Harry Styles’ Grammys performance was thrown into chaos after a technician sent the central turntable stage spinning in the wrong direction, a devastated back-up dancer revealed on Monday.
The 29-year-old singer performed his hit song As It Was in front of an A-list audience and millions of viewers around the world before he took home the coveted Album of the Year award at the Grammys – which led him to be heckled by Beyonce fans.
But the performance was widely panned online with fans branding it lackluster and others noting something seemed ‘off’.
And they were right – early on Monday morning, one of the Styles’ backup dancers – Dexter Da Rocha – revealed in a TikTok video that the turntable the dancers and Styles all rehearsed on for days was turning in the wrong way that they practiced on.
‘Yoann Bourgeois and his associate Kerem made this beautiful, beautiful piece on a moving turntable, so there are 12 of us, we’re all on the turntable and we rehearsed for 10 days getting down these beautiful formations and sliding off the turntable… and Harry did such a good job integrating into it and had a beautiful duet and just making this incredible, morphing, cool artistic s**t,’ Da Rocha began.
Wrong direction! Harry Styles’ Grammy performance was thrown into chaos after a technician sent the giant turntable spinning the wrong way on Sunday night
Chaos: The back-up dancers did their best to do the routine backwards but it resulted in a lackluster performance and messy formation
Panic: The dancers tried to, ‘get the attention of the technician’ but it was live TV and they ‘couldn’t yell’ so the crew member didn’t hear them
The show must go on: Harry and his dancers did their best to soldier on amidst the confusion
Oops: Harry almost tripped as he walked off the spinning turntable towards another part of the stage
Disappointed: One of Harry’s backup dancers – Dexter Da Rocha – detailed exactly what went wrong in a candid TikTok on Monday and revealed there were tears after the show
‘And Harry did such a good job like integrating into it and had this beautiful duet and all this stuff and this whole time we’re practicing with the turntable counterclockwise. We did it loads of times and got it down to the point where we were at dress rehearsal, it was spotless and beautiful,’ the dancer continued.
‘It was different than anything most of us had ever done before. It was frustrating and it was difficult and making those patterns while something is moving and having all this spatial awareness and working with people you’ve never met before, like it was a wild challenge,’ Da Rocha added.
‘So yesterday at dress rehearsal, it was gorgeous, it was amazing. We get on stage for the performance, the performance starts, and the turntable starts going the wrong way,’ Da Rocha explains.
The dancer added they tried to, ‘get the attention of the technician’ but it was live TV and they ‘couldn’t yell’ so the technician didn’t hear them.
‘So, to switch all those patterns on the spot, having not even walked in that direction… like it sounds it’d be easy to walk, it’s like a treadmill, but I swear to God, since it’s circular, it pulls you in different directions and it’s such a special type of balance,’ Da Rocha admitted.
‘So we got accustomed to one way and it was the opposite way, so luckily we worked together and did our best and got to one cool formation in time for the overhead shot but had to kind of change the rest,’ the dancer explained.
Da Rocha also praised Styles, saying he, ‘did his best to be able to walk and reverse everything while he was singing and reverse his entire duet, which was incredible.’
‘Unfortunately, news outlets didn’t know that’s what was happening so they called it lethargic or boring or whatever but it really was, we were just trying to stay f***ing standing,’ Da Rocha said.
‘So, unfortunately the world didn’t get to see the beautiful work of Yoann Bourgeois or all of our dancers work and Harry’s beautiful f***ing job, but he won Album of the Year, which is incredible, and we all have a story to tell. It was still such a f***ing incredible experience. He’s so nice and cool and hard working and just made the rehearsal process so beautiful so what a f***ing wild ride,’ the dancer said.
Da Rocha admitted it was, ‘very frustrating’ since they worked ‘so hard’ for 10 days and ‘didn’t get to do what we rehearsed,’ but the dancer is still ‘grateful,’ adding the lesson is, ‘You can try and control s**t that goes wrong, you can resist against it, or you can just make the best of it and work together and do your f***ing best, so have a happy Monday.’
Shake it off: Harry tried to keep the energy up for his big moment in front of an A-list crowd that included his ex Taylor Swift and fellow super stars Beyonce and Adele
A fan also commented, ‘the professionalism omg harry and you guys did amazing i would’ve started crying,’ with Da Rocha responding, ‘I for sure did after.’
Another one of Styles’ dancers, Brandon Mathis, hinted at difficulties as well in his Instagram post, though he still praised Styles as, ‘an actual rockstar’ and, ‘a kick a** down to earth human being who truly cares about what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with, and that matters so so much.’
Mathis also praised Yoann Bourgeois, adding, ‘To spend a week immersed in your brilliant mind is nothing short of amazing. And I am so grateful to you for your trust, your compassion, and your willingness to play and stay soft through it all.’
He also hinted at the troubles, adding, ‘Even ridiculous technical difficulties that none of us could have prepared for. I’m honored to know you and to now call you a friend.’
That’s showbiz: Harry’s team rehearsed for 10 days to get the performance just right before it all went wrong on the night
Rockstar: Another one of Styles’ dancers, Brandon Mathis, hinted at difficulties as well in his Instagram post, though he still praised Styles as, ‘an actual rockstar’ and, ‘a kick a** down to earth human being who truly cares about what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with, and that matters so so much’