Eminem skipped out on the Academy Awards 17 years ago when he won an Oscar for his song “Lose Yourself” from the movie 8 Mile. At the time, the rap star was at the height of his fame and didn’t need an Oscars appearance to boost his already stratospheric career.
What a difference two decades makes. Now seeking a comeback following a series of poorly received albums, Eminem deigned to perform at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday even though he wasn’t nominated for anything. The bearded rapper chose to recycle “Lose Yourself,” performing before a surprised and somewhat baffled audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) February 10, 2020
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) February 10, 2020
His surprise appearance generated bi-partisan head scratching and mockery on social media as well as in the traditional media. Some wondered why Oscar producers decided to resurrect a song from nearly two decades ago that had no relevance to the year’s crop of nominations.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes spoke for many when he questioned why the Oscars brought back Eminem to perform an old song.
I still don’t quite get why Eminem performed an 18-year-old song last night?
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 10, 2020
Time magazine noted that Eminem’s appearance “confused pretty much everyone watching,”
— TIME (@TIME) February 10, 2020
‘The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg called the performance “awesome” in what was likely a sarcastic tweet.
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) February 10, 2020
Variety also got in on the game, mocking Eminem’s appearance by memeing a reaction shot of Martin Scorsese.
— Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020
Social media commenters noted that celebrities in the audience appeared befuddled by Eminem’s surprise appearance. Idina Menzel’s puzzled reaction became an almost instant meme.
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) February 10, 2020
— Braddington (@bradwhipple) February 10, 2020
Hip-hop magazine XXL mocked the audience reactions to Eminem in a video compilation.
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) February 10, 2020