Ariana DeBose holds her hand over her mouth and laughs on the BAFTAs red carpet.

Ariana DeBose’s BAFTA Performance is Peak Theater Kid

In a good way!

I have long held that we are living through the most boring celebrity gossip era in a very long time. Everyone controls their image; no one is willing to jump on a couch in front of Oprah, declaring their love for an age-inappropriate girlfriend. It’s all very tame and very dull if you’re into this sort of thing, which I am. So it was with great delight that I watched the inexplicable rap that Ariana DeBose performed over the weekend at the BAFTAs because it was delightful, cringe, and just a perfect Mad Lib of awesome and inexplicableness.

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After this video (and one moment in particular) went viral, the Oscar winner deactivated her Twitter account, presumably because of the embarrassment of it all. Watch for yourself, and prepare for delight and wonder:

Ariana DeBose brought the theater kid energy in the best way because that rap (or whatever the hell it is) is cringe, and she never once let on that to her, it was anything less than Sondheim. I am not alone in having great admiration for this ridiculous, dumb number:

She looked cute in her 2023 jumpsuit take on Marilyn Monroe’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes dress. She tried, and I think it landed pretty well for a song that went “Angela Bassett did the thing” and never gave any explanation of what the thing was!

I also think I’ll die wondering, and quoting this. I’m not kidding:

I wholeheartedly agree with this take, I can’t stop thinking about this line, specifically. Have I mentioned it? In a sea of randomness, it stood out like a rogue wave:

Here is what we are not going to do in the year 2023: We are not going to do to Ariana DeBose what was done to Anne Hathaway 10 years ago because she tried hard and put on a good show, OK?

We’re not going to do that because one, it was sexist, obnoxious, and completely undeserved. It turns out Anne Hathaway is pretty cool, and we like her stuff, don’t we? Two, because, like I said, we are in a very boring, low period of celebrity news, and here we have an Oscar-winning celebrity willing to rap on an international stage with lines such as “Cary with a ‘C.'” She also clearly has a sense of humor about how dumb the whole thing is. (To an extent, at least. She did, after all, deactivate her Twitter account.) That is a gift, people, and we must treasure it!

Personally, I hope one day an oral history comes out about the whole song, and it turns out that everyone was extremely hungover, and someone lost a bet, and that’s the whole story. Nothing would delight me more. Until then, when Ariana DeBose comes back on social media, we will welcome her with open arms and not make fun of her anymore. Since what we were given was a gift, we shan’t look this gift horse in the mouth anymore, shall we? No, we will not.

(featured image: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.