But while this may have been a long time coming, you’d be forgiven if you flipped on the TV, came across Eminem and felt very confused. It’s not like the movie from 2002 is enjoying a particularly important milestone (ah yes, that very special porcelain anniversary).
Last year, we were treated to a steamy performance of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper that made perfect sense for that moment, given that “A Star Is Born” was a nominated film and so was the song. Nothing close to “8 Mile” or “Lose Yourself” was up for consideration Sunday.
Shortly after the performance, Eminem tweeted his thanks to the academy for having him back.
While we’re still asking ourselves “Why, though?!,” one ABC executive tweeted this response: “Why not??!!!”
Okay. Well, some of us still have to mentally process what we just witnessed. In the name of service journalism, here is a moment-by-moment breakdown of Eminem’s debut on the Oscars stage.
0:03: Um. This is a weird question but … is Eminem about to come out?
0:12: Wow, okay, we’re out here really doing this. We’re really about to watch Eminem perform “Lose Yourself” in the year of our Lord 2020.
0:17: I’m about to “lose myself” as it relates to my sense of time and place, like where am I and why is this happening?
0:36: “THERE’S VOMIT ON HIS SWEATER ALREADY/ MOM’S SPAGHETTI.”
0:41: “I was made for this moment,” this cellist thinks to herself.
0:47: Billie Eilish wasn’t even a year old when this song came out. That’s just a fact that needs repeating.
0:52: Here’s a live look of everyone at home watching the Oscars telecast. And sorry to Idina Menzel, who is about to become an Oscars meme six years after that whole John Travolta-Adele Dazeem name flub. You may have performed a song just a few minutes before this, lady, but your face in this moment says more than any piece of music ever could.
1:08: Annnnnd this is the exact moment in which everyone gave into this.
1:23: Okay, but honestly, this is all of us at every bar/club/wedding reception/high school reunion when this song comes on.
1:28: Could you imagine having to show up to work and doing your job in front of 27 gigantic photos of you taken 18 years ago, from various angles?
1:34: This is your auntie at said bar/club/wedding reception/high school reunion (we’re not sure why she’s at your high school reunion, but she’s there doing this).
1:58: It’s worth pointing out that this is the crowd for which Eminem has to perform. So this is probably just as weird for him as it is for you.
2:05: This is big “oh honey, you’re doing a fabulous job” energy.
2:25: This is the moment Eminem became an Oscar winner.
2:38: Everything about this moment with Martin Scorsese is perfect: the way the shot is framed, the vacant look of the woman beside him, the enthusiasm of those nearby, the way his eyes shut tight and remain closed half a second too long for him to avoid the perception that he has fallen asleep during Eminem’s spirited performance. This GIF of Scorsese during “Lose Yourself” is cinema.
2:45: When you’re about to rap along to “Lose Yourself” but realize you’re at the company party.
2:45: Let’s check back in on that bar/club/wedding reception/high school reunion.
2:54: When you realize you don’t know all the words, but, hey, at least you know how to dance.
3:03: “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/ This opportunity comes once in a lifetime” — unless your name is Eminem, I guess?
3:07: Eminem should perform with only these seven individuals in mind. In fact, the rest of us should perform our jobs with only these seven individuals in mind.
3:10: “Oh yeah, I’ve heard this before on the oldies station.”