Daddy Yankee, Don Omar
Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, seen here performing at the 2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards at the BankUnited Center in Miami. Getty

The Billboard Latin Music Awards, one of the biggest nights in Latin music took place Thursday, April 28, at the BankUnited Center in the University of Miami. A great display of sequins, tuxes, glittery makeup and, of course, unforgettable performances were to be expected.

Most artists delivered. However, we were underwhelmed watching Daddy Yankee and Don Omar’s “legendary” duel on stage for the first time at an award show and on TV, after their unprecedented sold out concert in Puerto Rico back in December.

It was certainly the most highly anticipated performance in the weeks leading up to the event. Would it be this year’s equivalent of Jennifer Lopez’s Selena tribute from the 2015 Latin Billboards?

As the show started to reach the end, expectations grew higher and higher until finally, the two most important exponents of reggaeton music went up on stage.

Introduced by Michael Buffer, this performance, which was set up to be a musical “boxing match” taken from their “KingDom Tour,” started off with both Daddy Yankee and Don Omar singing a small verse of “Cara a Cara.”

It was followed by Yankee’s “Lo que pasó, pasó” and later by Don Omar’s “Otra Noche.” Then, “Limbo” was performed by Daddy Yankee, while “Zumba” was performed by Don Omar.

They sang their other hits “Danza Kuduro” and “Gasolina,” and they wrapped it up with a “Hasta Abajo” remix, which is the version featuring Daddy Yankee.

Michael Buffer
Michael Buffer, famous ring announcer for boxing and wrestling matches, introduced Daddy Yankee and Don Omar at the Latin Billboards 2016. Getty

Reading it like this, it seems a hell of a show, especially when these two artists, who just won Billboard’s Industry Leader Award, performed some of their best hits and kept the crowd pumped up.

But so much more could’ve happened that didn’t. For example, back in September when Daddy Yankee sold out his Madison Square Garden date, he invited Don Omar over to promote their KingDom Tour that they were preparing for at the time. When Don Omar went on stage, it was like watching magic happen.

The two began going back and forth in a little “tiradera,” or lyrical battle, and mostly made up on the go, displaying their true talent in the genre. For two and a half minutes, both Daddy Yankee and Dom Omar gave the crowd at The Garden a little sneak peek of what they used to do back in the day when reggaeton was known as “underground music” and when making it to the top charts wasn’t a thing that could happen for these artists who mainly spread their material via informal networks and even copying cassette tapes and handing them over to different people.

It's understandable that The Latin Billboard is a family show, so of course producers wouldn’t want the explicit lyrics about drugs, violence, poverty, sex… that reggaeton usually talked about back in its early days (and still today in some cases, although the majority of the mainstream songs are very PG-13) in an event like this.

But they could’ve found a way of having these two great artists — the ones to really transform the genre into an “acceptable” one that wasn’t only heard in the slums but also appealed to the middle and high class — go at each other and maybe talk about poverty, friendship, love and other “appropriate” themes for a family night.

Daddy Yankee
Daddy Yankee performing at the 2016 Latin Billboards. Getty

It wasn’t really a performance that took us back, or that gave us chills, or that made us nostalgic about “the yesteryears.” Was it fun? Yes. Did we dance? Yes. Did it make us go “Damn, these two are really putting the show of a lifetime"? No.

This performance could’ve been epic, with some freestyle by both Don Omar and Daddy Yankee, a little “tiradera,” and the chorus to one or two of their hits because we can’t really eliminate them entirely from the performance.

Don Omar
Don Omar performing at the 2016 Latin Billboards. Getty

It could’ve been more dynamic, it could’ve shown the real talent of these two amazing artists and performers, and it could’ve opened the eyes of a lot more people and maybe introduce them to a whole other style that they didn’t know existed.

So yes, we were underwhelmed by it. How about you? Check out the performance and tell us if you liked it in the comments below!

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