Initial reactions to Ariana DeBose’s opening number at last week’s BAFTA ceremony went from “what is happening?” to “Oh God it’s still happening” to “what just happened?” over the course of two, very long, short minutes. Unfortunately, Ariana’s performance received so much negative attention that the BAFTA organization came forward to defend her. But then something magical happened. Upon repeated viewing, as the bizarrely staccato line, “Angela Bassett did the thing” wormed its way into our brains, making itself a cozy home there nestled amongst our cerebral folds, seemingly overnight, reactions to Ariana’s rap ode to the ladies of Hollywood became “It’s a hit!” And a star is reborn. Even though Ariana was bullied into deactivating her Twitter account, today she’s standing in her truth to say — “I had a blast!”
The legendary thing do-er of legend, Angela Bassett herself, DM’d Ariana soon after the BAFTAs, telling Variety, “I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.” Angela even joked about the thing while doing a different thing; receiving the Entertainer of The Year Award from the NAACP. Is there no thing she can’t do?!?! According to Page Six:
Angela Bassett certainly “did the thing.”
The “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star was named Entertainer of the Year at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards Saturday, and referenced Ariana DeBose’s viral rap that name-dropped her in her acceptance speech.
“I guess Angela Bassett did the thing,” the actress, 64, joked, while imitating DeBose’s iconic shoulder moves.
Here’s that special moment when culture collapsed in on itself just a little bit: AKA did the thing.
Angela Bassett accepting Her Entertainer Of The Year award at the NAACP Image Awards:
“I guess Angela Bassett did the thing”
— Pop Base (@PopBase) February 26, 2023
As for Miss Thing herself, now that what we thought was the dust, but was actually the glitter has settled, Ariana says she stands by her performance, describing it as a “woman singing and dancing, being magnificent celebrating women” AKA The Woman Thing. People reports:
Ariana DeBose is speaking out about her BAFTAs opening number — the one in which she did her thing.
While chatting with Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show, the Oscar winner, 32, gave her first comments since viral pushback surfaced after her performance at the British awards last Sunday.
“You know what, you might be one of the few,” DeBose said when Ball revealed she enjoyed the performance in a clip of the interview shared on TikTok Saturday. “I’ll take it, because you’re my people.”
“Honestly, it’s not like I’m like, ‘Hey BAFTA, let me in!’ They actually called me, believe it or not,” DeBose said. “But that was the assignment. Like, ‘Come celebrate women,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ We did that and it was fun. Not gonna lie, I had a blast.”
“[It was] so awesome, and then I spent the rest of the night, you know, cutting a rug. Which, is that something you say here? Cutting a rug with Emma Thompson,” she continued, referring to dancing with the actress. “It was fabulous. I had a great time.”
What can I say? John Travolta had a brain fart so Ariana could do The Thing. Much like the phrase “The wickedly talented Adele Dazeem,” “Angela Basset did the thing” will be living in our heads, rent-free, for the rest of our natural lives. Even Lizzo’s magic flute is powerless against The Thing!
This Just In: The Dougie, The Floss, and The Macarena all found dead as The Thing becomes the latest dance craze to sweep the world/TikTok. Angela Bassett may have done The Thing, but Ariana DeBose did That Thing.