A look of confusion tinged with concern washed over the audience as Eminem popped up on stage for a performance of Lose Yourself, 17 years after it won best original song.
Unlikely choice of entertainment aside, the star was barely recognisable from the bleach blonde rapper who rose to fame in the late 90s.
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Taking the stage following a montage of iconic movie music, Marshall Bruce Mathers, known as Eminem, performed the catchy track with aplomb, but it was the audience who looked as though they’d lost themselves briefly.
And the award for the greatest reaction goes to Idina Menzel and Billie Eilish:
Over on Twitter, the confused sentiment was echoed:
“Because he won an Oscar” is not a good enough reason for Eminem to be at the Oscars, years later.
— Zan Rowe (@zanrowe) February 10, 2020
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 10, 2020
— zach 🧢 (@zach_evan_) February 10, 2020
— Alison Kurtzman (@askurtzman) February 10, 2020
— Erin Quinn (@erinquinn_95) February 10, 2020
— Chris Ortiz (@RealChrisOrtiz) February 10, 2020
just when you though these #Oscars couldn’t get any whiter
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) February 10, 2020
Despite surprising everyone with his unexpected presence at the ceremony, he received a standing ovation for his efforts.
Afterwards, Mathers took to Twitter to thank the Academy for letting him do his thing since he didn’t attend the 2003 ceremony at which he won.
“Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity … Thanks for having me @TheAcademy,” he tweeted. “Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.”
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) February 10, 2020
Eminem’s Lose Yourself was the first ever hip-hop track to win an Oscar for Best Original Song.
He reportedly refused to perform the song at the awards in 2003 because it would have required censoring, and opted to not even attend.
This time around, broadcasters bleeped over the track three times instead.
The surprise performance comes after the 8 Mile star dropped a new album “Music to Be Murdered By” last month.