Highlights: Monica showing up Keyshia Cole. I start with this moment because it illustrates the disparity between older and newer artists. Monica is a seasoned performer with a great voice and Keyshia Cole you can tell has not developed the work ethic that would make her a great performer. I've heard her too many times not sounding good in prime slots.
(I know the quality could be better...Monica was looking alright there too)
As for the opening, I can appreciate why they got New Edition to do the Jackson 5. I am pretty sure that performance is second nature to them and they have chemistry, too bad they didn't sound great. Jamie Foxx though, killed as the host. Dude had to deal with a constantly changing schedule, late and slow moving people and a lot of adversity and he made it work, much props out to Jamie on that one.
The throwback R and B portion was good except for Aaron Hall sounding like an old dusty fart. You can tell BBD performs regularly these days. Levert also killed it with their performance though they were as long winded as Don Cornelius who had to be at the show that destroyed the Soul Train awards who at their worse were better than the BET awards.
The thing that confused me was the fact that Ciara sang a song. We don't want to see Ciara sing, we want to see her dance. What I think should have been done instead was to have an "MJ Dance Off" between let's say, Ciara and Omarion. For good measure someone could have found Mario a decent suit and he could have joined in, maybe even Ginuwine, T-Pain. It wouldn't have taken any more time and they would have only had to play the track behind them. I've got money that say "O" can do a mean Smooth Criminal.
Beyonce bored me, Jay held it down with his performance and Maxwell did his thing as usual.
Unfortunately the two low lights of the show were the Ving Rhames "Baby Boy" re-enactment that had Ving comparing MJ to "guns" and also had him calling other awards shows "Bitch ass". If it was written then it was a terrible idea and if it was spontaneous Ving is a damn idiot. The censor also was terrible. There was a five second delay but it was if the guy was busy eating a damn sandwich instead of keeping his finger ready. This was the worst thing however:
Drake was boring as hell and mad dry, Wayne is an idiot. I am sick of his drug induced "I can do anything because I'm a superstar" act. Every time he is seen in the media I just look at his lack of respect for his audience and fans. He doesn't care to try and make a good performance other than running around and taking his shirt off. That's not a good performance and I am sick of this guy. It is time to take a stand. Whoever cleared him to perform "Always Strapped" should be fired as well. Why must we continue to allow ourselves to be represented by this bullshit? This is why the younger generation really thinks this stuff is alright.
I almost forgot the second worst performance, which was Soulja Boy and "Turn My Swag On". Look I will admit, I don't get why anyone likes this song and no one has tried to explain it. Off key hook, wack lyrics if you can call them that, and Soulja yelling like something is wrong with him.
Jamie and Ne-yo ended the show alright, however, I would have involved all of the performers/ singers in a rendition of "We Are the World", at least the chorus all on stage. But like I said, Jamie did a good job moving the show along.
I have to say I was highly disappointed after all of the hype and talk of making a big tribute to see it come down to Keri Hilson doing the ending to "Bad" with no one understanding what was going on. Ne-yo and Jamie Foxx singing, and an appearance by Janet while Joe and Al Sharpton came out to camera hog looking like the pimps they really are. I would never have watched the show if I thought that was going to be it because I never expected anything else to be worth watching and I was right.
Bottom Line, BET needs to do much better than this for any show they produce. Stephen Hill needs to really look for people who understand production values and to have some real standards for what their performances should be. MTV does it, The Grammy's do it, and the CMA's do it, so can B.E.T.