What if you only had one shot to pull off the biggest surprise performance at the Oscars? Would you do it? If you were Eminem, and it was the 92nd Academy Awards, you would.
Forget the chemistry between Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves. Forget how Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig were utterly charming (though slightly cringeworthy) when handing out awards. Forget all that, because the moment of the 2020 Oscars will be the sudden and unannounced performance of Eminem. The rapper delivered a surprise rendition of “Lose Yourself,” following a montage that celebrated how music can enhance the cinematic experience. After numerous highlights of how films utilized popular music — “Eye of the Tiger” for Rocky, “Fight The Power” for Do The Right Thing, practically every single John Hughes movie – the montage showed a moment from the film, 8 Mile. As the audience of the Dolby Theatre (and those at home) watched, the opening beats of “Lose Yourself” began to play.
And yeah – out came Eminem. It was the biggest surprise because it was so unexpected. And yet, despite the shock, everyone was into it. Heads were bopping along to Eminem’s signature song, and in the end, everyone gave it a standing ovation. It was the second standing ovation of the night, following the one given to the epic opening from Janelle Monae.
Oddly enough, though “Lose Yourself” won the Oscar, Eminem didn’t perform the song during the year he was nominated. In 2003, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards. It was the first hip hop artist ever to win an Academy Award. Eminem famously bailed on the ceremony. He didn’t perform the song at the show, and he wasn’t present when “Lose Yourself” won. His co-writer Luis Resto was the one who accepted the award. Eminem addressed this with a tweet. “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.” Technically, 17, but who’s counting?
— Syed 🏴 (@Drakeswriter1) February 10, 2020
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) February 10, 2020
Now, he can finally cross that off his bucket list. It seems that when someone asked him, “if you had one shot to play the Oscars, would you take it?” and he finally answered, “Yes.”