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Will Michael and Janet Jackson help the BET Awards to win an Emmy?

June 29, 2009 |  3:23 pm

Thank the spirit of Michael Jackson, and the earthly visit by his sister Janet Jackson, for saving the BET Awards last night. The kudofest not only was dull, awkward and boring, but also was blasted as a "train wreck" by some posters in The Envelope's live chat session.

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But then Janet Jackson emerged on stage at the end and addressed the audience, tearfully: "My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was just too painful. To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family. And he will forever live in all of our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much!"

Then Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo sang a tender, quiet rendition of "I'll Be There." Suddenly, the awards show was not only redeemed, it became memorable. Maybe even Emmy worthy?

The BET Awards show has never been nominated for an Emmy. The Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and other award telecasts have been nommed for lots, although there's been much confusion in recent years over where they belong. For a while, award telecasts qualified in the races for variety specials, competing one year, for example, against a Chris Rock stand-up special on HBO and a Cirque du Soleil spectacle on Bravo. Then they got shoved into that grab bag called the "special class" category, competing against Prince's Super Bowl XLI halftime show. Last year, finally, award shows got their own Emmys category. The Tonys competed against the Oscars and — surprise — the Tonys won.

Last night's BET Awards telecast won't be eligible until 2010, having missed the most recent eligibility cut-off on May 31.

Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

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