The 2023 BAFTA Awards, or the 76th EE British Academy Film Awards, was recently held in the Royal Festival Hall, London, last Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023.
Opening the ceremony was Oscar-winning and last year’s BAFTA-winning actress Ariana DeBose for her outstanding performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”
DeBose, who is also a Tony-nominated actress and singer, has performed a lot on stage. She received a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2018 for “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” but ultimately lost to “Carousel’s” Lindsay Mendez.
She also hosted the 2022 Tony Awards, the same year she got her first Oscar Award for Best Actress.
That is why everyone was surprised that her opening performance at the 2023 BAFTAs was lackluster and quite awkward if you asked the internet.
According to Daily Mail, DeBose gave a performance, a rap verse in particular, name-checking all female nominees for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
She was joined by dancers who tore off her skirt as they danced through the rap.
While the rap verse celebrated women’s excellence and gave recognition to almost all the female nominees, the whole performance was labeled “cringy” and “awkward” by netizens.
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How did they know? Whenever the camera pans to the actress DeBose was singing to, the actresses can’t help but hide their unamused and awkward grins to it.
Watch Ariana DeBose’s BAFTA performance below:
Sisters are doing it for themselves! The incredible @ArianaDeBose opens the 2023 #EEBAFTAs with an iconic performance! ✨ pic.twitter.com/G9YgKN2e1t
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 19, 2023
Netizens quickly reacted to the performance, all of them agreeing that it was “awkward.”
The reaction shots in the Ariana Debose BAFTA performance are sending me pic.twitter.com/ru4m7BRWL7
— Nicol (@nikowl) February 20, 2023
“Who is responsible for making Ariana DeBose do this, I want them tried at The Hague,” a netizen shared.
“Dragging Oscar winner Ariana DeBose across the pond to make her do this is so wrong as hell,” another said.
“Ariana DeBose, she won an Oscar last year for West Side Story. She’s very talented but this was cringe,” someone tweeted.
“Got a lot of time for the celebs who smiled charmingly and awkwardly during Ariana DeBose’s painful BAFTA rap,” one commented.
Oscar-nominated actor Richard E. Grant and renowned Television personality Alison Hammond hosted the 2023 BAFTA Awards or the 76th EE British Academy Film Awards. A performance from Little Simz and Joanna Armatrading was also featured on the telecast.
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