The 2020 Academy Awards featured a ton of celebrities gracing the stage to announce winners, and even more to perform some major musical numbers. The show's opening song, performed by Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter, was a number all about the awards ceremony and was a perfect piece to kick off the night. But when it came to Eminem's performance at the 2020 Oscars, some fans wondered why he was chosen as one of the musicians for the evening. Well, there is an answer, and it's so full circle, it's honestly perfect.
An hour and a half into the three hour, star-studded show that was The Oscars, the program was ready to begin announcing winners in its musical categories. As an appropriate transition to the evening, the show brought out a musical guest to kick off the new group of awards. That artist was Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem.
The rapper took to the stage to perform the classic song Lose Yourself to the crowd of nominees. The stage was filled in smoke and top-notch lighting effects one could expect from a performance at the Oscars. In a black hoodie and baseball cap, Eminem looked vastly different from the fancily-dressed crowd to whom he was performing.
But formalwear didn't stop the audience from singing and dancing along to Eminem's performance. Audience members — including Billie Eilish, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio — got on their feet and rapped along to the iconic song. Eminem performed with a huge amount of excitement as smoke effects filled the stage. The performance in a word? Hype.
Fans were undoubtedly excited for the throwback performance, but some were confused why it made sense for him to perform that song at this event. Well, if you've followed The Oscars for some time, you might recall Eminem actually snagged an Academy Award himself in 2003; he won the Best Original Song category for Lose Yourself, which accompanied the 2002 hit movie 8 Mile.
The performance is reportedly a "do-over" of sorts to make up from a missed opportunity. The rapper didn't perform the song when it earned Academy recognition 17 years ago. At the time, Eminem reportedly didn't want to censor some of the song's explicit lyrics. In fact, Eminem didn't even attend the show to claim his award. One of the cowriters, Luis Restro, accepted the award in his place.
Things were kept hush-hush by the Academy leading up to the show to ensure Eminem's performance would be a surprise. Variety reported the theatre was put on "lockdown during rehearsals," and added that "if the news of his appearance leaked to the media, he had the option to cancel." So to not have a repeat of the 2003 non-performance, everyone had to be careful that mention of Eminem's performance didn't reach the press.
Needless to say, fans were surprised to see Eminem grace the stage nearly 20 years later to perform his hit song. It was a full-circle moment that honestly seemed like a perfect way to add some major excitement to the lengthy awards show.