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Usher Embraces Surveillance State, Performs With Fans Via Webcam on Kimmel

Usher returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to perform a Young Thug-less version of “No Limit,” his modestly successful single from new album Hard II Love. It’s always challenging to make up for the absence of a featured artist, and as it turns out, an easy way to fail at it is to replace the charismatic Thug with random people who aren’t all that great at dancing.

The performance begins with what looks to be an Usher hologram (it’s the real Usher, but still), backed up by a video collage of people dancing for their webcams. Can these people see Usher? Are they even listening to an Usher song? Who puts Usher in front of people with no choreography? Is he just pretending to “swipe” the camera in those nauseating circles, or is this an ad for some kind of VR technology? Does Usher remember he already did this in 2012?

Evidently even Kimmel’s editors realized this wasn’t the greatest idea, because a minute into the clip, the camera spins again, transcends space-time barriers, and emerges at the show’s regular outdoor stage. Here, Usher finally merits some real backup dancers, and finishes the song as best he can.

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