It is a truth universally acknowledged that when Beyoncé opens a show, no other point in the show will reach the heights that it did when Beyoncé was in command. That was always going to be the case with the Oscars this year; it’s just that…well… nobody could have predicted just how tragic the unravelling would be and all the pain and sadness that would ensue.
Yes, of course, we will be covering the Will Smith and Chris Rock moment later today. But let’s just get one thing out of the way here, because there are some people who believe that the whole mess was staged – it was definitely NOT staged. Anybody who wants to insist on it being staged doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and that’s all the time we should spend on that ridiculous theory.
Let’s go back to the high point then, before we all had to throw out our Oscar lineups, and reset the board – since no one could have imagined we would see what we saw – when the Oscars were given a gift: the presence and participation of the Queen of Culture, Beyoncé, performing from Compton on a set dressed in tennis ball yellow to pay tribute to the Williams family and the community where they first developed their talent.
As always with Beyoncé, it’s in the details: from the opening moment featuring two girls holding tennis racquets leading a group that included another on horseback, an homage to the Compton Cowboys; to the braided and beaded hairstyles worn by the performers and so closely associated with Venus and Serena; to how the song was remixed with Dr Dre’s “California Love” and “Nuthin’ But a G Thang”; and also the Blue Ivy Carter herself …
…Beyoncé did the work, so much work, and delivered for the Oscars the kick-off they were hoping for. Probably with her own crew, since the shots were so specific, zooming in on exactly the right note, going wide when the moment called for it.
That kind of control is a Beyoncé signature, and we all know by now, she doesn’t trust her sh-t to just anyone. If she agrees to show up somewhere, and in this case for her first award show performance in five years and her first live appearance in two years, she’s going to bring in her own people, her own team, for the job. Only Beyoncé could produce these kinds of Beyoncé visuals:
And then she actually showed up to sit in the audience in time for the Best Original Song category to be announced (helicopters on standby!). And she allowed them to show her on camera, briefly, and not repeatedly. But the point is, she was there in a different yellow dress. She skipped the carpet, obviously, but she actually did them a favour instead of going straight to her own party.
You will note, however, that there are precious few photos of Beyoncé from Oscar night. She allowed the cutaway during the show, but at the time of this post, no photo agencies have any shots of her at her table. And the shots we do see on social media, through the Beyoncé Legion Twitter account, for example, are from her personal photographer. This is standard Beyoncé operating procedure – she makes no exceptions, not even for the Oscars. Especially not for the Oscars. Remember, they needed her more than she needed them.
But if only the show could have maintained that energy.
So here we are, at the end of one of the most chaotic award seasons in history, an award season that ended… very sadly… in chaos. We’re writing through the night and posting through the morning and we’re getting to as many looks and moments as we can. Thanks for refreshing the site and following along. There’s a lot coming your way today and we hope you’ll join us for all of it.
Yours in gossip,