BTS almost didn’t make it to the stage for their electrifying performance at Sunday’s 2022 Grammy Awards. In fact, according to an insider account from the show’s bosses given to the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, a spate of COVID-19 cases kept the K-pop superstars from properly rehearsing together until right before they took the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“There were times when we were worried they weren’t gonna be able to be here,” executive producer Ben Winston told the RS show. “J-Hope had COVID and was quarantined. And he wasn’t allowed to fly until Saturday, the day before the show. Jungkook was in Vegas with COVID, but then unless he got two negative tests, he wasn’t allowed to come.”
Winston said things got “very tense” and his team were “very nervous” right up until the James Bond-inspired performance happened. But when it came off without a hitch with all 7 members doing their thing, he was elated. “I was actually so excited by that one, not because it was better than anyone else’s, but simply because I knew what those seven guys had been through to get it to that level,” Winston said of the smooth final product. “I do think those guys are unbelievably talented. I am sort of in awe of what they do each time.”
Before kicking off the track, the septet went for theatrics and played into the secret-agent theme, slinging top-secret cards between members Jin, Jimin, V, RM, J-Hope, Suga and Jungkook, dodging neon-blue lasers and, of course, performing top-notch choreography before delving in to the rap portion of the track. Fellow Grammy nominee Olivia Rodrigo was even a part of the global superstars’ performance, resulting in a flirty moment with her and V before the spectacle commenced.
The high-energy run cam just days after Jungkook tested positive for coronavirus and the group’s management said that he was able to recover just in time for the appearance; in late March, fellow member J-Hope tested positive for COVID and visited a hospital with a sore throat before entering quarantine.