The Best & Worst 2013 NBA All-Star Game Performances: Ne-Yo, John Legend & Alicia Keys

On Sunday I made a good faith effort to watch the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, but every time I turned the channel to TNT I was subject to some suspect musical performance. It started off earlier in the afternoon when I tuned in a few hours early and was greeted by the sounds of the sonic venereal disease that is Ke$ha. The fact that such a non-talent can have a thriving music career is a running joke, and I’m still waiting for the punchline. The viewing public was subject to this tomfoolery while Chaka Khan was probably at home heating up some chik’n “wings.” But I digress. The God-awful performances didn’t end with Ke$ha, however. She was simply the cold appetizer to a night’s worth of WTF worthy performances to come.

Once it was time for the actual All-Star Game, Ne-Yo provided the pre-game entertainment, and what was most entertaining was how turrbull (word to Charles Barkley) he sounded. Watching this spectacle on mute was highly recommended. Ne-Yo didn’t miss a step with his choreography yet struggled to find a key and his vocals were anything but a lock as he kicked it off with “Let’s Go” then later performed “Let Me Love You” and “Forever Now” during the player introductions. Bless Ne-Yo’s heart for still trying to make fetch happen with these techno songs but no one is here for that noise. Or his Michael Jackson fetish.

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When Ne-Yo’s tortuous time on the mic was finally up, it was time for the National Anthem and the designated performer this time around was John Legend. Choosing to sing a cappella, Dlegend Unchained‘s chariot swung low and he channeled every Negro spiritual on a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Paul Robeson would be proud. This was quite fitting for Black History Month, if I do say so myself.

And speaking of struggle, Alicia Keys was the half-time performer and she sang a 10-minute medley of songs. She kicked it off with “Empire State of Mind,” which was quite smart considering that the game was being played in Houston. That was the least of Off-Keys’ worries, though, because once she got up from the piano and decided to sing and dance the fails multiplied like wet Gremlins. Maybe she thought that all that dancing and bare midriff-exposing of hers would distract from her struggle vocals, but they were simply amplified on “Girl On Fire,” “No One” and “New Day.” I understand that she’s playing up this whole MILF-appeal thing she’s got going on now, but she’s doing too much and not enough at the same damn time in her performances as of late. I hope that after this that she take’s a long winter’s vocal rest, because I need a break.

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