It's a difficult job hosting an awards show — not only do you have to keep things moving at a reasonable pace, but you're also usually obligated to deliver some jokes and sketches, and interact with your live audience. On Sunday night though, things seemed a little off on that last note. Host Jamie Foxx brought Michael B. Jordan on stage at the BET Awards, and later did the same with Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino. The stars clearly weren't prepared for the surprise, and Twitter was also a little confused.
Early in the show, Foxx asked Jordan to join him onstage and deliver an iconic line from his role in Black Panther. Later, a similar move was made with Glover after Foxx sang some of the melody from his smash hit "This Is America," and tried his hand at some of Glover's dance moves from the music video. While Jordan was ready with his line, Glover was visibly more confused as to why he'd been invited on stage, and after giving a shoutout to Lena Waithe and Issa Rae, he noted to the rest of the crowd that he definitely hadn't been anticipating leaving his seat in the audience.
Check out some of Twitter's collective confusion:
Some tweets suggested that Glover was supposed to perform at the BET Awards but ended up pulling out prior to the show, and perhaps Foxx was poking fun at that fact by going out of his way to acknowledge him anyway. Glover did end up singing some bars of "This Is America" while on stage, so if that was the purpose, Foxx got his wish. It wasn't explicitly said on-air that that's what was happening, though, so it remains unclear if that was Foxx's intent, and if Glover really was supposed to perform.
Jordan and Glover were good sports, both making the best of their appearances even if they weren't anticipating them, but the awkwardness was definitely not lost on viewers. Foxx had his fair share of sketches and comedic bits that didn't involve unsuspecting audience members, and though those didn't make quite the same splash that his moments with Jordan and Glover did, viewers were a little skeptical of them, too. Some of the jokes included a spoof of a possible Black Panther sequel, and a slew of costume changes, and not all of them landed.
It seemed at times that Foxx was simply trying to riff and fill a certain amount of time that he'd been given, and that might have simply lent itself to forced bits and spontaneous decisions. But there were some who defended his antics, saying that he was doing just fine, and the crowd simply wasn't game.
There were some other flubs noticeable here and there throughout the night. The two-hour red carpet pre-show had its fair share of technical difficulties, fumbled moments, and blank teleprompters. But despite those bumps that any live television production always runs the risk of dealing with, the BET Awards still had plenty of entertainment to offer viewers and the audience. The show acknowledged a number of well-known icons as well as some international artists, and debuted trailers for movies like The Hate U Give and BET's own The Bobby Brown Story.
Performances by Nicki Minaj, H.E.R., Migos, J. Cole, and many more also kept the show moving, and the audience was obviously feeling the music throughout the night. In the end, despite any awkward hosting moments or Twitter critiques, the BET Awards achieved its mission of celebrating black excellence and creating a huge platform for black art and those who create it.