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Ariana DeBose has everyone talking about the BAFTAs.
This week, more people have heard of the BAFTAs than ever before in the award show’s history, and it has iconic actor and singer Ariana DeBose to thank.
DeBose stepped onto the stage at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 19, and immediately made the show relevant with a brilliant and campy — performance.
After host Richard E. Grant did an opening monologue, the West Side Story and Schmigadoon star stepped on stage with a group of dancers. She started to sing “Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves” and “We Are Family” while mixing in an original rap about the women nominees.
“All the ladies in the room, supporting and leading all I here I presume. Hong Chau and Dolly De, Kerry and Carrie with a C. Dame Emma I’m so fond, Ana girl, you were great in Blonde! Danielle D. you broke my heart, Michelle I’ve loved you from the start,” she rapped, sometimes out of breath, while dancing around the stage.
“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis, my Woman King, Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius. Jamie Lee, you are all of us,” she added, giving us the highlight of the performance.
\u201cPeople need to witness Ariana DeBose\u2019s evil BAFTA performance in full for context\u201d— Shirley Carter\u2019s Pussy (@Shirley Carter\u2019s Pussy) 1676973922
While we have nothing but love for Ariana and this fun and memorable performance, many online weren’t as kind, leading DeBose to deactivate her Twitter account.
\u201cAriana DeBose has deactivated her Twitter account after going viral for her performance at the 2023 #BAFTAs.\u201d— Pop Crave (@Pop Crave) 1676919818
The BAFTAs producer Nick Bullen came to DeBose’s defense, calling the criticism “totally unfair.” Bullen revealed that DeBose and her team put the piece together, and that when it was being performed, people in the room loved it.
“We wanted to open the show with some energy, some fun, and also lay out straight away that this was hopefully going to feel like a different night, but with a familiarity as well, and what Ariana did was exactly that,” he said.
DeBose is having a good sense of humor about it all. When writer Evan Ross Katz shared memes of the line “Angela Bassett did the thing,” DeBose commented on the Instagram post saying “honestly I love this.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with inserting some earnestness and camp into award shows. They’ve opened with Jimmy Fallon and Seth MacFarlane singing, but none of them have been anywhere as memorable as DeBose. She truly elevated the artform of award show musical numbers.
This is the most anyone has talked about the BAFTAs in its history, and the award show has Oscar-winning icon Ariana DeBose to thank for that. Yes, Angela Bassett did the thing, and so did Ariana DeBose, and that’s why we love her.
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