Who were the big winners at the 2010 BET Awards? Well, host Kanye West and his volcano were the opening act, while Queen Latifah tried to start the night out with a bang herself, although her short rap and onstage wardrobe change fell a little flat. And it’s just a little bit sad that Jada Pinkett-Smith’s presentation of the best moments from past shows in honor of the 2010 BET Awards being its 10th anniversary only included three clips. But anyway, here’s a look at the big winners and the best moments from the show:
Best Female R&B Artist – Alicia Keys was one of the loveliest winners of the night, as the momma-to-be graciously accepted her award in one of the most popular wardrobe colors of the early part of the night, white. Her win was followed by a performance by Usher (also in white) who dazzled with his ability to dance in place on a smoky stage to a smooth slow jam.
Mike Epps kicked it old school, 1990’s style, after tearing off an overcoat to reveal a Mecca jacket and a Karl Kani shirt. He completed the look with a pager. It was hardly funny, so it was a bit of a relief when he and Taraji P. Henson presented the next 2010 BET award.
Best Female Hip-Hip Artist – Nicki Minaj was one of the winners of the night with even wackier fashion sense than Epps. She made her way on the stage in a wedding dress and Ronald McDonald wig (but she still looked hot). And then T.I. proved that there’s no need for pyrotechnics anymore by setting the stage on fire while performing in front of flaming flat screens (and attempting to win the award for longest silent censorship of the night).
Ah, Nia Long and Larenz Tate shared some poetry from ‘Love Jones’. Very romantic (but kind of bizarre and out-of-place).
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist – We probably all expected Drake to be one of the big winners of the night, and he brought a posse on stage with him as big as his thank-you list.
Uh oh, Alicia Keys better watch out; the 13-year-old that got the honor of introducing her as a birthday present has just as amazing vocals (maybe she can fill in while she’s on maternity leave). Alicia Keys tickled the ivories on an aqua electric piano that would make Liberace green with envy (After Queen Latifah made her way on the stage dressed like a Golden Girl to introduce her and her young protégé).
Queen Latifah’s ever-changing outfits were one of the biggest highlights of the night, and they included quite a bit of cross-dressing. She shared a joke with T.I. about bringing guns to award shows before Keyshia Cole and B.o.B. performed one of the biggest hits of the summer, ‘Airplanes’. Eminem joined them onstage, and he seems primed to make a comeback (wow, they even completed the performance in front of a choir; is Em “Not Afraid” to play nice this time around?).
Monica channeled Lady GaGa with a futuristic cone-sleeved number while performing with Deniece Williams before another of the big awards of the night, which was:
Best Collaboration – Any surprise here? Jay-Z and Alicia Keys add their names to the list of winners at the 2010 BET Awards with ‘Empire State of Mind’.
I loved cross-dressing Queen Latifah’s one liner while introducing Diddy: “He enjoys the company of fine women, just like me.” And then all we saw for the next fifteen minutes wasn’t the promised Diddy Dirty Money, but a wall of smoke. There should have been a big SEIZURE WARNING before one strobe light-filled section.
Up next we had one of the biggest moments of the night: a Michael Jackson tribute introduced by Jermaine Jackson and performed by… Chris Brown.
Chris Brown went to town with MJ’s moves, complete with some of Michael Jackson’s most iconic costumes. There was a stunning “Smooth Criminal” sequence in the dark with highlighted light-up suits and hats (one of the biggest highlights of the performance), and Chris Brown did the moonwalk during “Billie Jean”. But what will most be remembered from his performance was the way he performed (or rather didn’t perform) “Man in the Mirror”, as the choked-up star paced the stage throwing his arms in the air and beating his chest like a sinner about to be saved. So has Chris Brown redeemed himself with this performance? Only time will tell, but things are looking better for the beat-down Brown.
Layla Ali announced that Serena Williams and Lebron James won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year awards, before Drake fittingly performed a much-censored ‘Fireworks’. Mike Epps came back better dressed and making some joke about laying his suit out on the bed like a kid does with their clothes before the first day of school (this guy is supposed to be a comedian?), announcing that an audience will get the pleasure of sitting through hours of his material at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Best Male R&B Artist – The Black-Eyed Peas, a mostly-male group whose most famous member is female, presented the award for Best Male R&B Artist to Trey Songz, one of the winners of the night who had plenty of love for everyone at the 2010 BET Awards (including his mom, who he brought onstage; she really looks like she could be his younger sister).
El DeBarge really got the crowd going with his unique voice and some old school beats (why didn’t he sing any Prince songs? He’s got the voice for it.)
The Gary Coleman tribute was short and sweet, with costar Todd Bridges coming onstage to state that he even got to hear “What you talkin’ about, Willis” in prison, before leading the audience in saying the unforgettable line (Gary Coleman hated it).
There was a tribute to Haiti (but isn’t the Gulf oil spill crisis the latest hip happening that deserves a tribute?), and John Legend was one of the most humble winners of the night while accepting the Humanitarian Award (a.k.a. the “He Makes the Rest of Us Feel Like $#!* Award”).
Video of the Year – Beyonce and Lady GaGa were two of the night’s big winners for “Videophone”, but, sadly, neither was at the 2010 BET Awards to steal the show with their funky fashion sense.
The Prince tribute was definitely one of the most memorable moments of the night, with Janelle Monae attempting to wow the Prince of Pop with her high-energy performance (Prince didn’t look too impressed). He did, however, look pleased when a pregnant Alicia Keys climbed on top of her piano and rolled around all over it, and it was raining shoes during ‘Purple Rain’ when Patti LaBelle kicked hers off in his direction (he actually managed to snag one of them).
Prince finally got to accept his award, thanking Jehovah (which was to be expected) and looking like he was twenty (was that a picture of himself on his rainbow-colored shirt?).
Chris Brown also won an award and told his fans he knows he let them down once before but won’t do it again. And, what do you know, Rihanna won the Viewer’s Choice Award (but wasn’t there to accept it). Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, and Dj Khaled closed the night, ending the 2010 BET Awards with a star-studded tenth anniversary special likely to be remembered most for Chris Brown emulating Michael Jackson and Prince’s discovery of the fountain of youth. Good night