The Oscars aren’t usually full of many surprises. The awards mostly go to the people who have gotten them before, celebrities make a few softball jokes about how white and male the nominees are, and the performances are tasteful and boring so as not to offend any niche part of the broad demographic that tunes in for the yearly event.
But besides the semi-surprise of foreign language film Parasite totally sweeping the awards last night, we also got an absolutely out-of-left-field performance of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.
A montage of memorable songs from films harped on that dark beat every millennial remembers from 8 Mile for just long enough for everyone watching to scrunch up an eyebrow and wonder, ‘…is Eminem about to perform?!’
We seemed to be saved from this throwback as the video moved on, but it doubled back and, sure enough, the Real Slim Shady strolled on stage, palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy.
The surprise performance elicited a number of confused responses, not just from people watching at home, but from celebrities sitting in the audience, visibly lost at this pivot back to 2002.
the reactions to that Eminem performance were so good #Oscars pic.twitter.com/981WiI8mix
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 10, 2020
martin scorsese reacting to eminem vs reaction to bong joon-ho pic.twitter.com/BvdzPkderB
— martina (@drlouisebanks) February 10, 2020
THE REACTIONS TO EMINEM ARE PRICELESS #Oscars pic.twitter.com/KPpNrMRROJ
— Aniq ⎊ (@RaniqDesigns) February 10, 2020
The crowd reactions to Eminem’s Oscars performance is amazing 😂pic.twitter.com/oHIF0WO1pk
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) February 10, 2020
But real talk, Twitter’s reactions to celebrity reactions to Eminem really bring the whole thing home.
hahahaha billie and her brother said this ain’t it
— Julia Rogers (@juliarogers) February 10, 2020
— MKB (@MatthewKBegbie) February 10, 2020
why is eminem performing?? what is the connection. is it just to give us reaction shots of Scorsese reconsidering the life choices he’s made that led him here
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 10, 2020
leo’s “this is honestly so important” face for eminem pic.twitter.com/yMmievIY9B
— Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) February 10, 2020
The whole audience trying to jam to Eminem but also confused as to why he is performing #Oscars pic.twitter.com/Hkq8OrEYKF
— Erin Quinn (@erinquinn_95) February 10, 2020
We’re still not completely sure why this happened, but one can only assume 2021 will follow it up by inviting Smash Mouth on stage to perform their 2001 cover of “I’m a Believer” from Shrek.