Why Beyoncé's "XO" At The 2014 BRIT Awards Won & Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" Flopped
Not everyone can be on point at all times — and that includes award-winning international artists. On Wednesday, two of the industry's biggest international female artists, Katy Perry and Beyoncé, performed at the 2014 BRIT Awards and it was like night and day. Other performers included recent Grammy-winners Lorde, Bruno Mars, and Pharrell — but Beyoncé and Perry were polar opposites with the former being totally "on" with her performance of "XO" and the latter being totally off with her's of "Dark Horse".
Both singers had great performances at the 2014 Grammy Awards a few weeks ago. Perry's dark and twisted "Dark Horse" was unexpected and perfectly sinister and Beyoncé and Jay Z's "Drunk In Love" exuding sexy in the most Bey & Jay way possible. So where did things go right and wrong — we're going to break it down.
Beyoncé, who went super-sexy at the Grammys, toned her sex-appeal way down for the BRITs. The singer performed the decidedly less explicit (and less controversial, considering she left out the offending clip of the Challenger disaster) song off of her new self-titled album "XO". Queen Bey also chose to appear alone on an empty stage (á la Taylor Swift at the Grammys) — we'd fault her for simplicity if her voice wasn't so on point. Watch it here:
Why It Works:
We won't say because everything about it is perfect — even though it's really true — but the simplicity, that glamorous sequined gown, and the focus on the song and nothing else really does it. The "Drunk In Love" singer just knows what works for her and when to use it. (We'll never forget her big and flashy performances of lore — cough, the Superbowl.) Even with the steamy sexiness of her Grammy performance, Beyoncé kept it simple — just her, a chair, her man, and a microphone. And she made a great judgement call in doing the same for her first live performance of "XO", which really requires nothing but her fab vocal chords. She toned down the sexiness and went for the celestial glamour that is her entire existence. Like we said before, the only thing we could fault her on is playing it very safe — but look at how well that worked out for Taylor Swift.
Now, watch Katy Perry's latest performance of "Dark Horse":
Why It Doesn't Work:
Why are we going down this road again, Katy Perry? Did we not learn from that geisha-inspired performance and the backlash Selena Gomez took for her Bollywood-inspired "Come And Get it"? Now we're aggregating Egyptian culture in the most ridiculous way possible. "Egyptian Rave," really? We won't deny that Perry's performance looked fun as hell (most of her performances do and that's what we love about her) — but her Grammy performance with those creepy horses looked really fun too (and actually made sense). We love that Katy Perry takes risk and if we're being honest, we love jamming to "Dark Horse" too — she definitely could've done this a little better. Or at least mastered the "walked like an Egyptian" dance move.