Let’s get one thing out of the way first: No, The Weeknd did not invite Dakota Johnson nor the burlesque dancers in ass-less panties from his “Earned It” music video to join him at the Oscars. Instead, he opted to squire some equally as sexy (but only partially more clothed) friends for his steamy performance on Sunday night.
With a pair of chandeliers hanging overhead and a half-circle of candles placed on the floor around him, the Canadian crooner perfectly channeled the mysterious cool he’s known for with his swaggering Fifty Shades of Grey waltz.
An ensemble of violinists provided backup instrumentation, but they were admittedly overshadowed by the black lingerie-clad dancers seductively strutting around. Oh, and then there was the woman hoisted in the air in crazy Cirque du Soleil-like fashion. Sure, Abel and his racy pals skipped the second verse entirely, but his performance was still fifty shades of sexy.
“Earned It” is vying for the Best Original Song award at Sunday night’s Oscars, along with “Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction, “Simply Song #3” from Youth, “Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground, and “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre, which Sam Smith performed earlier in the night (sans lacy lingerie, though).