Chris Brown ruined his Michael Jackson tribute by choking up and blubbering through “Man In The Mirror” at the 2010 BET Awards in Los Angeles Sunday evening. As PopEater reported, his “performance” stole the show because there were nowhere near as many articles on the Internet afterward about El Debarge’s excellent performance that launched his first album in 16 years. There were considerably fewer on Kanye West’s comeback performance of “Power,” West’s first live appearance since his public self-humiliation at the MTV Video Music Awards (because Taylor Swift’s video was not the “greatest of all time”). Chris Brown’s emotional breakdown even received more print than Prince’s BET Lifetime Achievement Award. And the winners…
Chris Brown was the big winner at the 2010 BET Awards. The Internet is on fire about his emotional display, his inability to perform, his crying, his blubbering, ad nauseum. Brown hasn’t had this much press, or this much good press, since February 7, 2009, the day before the 2009 Grammy Awards. (For those whose memory fails to serve, it was on February 8, early in the morning, that Chris Brown assaulted his then girlfriend Rihannna, giving her a beating that left her virtually unrecognizable.) Even those that are questioning how genuine his emotional outburst actually was leave room for doubt. For Chris Brown, after the excoriation that he has received in the media for over a year, doubt is far better than outright ridicule and condemnation.
Brown came out, danced during a Michael Jackson medley, moonwalked, all to a Jackson-sung track. But, when it came time for him to actually sing, Chris Brown walked up and down the stage blubbering the lyrics to “Man In The Mirror.” The audience helped him out, singing along with the music until Brown could get control of himself. But he never got more than a couple coherent words out and walked dejectedly off-stage at the end of the song.
So… Was “Man In The Mirror,” and the thoughts of the death of his idol, Michael Jackson, just too much for Chris Brown? Was it some sort of Freudian effect, an attack of guilt brought on by the song or the title of the song? Was all the crying some cathartic outpouring, a public show of contrition for his brutal act? Or, was it Brown feeling sorry for himself, succumbing to the pressures of the public’s imposed ostracism of him as a person and as an artist?
Or, was it all staged? Was it all orchestrated to get the public to support him again and resurrect his flagging record sales? Was it a desperate act engineered for the sympathy, to grab the ever-present “second chance” that exists for everyone?
A Los Angeles Times snap poll taken after the 2010 BET Awards show found that 26 percent thought Chris Brown was faking, while 34 percent thought he was sincere. There were other categories, including one that suggested that Brown was simply overwhelmed by the fact that he had a singing gig again (8 percent). (The poll is still open; totals for the poll are subject to change.)
The poll does not ask about those who don’t care either way, and still believe that Chris Brown is lower than dirt for what he did to Rihanna.
The video of Chris Brown’s performance at the 2010 BET Awards follows.