The hotly-anticipated VERZUZ battle between Omarion and Mario finally took place in Los Angeles last night, with thousands of fans picking their side of their favorite teen heartthrob-turned-sultry male R&B crooner. In a display described as “hilariously chaotic” online and sparking a mountain of means, the battle joined together millions across platforms for a celebration of R&B culture and nostalgia.
In a rare feature, the battle featured an opening bout between two teams of early-2000’s R&B hitmakers. Ray J and Bobby V faced off against Sammie and Pleasure P, running through the songs that once placed them each atop the charts.
Memes and social clips abounded from the opener, which saw Ray J’s teammate harmonizing his classic “One Wish,” with his opponents, seemingly mocking him for not quite being on-key while giving his updated rendition.
The over two-hour main battle between Omarion and Mario was punctuated by copious amounts of goading and smack-talking, complicated by apparent sound issues and numerous stage delays, and topped with a constant stream of hilariously biting commentary from fellow celebrities and average fans alike, all watching from the comforts of their homes.
Omarion came out swinging with his hit single “Touch,” complemented by a team of dancers and his signature dance moves. Mario retorted by mocking Omarion with three B2K impersonators, before launching into his own classic hits.
Things hit an awkward note on several occasions throughout the night, with the online community reacting with cringe to Omarion and his brother Oryan attempting a stunt that saw them sensually eating watermelon slices on-stage and handing out the remnants to audience members.
Mario leaned into his vocal strengths, while Omarion focused on his string of hits spanning from B2K to his solo career, and the choreography that accompanied each.
Though no official winner is ever announced for VERZUZ battles, it seems the fan consensus (that you can check out via Twitter if you’re in the mood for a laugh) – and Mario’s personal opinion – lean toward announcing him as the victor in last night’s R&B faceoff.