Eminem’s “Awkward” Live TV Appearance Exaggerated

 Eminem's awkward live TV appearance exaggerated

After having read a number of headlines claiming Eminem to have made an “awkward” or “bizarre” live television appearance, I was immediately compelled to click the link to witness a cumbersome and inelegant public display of social ineptitude; what can I say, I have a morbid curiosity and poor social life?

What I was presented with was nothing of the sort, however, and it seems to me that reports have been seriously exaggerated.

Eminem was attending a half time interview, during this Saturday’s Michigan vs. Notre Dame game, primarily to plug his brand new music video, entitled “Berzerk,” where upon he was asked a series of questions by presenters, Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit.

The interview, admittedly, did start off a little slow and, yes, Eminem did appear to be imitating an oxygen-deprived haddock whilst proceedings were in their infancy (scenes of which Herbstreit seemed understandably amused). The “Lose Yourself” singer seemed somewhat frigid, particularly when one of his jokes seemed to bomb. Eminem, who was introduced by his real name, Marshall Mathers, claimed he was not excited about anything surrounding his new album.

Eminem during the Awkward live ESPN television appearance
Eminem appearing during ESPN’s half time interview for the Michigan-Notre Dame game

Alas, what was clearly intended to be a joke was misinterpreted by the hosting duo, leading to a short period of confusion and silence. Eminem then continued, stating that he would “… probably be most excited just to be done with…” his upcoming album.

Eminem and Musburger then seemed to begin to strike an accord, engaging in soppy sentiments and exchanging a series of affectionate kudos. Eminem suggested that Musburger was a part of his “fantasy announcer” team, prompting Musburger to reciprocate and gush over Mathers’ many musical achievements.

Many reporters have claimed Eminem to have said he was “really uncomfortable.” However, this statement was taken out of context. Eminem said this in response to Musburger listing all of the awards and accolades the rapper had swooped up over the years. Again, I naturally assumed the comment was merely a joke, as did the hosts, who immediately started laughing.

Check it out for yourselves, and sound off in the comments section.

A short teaser of Eminem’s “Berzerk” music video was also aired, representing the rapper’s first single in over two years. The song is currently sitting pretty at the number three spot on the Hot 100 music chart, whilst soaring to the much sought after number one spot on the Rap Songs chart. The rap track is also set to become ESPN’s official tune for their Saturday Night Football broadcast.

The short footage shows a number of famous guests, including Kendrick Lamar and Rubin. As suggested by Eminem during the interview, the track appears to be an attempt to recapture the vibe of some of his older albums.

The album, Marshall Mathers LP2, is due for release on Nov. 5, no doubt, to an eagerly awaiting audience.

Mathers had also encountered criticism from fans who had attended his performance at the Reading and Leeds festivals in the United Kingdom, during late August. It was claimed that Eminem had been miming during part of the concert, to which one of the festival’s organizers vehemently denied.

Eminem at the Reading festival in the United Kingdom 2013
Eminem appearing at the Reading music festival in the United Kingdom

Ultimately, however, I think many have perhaps exaggerated Eminem’s “awkward” live TV appearance. Was it the smoothest of interviews I have ever seen? The answer is, obviously, no. However, it certainly was not cringe-worthy television and, although some of his comments would appear bad on paper, in the flesh the rap artist was clearly attempting to be funny; something was simply lost in translation.

By: James Fenner (Op-Ed)

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