The internet had a few thoughts about the opening number from Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) at the 76th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday (February 19) – and the consensus online was rough.
Near the start of the ceremony, DeBose performed a medley of songs, including “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves,” “We Are Family,” and an original rap celebrating the women nominated that evening.
Some lyrics included, “Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis, my Woman King, Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us.” Once Ariana DeBose left the stage, Twitter exploded with comments and memes about what they saw and heard.
Some viewers couldn’t decide whether what they witnessed was awful or extraordinary, so maybe it was both.
Other viewers couldn’t get DeBose’s lyrics out of their heads.
At least one Twitter user suggested that if Angela Bassett wins an Oscar next month, she should reference her part of DeBose’s song.
Other joked that DeBose turned down a request to perform at King Charles’ coronation after it was reported this weekend that Adele and Ed Sheeran had passed on their invitations.
At least one Twitter user had a legit question about one of the lyrics. Why flip Cate Blanchett’s name unless something would rhyme with “Cate”?
The criticism seemed to be a bit much for DeBose, who deactivated her Twitter account, although backstage after the performance, she said, “We made it happen.”
The day after the ceremony, BAFTAs producer Nick Bullen came to DeBose’s defense, telling Variety that the negative comments about her performance were “incredibly unfair.”
Bullen added: “I absolutely loved it. Everybody I’ve spoken to who was in the room absolutely loved it. She’s a huge star. She was amazing.”