Last night’s Billboard Music Awards featured soaring performances from an eclectic collection of pop stars, including Mariah Carey, Khalid, and BTS with Halsey. Of course, nobody remembers any of that because it was all immediately overshadowed by the Taylor Swift controversy.
Swift entered the stage, bathed in candy-colored lighting, to perform her latest hit, “ME!” Unfortunately for all involved, she did so while accompanied by marching band drummers. The optics of this entrance were all too reminiscent of another recent, iconic performance, the subject of a documentary that dropped on Netflix two weeks ago.
— クリス RULES (@ChrisRules_) May 2, 2019
Obviously, the entire performance wasn’t a wall-to-wall rip-off of Beyoncé, but that matters not. As a frozen image, devoid of the context of whatever she did next, Taylor Swift’s stance and arrangements placed side-by-side next to Beychella can only look unflattering and derivative. There have been plenty of other marching bands in musical performances before, but the Homecoming doc came out so recently that top-of-mind awareness has yet to reside. Somebody should have picked up on the similarity at some point during the many stages before Swift’s performance made it on TV.
twitter's wild because there are ppl on here saying Beyoncé didn't invent marching bands and we all saw when she did
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 2, 2019
It’s not the first time Taylor Swift has been accused of borrowing from Beyoncé, either. When Swift took a musical and aesthetic left turn with her video, “Look What You Made Me Do,” the Beyhive couldn’t help notice some scenes looked as though Swift was trying to get in formation.
"My daddy Pennsylvania,
momma from Pennsylvania,
You mix that Pennsyl with a Vania I am from Pennylvaniaaaa" pic.twitter.com/uJZ2K9fJX7
— Marcia Belsky (@MarciaBelsky) August 25, 2017
It didn’t take long until Twitter did its thing and turned Swift’s performance into a PR fiasco, dubbing it “Mayochella.” (Ouch!) Whether you’re firmly in Beyoncé’s corner or have sympathy for Swift, you’ll probably find something to laugh about in the memes ahead.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) May 2, 2019
— Preston Mitchum (@PrestonMitchum) May 2, 2019
Bring It On: Clovers vs Toros pic.twitter.com/7BM18QIl01
— Arya “bout that life” Stark stan acct (@Scandalousmimi_) May 2, 2019
— Bitonga Inhambane (@InhambaneAfrika) May 2, 2019
— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) May 2, 2019
This next one is inspired by a famously raunchy Beyoncé song lyric about Red Lobster.
When he fuck me good I take his ass to Panera pic.twitter.com/sj2I2qHQeZ
— Fruit Brute (@heyitsurban) May 2, 2019
???? ???? pic.twitter.com/YDB9pm3oHT
— Racism WatchDog (@RacismDog) May 2, 2019
Karen just felt that loaded mac and cheese from the Beyonce cookout needed some raisins in it. pic.twitter.com/YYGezNCGwf
— Curtis Wakanda America's Ass Endgame Grief Counsel (@Currtis25Harr) May 2, 2019
Popeye's vs KFC pic.twitter.com/ZjgVj2VJuJ
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) May 2, 2019