Okay, let’s have it. How did we feel about the musical performances being in the pre-show? Pros & Cons?


Cons – it’s still kind of a weird enterprise, isn’t it? The live performance that isn’t a competition – that is, the songs are in competition, but the performances aren’t, and we’re unaccustomed to seeing performances for performances sake outside of music awards – and even then, if it’s not your thing it slows things down. I truly don’t know what else to recommend; if not refining this out-of-the-show concept, maybe it’s music videos? Since we are talking about film here? 

On the pro side, the performances definitely didn’t slow the broadcast down, and having the performances on the roof gave a little more room and dynamics for an actual individualized performance (even though three of the five songs were basically Singing Near Piano). 


This is where I think H.E.R. really excelled – the performance was a whole interpretation of the song (from Judas & the Black Messiah), it had energy, it was exciting – and she really embodies the whole thing. Her look was spectacular last night; as many people pointed out, it was a pretty overt Prince nod: 

Come on now. First of all I’m a sucker for a hood/snood (remember Janelle Monae last year?) and I love that carousel above because of how many different colours the purple was – I’m sure there was a lot of debate, and while it looks muted or deeply violet in different shots there, when she accepted the Oscar in adorably earnest fashion onstage, it looked almost blue, similar to here: 

I’m thrilled for H.E.R., because I love her, and because it was a surprise, after we’d all expected Leslie Odom Jr. to take it all season. I’d argue that maybe “Speak Now” (from One Night In Miami) is just a less invigorating song when all’s said and done. Or maybe – and this is pure speculation – in spite of the acclaim for One Night In Miami, Leslie Odom, Jr. suffers from having been many places? He plays Sam Cooke, he performs the song, he also had the misfortune of being in the shudderable Music … did voters lean towards novelty as much as anything else? 


He’s looked sharp all season too, and this suit looks amazing in these photos

On the carpet, though, there was something about the break in the legs of this gold suit that isn’t his best – I’m not worried he won’t get many more swings, but I do wonder if he’ll take on a new style trend for the next go-round. 

Leslie Odom Jr. attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Leslie Odom Jr. attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California