The 2022 Oscars took an utterly shocking turn in hour three, prompting a vibe shift of epic proportions. Alas, other normal Oscar things did indeed happen before Will Smith and Chris Rock happened. Here are are five non-scandalous highlights.
Ariana DeBose’s Historic Win
Far be it from me not to get misty when the West Side Story star and best supporting actress delivered a perfect acceptance speech. “You know what, now I see why that Anita says ‘I want to be in America,’ because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true,” she said.
DeBose—formerly The Bullet in Hamilton—made history as the first openly queer, Black and Latina woman to win an Academy Award. “You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art,” DeBose said. “And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate. So, to anybody who has ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us.”
Beyoncé’s Highly Beyoncé Show-Opener
Advance knowledge that Beyoncé would perform from a tennis court in Compton during the Oscars did not make it any less stirring when she did just that, opening the show with the nominated song “Be Alive” from King Richard at Serena and Venus Williams’s home court. As per usual, Beyoncé commanded the tennis ball-colored extravaganza, but the real pièce de résistance was 10-year-old Blue Ivy Carter’s appearance among the ensemble. The Oscars could have ended there and some of us would have been perfectly happy.