Kelly Clarkson spearheaded the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and while she knows how to captivate an audience, things were very strange without any reaction from people — live or virtual — during the first few minutes of the show. While other awards shows during the coronavirus pandemic have thrived with virtual audiences, the BBMAs started out with nothing and Twitter users erupted with laughter because of the awkward silence. These 20 tweets about the 2020 BBMAs’ awkward silences show just how much an audience brings an award show to life.

Around 20 minutes into the show, it seemed Clarkson and the BBMA crew were pulling a prank on the fans at home when the American Idol alum debuted a laugh and clap machine that she had control over. Viewers assumed the initial no audience silence was just a bit, but after Lil Nas X won Top Hot 100 Song and there was, once again, no applause following his acceptance speech, it was apparent that Clarkson’s clap machine was just meant to be a joke and that the show had committed to having no virtual audience at all.

The tweets about the awkwardness flooded social media and they were hilarious. Check them out below.

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