After a year and a half of jet ski photos, obviously rehearsed taped apologies, unfortunate jewelry selections, YouTube videos missteps, Twitter debacles and other assorted PR disasters surrounding “the incident”, C. Breezy may have finally caught a break last night. Perhaps trying to mount a proper do-over after getting mixed reviews on how they handled MJ’s passing which was days before last year’s show, BET enlisted former tribute non-invitee Chris Brown to set things right. I personally remember his Michael bit from the VMAs a few years ago being a little better, but this was more significant for obvious reasons.
I get that MJ was a huge influence on Chris’ dancing (I too worship at the Church of Michael), but his imitation of the man’s signature leg kicks, crotch grabs, and razor sharp body hits fell short for me—- no finesse, no wow! I was particularly not feeling C.B.‘s rather lazy execution of the “Remember The Time” choreography; are you interpreting the choreo or are you doing a faithful recreation? It can’t be both. Ironically, the hottest moment of the performance didn’t involve Chris at all as the glow in the dark “Smooth Criminal” segment took me back to the days when Michael’s genius made feel like I shouldn’t even bother trying to dance.
However, the moment that has everybody talking is the final segment of the tribute, Brown’s rendition of “Man In The Mirror”. Overcome with emotion, Chris basically had a breakdown onstage so much that he couldn’t even finish singing the lyrics. The cynic in me wants to think that it was a carefully well-orchestrated stunt (finally!) meant to rehabilitate his public image. The optimist in me wants to think that he truly has seen the error of his ways and that he is genuinely trying to change. If the latter is to be believed, then the best way for him to truly win the public over again is to simply stop acting like an entitled jacka$$ who should not be held accountable for his actions cuz the whole I-said-“I’m-sorry”-now-can-we-go-back-to-me-being-adored thing ain’t workin’. Go away for awhile and get acquainted with humility, dude. Being a pop star is a blessing, not a right.
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