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BTS just stole the Grammys with an elaborate art-heist performance

The K-pop group gave "Butter" a new, very-theater-kid-who-watched-a-lot-of-Bond-movies spin

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Jungkook of BTS
Jungkook of BTS
Photo: VALERIE MACON / AFP (Getty Images)

The Grammys, more than any other major awards show, are about spectacle and performance. K-pop masters BTS made their latest appearance at the annual awards show tonight, demonstrating that the members not only fully understood that assignment—as the saying goes—but were perfectly prepared to potentially blast every single other performer out of the water with a Bond-esque rendition of their hit song “Butter.”

Actually, the South Korean group homaged a whole bunch of spy-and-heist-themed tropes with their performance, with Jungkook literally coming down from the ceiling, while V made some serious eye contact with Olivia Rodrigo. That’s before pulling what we, being old people, can only think of as some “real Now You See Me stuff” by passing off a keycard of some sort to Jungkook.

It was, in other words, extremely theater kid, as the group danced around laser beams like so many Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment. But what else is a Grammys performance for, if not getting as silly as humanly possible? (Certainly, it was more impressive than either those weird fake butterflies flapping around behind Rodrigo, or the pseudo Blue Man Group doing fancy arm dances on behalf of J. Balvin.) The whole presentation was energetic, polished, and deeply impressive. We might go so far as to suggest that these BTS kids might have some kind of future in the music business.

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BTS (and “Butter”) are up for an award of their own tonight, competing in “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” against the likes of Justin Bieber, Coldplay, and Tony Bennett. We can’t predict exactly whether they’ll take home that statue, but if there was an award for “Best Grammys Performance That Made Old People Reference The Thomas Crown Affair while writing about it,” they’d probably be shoo-ins.