As you may have heard, they gave out some awards in L.A. last night. The 2012 BET Awards promised to come up big with star power, performances and a brand new host in Samuel L. Jackson and for the most part, they did. This year boasted a star-studded Whitney Houston tribute as well as Humanitarian Awards for the Rev. Al Sharpton and a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for Frankie Beverly and Maze. The show moved along slowly in its first hour, despite the highly touted performance by D’Angelo – his first on U.S. TV in 12 years – then picked up speed with the presentation to Frankie Beverly and Maze that featuring the legendary band taking the stage themselves. But much of the night’s drama was the Awards’ front row dynamics with Solange, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye and Kim Kardashian all seated together. Here’s our take on the nights highs and lows:
Biggest Winners: Jay-Z and Kanye, not just because they won two awards for their collaboration “Watch The Throne” but because they were clearly BET Awards royalty with front row seats, plenty of camera time and the baddest chicks on the game on their arm – that is if you include the reality TV game.
Biggest Loser: Chris Brown, who’s slimmer appearance led to much speculation on Twitter. Although he won two awards, his performance was a lackluster repeat of the same he’s done at several other shows.
Most Underwhelming Comeback: Sorry to say, but D’Angelo’s highly promoted comeback was either the wrong song, the wrong part of the show or just maybe not ready for prime-time as the soul singer’s return wasn’t the momentum changer that it should have been.
Most Miscast Tribute Performer: Much as we love Chante Moore, who looked fabulous, she just wasn’t the right voice for a Donna Summer tribute.
Most Surprising Appearance: MC Lyte, who provided voiceovers for the show, surprised viewers with her gaunt appearance.
Most In Need of a New Stylist: LaLa Anthony who clearly has learned nothing about dressing for success from her homegirl Kim Kardashian.
Most Awkward Moments: When it became clear that Kanye’s date, Kim K., was as lost at the BET Awards as Piers Morgan was doing commentary during Whitney Houston’s funeral. We’re thinking that Kanye’s not planning on taking her to a stepper’s set in Chi-town anytime soon.
Worst Awards Show Trend: Beeping out words and entire verses of rap songs. Whatever happened to TV versions of explicit records? Ten seconds of dead air on TV is just…boring.
Missing In Action: R. Kelly, who could have – and should have – participated in the tribute to Frankie Beverly, or performed has been sidelined by vocal problems despite the recent release of his new CD “Write Me Back.”
Most Moving Performance: Cissy Houston paying tribute to her late daughter Whitney, singing a heartfelt version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which led both Beyonce and Soulja Boy to shed tears.
Best Overall Performance: The very well-put together Whitney Houston tribute featuring an introduction from Mariah Carey, Monica, Brandy, Cissy Houston, Chaka Khan performing and Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine sharing their memories of the late singer. As good as it was, it made you wonder what might have changed for Whitney had she been showered with all this love when she was still alive.
Best Stars…They’re Just Like Us Award: To Beyonce and Solange Knowles who did what one Twitter user called “the barbeque 2-step” during the Frankie Beverly tribute.
Keep Hope Alive Award: 2 Chainz, who after stints in both DTP and Playa’s Circle has finally found success as a solo artist…at age 35 (and he turns 36 this year.)
Most Inspiring Speeches – Frankie Beverly, who told the audience that God rewards those who have a little patience and Rev. Al Sharpton, who said that he hopes all bigots and unjust people are upset every morning when he wakes up.
Least Inspiring Speech: Nikki Minaj thanking her “barbz” and then throwing out the “d” word in her acceptance speech. Keep it classy, Nikki.
Best Dressed Women: Angela Bassett in black lace and Beyonce in silky one-shouldered neon with a big, mirrored belt.
Best Dressed Men: Jay-Z in grey suit with sneaks and no tie, Rev. Al in a sharply cut suit that was the anti-Steve Harvey look. Honorable mention to Lance Gross on the red carpet.
Best Quote: Director Alan Ferguson, accepting his award for best video, called Solange Knowles “the love or his life.”
Best Body Makeover: Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan
Most in Need of a Body Makeover: Rick Ross
Best Diva Moment: Mariah Carey in a “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” like gown to introduce the Whitney Houston tribute.
Best Guest Appearance: Faith Evans who salvaged the Frankie Beverly tribute that Joe and Tyrese couldn’t quite handle.
Best Comic Moment: As much as Samuel L. and Spike’s attempt to do “N—S In Paris” was a good try, Jay’s interrupting Kanye’s acceptance speech with “Scuse me Kanye, I’m a let you finish,” was the night’s true LOL moment.
Cutest Couple Moment: The undisputed winners once again were B and Jay, who competed against each other in Best Video and made mock-angry faces at each other while presenter Jamie Foxx joked about who’d have bragging rights in the household. When Jay won, Beyonce gave her hubby some mock punches.
Worst Fan Club Name: Mindless Behavior’s fans call themselves Team Mindless. We did not make that up.
Complete list of BET 2012 Winners:
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West)
Kevin Hart, “Think Like A Man”