently, Amber Rose won tonight's "Best Face" award.

9:27 -- Time to honor some people who are helping others: Joshua Williams and Diane Latiker.

9:29 -- Best Female Hip-Hop Artist is Nicki Minaj. She reminds us she studied acting...and then talks about music. "This is my fourth award in a row," she says. "Every time I win, it's a humbling experience."

9:37 -- Miguel performs "How Many Drinks?" Go ahead and comment: How many drinks would it take you to leave with Miguel?

9:42 -- Best Male Hip-Hop Artist is Kendrick Lamar. Yes, he actually accepts this one on stage. "This is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to," he says.

9:45 -- K. Michelle is rocking tonight's best hair, based on fan votes.

9:49 -- Justin Timberlake is on stage, introducing a tribute to Charlie Wilson. India.Arie kicks off the tribute with "There Goes My Baby." Then, Jamie Foxx sings "Yearning for Your Love." Stevie Wonder sings "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)." As much as I loved those performances, I'm desperately craving "You Dropped a Bomb on Me."

10:01 -- Charlie Wilson takes the stage and accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award. "I want to give praise to God who's the head of my household," he says.

10:05 -- And...Charlie Wilson sings! He starts off with "You Are." Then, it's time for "Beautiful," featuring Pharrell and Snoop Lion. Or is he Snoop Dogg this week? Then, Justin Timberlake takes the stage for "Signs." Then...OH YES. It's time for "You Dropped a Bomb on Me." Justin. Charlie. Pharrell and Snoop Lion/Dogg. Throwback awesomeness. But wait, there's more. They perform "Outstanding."

10:22 -- J. Cole performs "Crooked Smile," then "Power Trip"

10:26 -- Time for a memorial segment that pays tribute to entertainers including Chris Kelly of Kris Kross,

10:27 -- Gospel artist Tamela Mann performs "Take Me to the King." Wow...pretty powerful stuff.

10:34 -- Time for a Music Matters performance by Curtis Fields. Confession: I'd never heard of this guy prior to the BET Awards, but he's pretty cool. He makes music using an iPhone.

10:35 -- Ciara won the "best smile" award

10:41 -- Ciara and Nicki Minaj perform "I'm Out." Then, Ciara sings "Body Party." I love this performance. The dancing is pretty phenomenal.

10:48 -- Best Collaboration goes to A$AP Rocky for "Problems," featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar.

10:55 -- Dwyane Wade gets the Humanitarian Award. While accepting the award, he says, "My responsibility is to create change."

11:04 -- We suddenly enter a random reggae party on stage. I feel like I'm at Zumba class. This is totally unexpected, yet pretty cool. Nicki Minaj showcases some wild dance moves in the audience.

11:09 -- The Fandemonium Award goes to Chris Brown. Apparently, this is his fourth consecutive Fandemonium Award. "Don't read the bull in the news, I'm a real dude," he says while accepting the award.

11:13 -- 2 Chainz performs "Feds Watching." Then, A$AP Rocky performs "Problems."

11:19 -- The Viewers' Choice Award goes to Drake for "Started from the Bottom."

11:25 -- Best Movie is "Think Like a Man."

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(c)2013 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.)

Visit the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.) at www.ledger-enquirer.com

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