Sometimes it pays to have other plans.

The 10th Annual BET Award ceremony is tonight. Now, normally, I live blog these things so I can share in the shocks and horrors along with everyone else. This time, I had to work (yes, on a Sunday night. I know, right?), so watching the show live isn’t an option. Thank God for DVR. Now I can still deliver snark, but I can speed through the show in half the time!

The BET Awards? Well, first of all, since I’m out of their target age demo, it’s the only thing I watch on the network other than the “In Living Color” reruns. Usually there’s a handful of a good moments filtered between the usual profanity, half-assed wardrobe (literally) and lip-synched performances. This year’s ceremony promises to have a couple of water cooler moments-most notably a tribute to Prince and the return of Kanye West after Taylor-gate. Having Queen Latifah as host should be a classy move. Oh, and the Jackson family will allegedly be in the audience. Maybe someone will walk up to Joe and punch him in the face?

This year’s top nominees include Jay-Z, Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Drake. In other words, the same people that win BET Awards every damn year. Oh, and Chris Brown and Rihanna are BOTH nominated for awards. Will the restraining order be violated?

Oh, have I mentioned Justin Bieber is up for a BET Award? SMH.

Let’s see what this year’s ceremony has to offer.

First off, I should let you know that when it comes to Black-related programming, Centric is killing BET right now.

That said, Centric is about to start running a Keith Sweat/Dru Hill reality show. Who ASKED for that shit?

Kanye’s opening the show. This promises to be some sick shit. Someone paid a lot (A LOT) of money for that set. He’s standing on top of mountains and there’s tons of pyro. He’s also wearing a medallion that looks like it was stolen from LL Cool J’s “Bigger and Deffer” album cover.

The person working the censor button must be the same guy who bleeped out Kanye (and Drake, Eminem and Wayne)’s performance of “Forever” on the Grammy Awards earlier this year.

No Kanye close-ups? Either that was a stand-in or he had a zit.

Latifah’s hosting the show, Lyte’s doing the voice overs. Are Salt-n-Pepa going to lead us into the commercial breaks?

Is there something wrong with me because I don’t know who half these people are?

Latifah started out flat, but she quickly rebounded. She called Swizz Beatz ugly. I guess that rules out any three-way possibilities with him and Alicia.

Then she called Trey Songz sexy, but she was really looking at Trey’s ladyfriend.

Jada Pinkett (Smith) says that 10 years ago, a show like this didn’t exist. I think the Soul Train Awards begs to differ.

Up for best R&B female: Beyonce, Mary J., Melanie Fiona, Alicia Keys and Rihanna. They’re using baby pics-cute touch.

Alicia Keys wins and kisses Swizz and a little kid who looks a lot like Swizz…Mashonda is typing out a nasty-ass email right about now.

She dedicates this award to all the superwomen out there who get involved with married men and get pregnant with their babies before they’re officially divorvced. OK, maybe she didn’t say that last part.

One reason I’m happy to be watching this on DVR: I can fast forward through Katy Perry’s Proactiv commercial.

Why did Queen Latifah introduce Usher in a janitor’s outfit and a blond wig?

Random thought while watching Usher’s boring performance. Should it be illegal to do something as sacrilegious as sampling a classic like “Living for the City” for a piece of shit track like “Lil’ Freak”?

Ush just hit a note that made the hair on the back of my head stand up. And I’m bald.

He seemed as bored performing as I was watching him.

Taraji P. Henson and Mike Epps are announcing the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist award. This category should SO not exist. And Mike Epps is NOT funny.

Nominees: Ester Dean (who?), Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Rasheeda (WHO??) and Trina. Nicki Minaj wins despite the fact that she hasn’t even released an album yet.

When are women gonna learn that showing the cooch does NOT equal empowerment? And why does an obviously beautiful, articulate woman feel the need to sell her ass for fame and notoriety? As my man Mark Jackson says: Nicki, you can do better.

“The Game” (the show with one of the “Sister Sister” sisters) is coming back. In other news, I yawned.

Latifah just made a Ron Artest joke. I’m really trying to hate, but she’s funny.

T.I.’s performing. And I’ve noticed that there’s been pyro in every performance tonight. Someone’s just asking for a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial incident to happen.

T.I.’s rapping with a live band, featuring Travis Barker on drums. When did Travis get the hood pass?

And why is it that no one who actually determines who gets a “hood” pass actually lives in the hood anymore?

Am I THAT jaded? ‘Cause not one performance has moved me yet.

They found Larenz Tate!! Those milk carton things do work!

“Love Jones”-best soundtrack of the Nineties?

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist nominees: B.O.B., Drake, Fabolous, Jay-Z and Ludacris.

Drake wins Best Male Hip-Hop Artist. I should have figured that one when Jay-Z wasn’t in the audience.

He started to read his thank yous off of a blackberry. Isn’t that how he “freestyles” as well?

Latifah, what is up with these weird-ass get ups?

This 13-year old kid is KILLING “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys. Maybe Usher should ask her for some singing lessons.

Do we really need to see the Alicia Keys Electronic Press Kit before she comes out and performs? We know you’re popular. No need to feel yourself so much. You’re not winning a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anyone hear Robyn’s version of “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”? Pretty good stuff.

Alicia, can we see you do a performance on an award show WITHOUT you bringing out a special guest?

I wonder how gospel artists feel about coming out on a show like this where this is rampant profanity and general un-“Christian” activity all over the place.

OK, this is cool: Keri Hilson’s fine self is introducing a segment that spotlights new and upcoming artists. I’ve been asking for the Grammys to do something like this for years (as opposed to trotting the SAME bands out every single year). Give the exposure to artists who deserve it.

OK, so they only give the dude performing about 30 seconds, but I suppose that’s better than nothing, right?

If CJ Hilton’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he was featured on a track on Raphael Saadiq’s excellent “The Way I See It”.

Side note: someone needs to give Raphael props for making consistently dope music for nearly a quarter century now.

I respect BET for taking a second to give respect to folks who instigate social change on their show. For more info on Jeffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone, please click here.

Latifah comes out dressed as Cleo from “Set it Off”. T.I. keeps calling her “Chloe”. C’mon, bro. You’re an actor. Memorize your lines, homie.

Why is B.O.B. wearing a Donald Duck hat? And why is Keyshia Cole subbing for Hayley Williams? Travis Barker is “B” enough for the BET Awards and Hayley Williams isn’t?

Keyshia Cole has learned to sing on key! And she hired a stylist! Dreams do come true!!

Surprising no one, Eminem comes out to do his verse. His mic is off. Oops. Someone’s getting fired.

Oh, Lord. There’s a gospel choir. I have no words.

Monica is beautiful and she can sing her ass off (and she does here tonight…damn girl). But she looks like she’s going to take off and start flying in that outfit.

She’s bringing Deniece Williams out to perform “Silly”. Niecy’s outfit is all types of wrong. ALL types of wrong.

Best collaboration nominees: Beyonce and Gaga, B.O.B. and Bruno Mars, Drake and Trey Songz, Drake, Em, Kanye and Wayne…and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. This is a pretty tight race. Wait…there’s one more. Trey Songz and Fabolous. Jay and Alicia win.

Did Latifah just out herself?

Diddy is performing. My finger is hovering over the fast-forward button. Had I hit the button in time I would have missed Rick Ross. And I would have been sad.

I gotta admit-this “Hello, Good Morning” is a banger. I guess if you can make asses shake for 20 years, you deserve props. So, props to you, Sean P. Diddy Puff Daddy John Combs. You’ve come a long way from Stacy Lattisaw videos.

Warning; if you are epileptic, you should absolutely NOT watch this performance.

IT’S GREASY JERMAINE!!

Something tells me they’re bringing Chris Brown out. Yep, I was right! I’m not sure how to feel about this.

Please tell me they don’t have this kid dancing to “Smooth Criminal”. Did anyone see the irony in this?

I can’t take this anymore. This kid is (probably pretending to) break down on stage. This shit is embarrassing. And he gets a standing O. Give me a motherfucking break.

And then they bring out Laila Ali. I swear the irony here is killing me!!

And now here’s The-Dream. He’s the contemporary R&B singer hip white folks say they like so they can pretend they’re down with urban culture. Guess what, hip white folks: The-Dream sucks.

Who is this woman singing about her boobie size? Now THIS shit is REALLY embarrassing. This show had been mildly entertaining so far, but the last ten minutes or so have completely jumped the shark.

I really hope Prince comes on soon and drops some science.

Latifah is now decked out in her “All Hail the Queen”-era getup and introduces Drake. Drake is bringing out Young Jeezy. Now I’m officially using the fast-forward button.

How much thug appeal do you have when you’re sharing a stage with a dude who played a paraplegic on “DeGrassi”?

Why are they bleeping out curses when the artists are censoring themselves?

I guess those Black Eyed Peas breakup rumors were a little premature.

Best Male R&B Artist Nominees: Chris Brown, Raheem DeVaughn, Maxwell (who decided not to furnish a baby picture), Trey Songz and Usher.

Although Trey swagger-jacked R. Kelly, he definitely called it right in the Vibe interview he did when he said R. Kelly swagger jacked his whole career from Aaron Hall.

Awwww…that was a cute little moment with Momma Songz.

OH SHIT. El DeBarge is on stage regulating shit. Dude just got out of jail and looking smooth as shit. That voice hasn’t gone anywhere either.

I’m enjoying this show MUCH more than I thought I would.

Who hits NOTES like that anymore? HOLY CRAP. El DeBarge is the MAN!

Brainstorm: Can we get El DeBarge and Maxwell to do a record together?

This sound guy needs to be shot.

Todd Bridges is tributing Gary Coleman and has the whole crowd saying “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis”? Somewhere in heaven, Gary is shaking his fist at the crowd.

Lena Horne gets a 5 second snippet of “Stormy Weather” in tribute. Lame.

Tyrese is tributing Teddy Pendergrass. Um…hello. Did BET lose Jaheim’s number?

They’ve lumped the gospel segment/Haiti tribute into one piece. Fine, I’ll turn off the snark for five minutes (although…uh, where’s Wyclef?).

Well, they’ve already brought out El and Chris Brown. You know there’s gonna be a mystery guest during the Prince tribute. Vanity? Morris? Wendy? Lisa?

Speech from the President of BET. I think John Legend is getting some kind of humanitarian award.

Very eloquent speech. Hats off. I always liked this dude. He just gave the room a sorely needed infusion of class.

I knew Big Boi was gonna come out and promote his album’s release date. So much for class.

Next “Music Matters” new artist is J. Cole. Is it safe to say that if someone is on Roc Nation, they don’t need any more exposure?

Speaking of Roc Nation, is Chris Brown only there because Jay-Z isn’t? (or the other way around…)

Trey Songz is performing. Trey’s all right, but I really want to see Prince. Do I have to sit through this?

Trey just jumped into “Purple Rain”. Does that mean that the Prince tribute is starting now?

MC Lyte! No nnnneeeddduh to overrrruhenunnnnciaaaaate-uh.

Did someone slice half of Anthony Anderson off?

Video of the Year: Beyonce and GaGa, B.O.B., Melanie Fiona, Jay and Alicia, and “Run This Town”. Beyonce and GaGa win. Neither of them is there. Yawn.

They’re bringing El back. I’ll take it. I hope someone has given this man a record contract.

And for the record-to anyone who may be a little salty about my Chris Brown comment, let it be said for the record that El has now been convicted of domestic violence-related charges twice and I still ride with this dude. El seems legitimately troubled. Chris just seems like an entitled young asshole. And the crocodile tears didn’t help.

Something tells me this show ran over…damn it.

Is someone going to give Stevie Wonder a sitcom?

Janelle Monae is performing “Let’s Go Crazy”.  You know what I just realized? We need a black rocker chick-for real. I like her, though. She’s sassy.

I have no idea who Esperanza Spalding is, but she’s singing “If I Was Your Girlfriend”. BET should have went way left and had a dude sing this. But J-Witness Prince probably wouldn’t be down with that.

Um…the reason the song worked the way it did was because a guy was singing it (even if his voice was sped up to sound like a woman’s).

Why do I remember Prince saying something to the effect of he doesn’t like hearing people cover his work? Didn’t he promise to give Timbaland a beatdown after Ginuwine covered “When Doves Cry”?

How many times has Alicia Keys been on stage now? It doesn’t matter. PLEASE don’t ruin my favorite Prince song of all time. PLEASE.

Wait, did Alicia just throw off an “F” bomb off? Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.

Homegirl is preggo and crawling on her piano. Kicked her shoes off and everything. That’s dedication.

Wait a second. Didn’t Trey Songz just sing “Purple Rain”? Ah well…Patti’s singing it now. She’s gonna show Trey how it’s really done.

I love LOVE LOVE Miss Patti, but those eyebrows make her look like Jocelyn Wildenstein, the Cat Lady.

Miss Patti just kicked off her shoe. Prince caught it. I just wet myself.

Shit-DVR stopped. Off to YouTube I go.

Chaka presented Prince with his award. I don’t know if she sang or not. She’s the only person that could have possibly followed Patti though.

“I was pretty wild in my younger days.” You don’t say, Prince?

Prince? Class.

I must say…I was impressed with this show. Everyone came and did their thing, but once again, the older heads came out and stole the show.

Folks-we need to keep supporting real music and produce future Princes and El DeBarges.

And with that, I’m off to bed. Till BET Awards 2011!

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