Taraji P. Henson returned for the second time to host “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays” on Fox last night minus her “Empire” co-star and co-host from last year, Terrence Howard. The all-star holiday variety special brought a fantastic blend of hilarious Christmas-themed comedy sketches and spectacular music performances. Some of the huge stars who joined Taraji to celebrate the season of giving include Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Andra Day, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Jussie Smollett, Taye Diggs, Pharrell Williams, Tyrese, Terry Crews, Chris Rock, DMC, October London and more.
Check out our picks below for the three best moments from this year’s “White Hot Holidays” show.
Hip Hop Christmas Medley
Taraji kicked off the show looking lovely in a sparkling red strapless gown. She said, “I am so happy to be here celebrating the heart and soul of Christmas with you.” Then she introduced Oscar and Grammy-winning artist, Common, who set up the first white-hot number of the night by asking, “What happens when Christmas meets Hip Hop?”
What followed was one of the best multi-artist Hip Hop numbers to ever hit our TV screens. DMC, October London, Snoop Dogg, TLC, Missy Elliott, T-Boz and Chilli kicked it Christmas-style against a backdrop of fabulous Hip Hop dancers. It was a great way to open the show and something about seeing Snoop Dogg riding out on a huge Christmas sleigh was priceless.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Taye Diggs, Ne-Yo and Tyrese Gibson
We couldn’t help but smile when Taraji brought out her hunky new “Empire” co-star Taye Diggs and told him she hand-picked him to be her new love interest. She sure knows how to pick them, doesn’t she? Then he called out some escorts to guide Taraji to her seat and proceeded to serenade her (and us) with a classy new twist on the fun Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Many people may not realize Taye Diggs is a critically-acclaimed Broadway star with “Rent,” “Wicked” and “Carousel” among his credits. The performance got even hotter when he was joined on stage by Ne-Yo and Tyrese Gibson. They made a terrific trio and their harmonies were spot on. The performance went from soft and sweet to jazzy and jiving. Who knew “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” could be such a sizzling hot, romantic song? Thanks, gentlemen!
Alicia Keys and Andra Day “Someday at Christmas” Medley
Alicia Keys and Andra Day deserve top honors for serving up the best performance of the night with a moving and powerful medley of “Someday at Christmas,” “Holy War” and “Rise Up.” Their individual and combined vocals were angelic and two choirs accompanied them– one on stage and one up in the balcony over the audience. The moving, inspiring messages of love, tolerance, and perseverance of the human spirit at the core of each of these songs really spoke to the true meaning of Christmas: Peace and good will toward men. In all, it was the most magical, memorable moment of the evening.