While both singers weren't on time for the event’s start, Cole ended up being over an hour late. Her tardiness upset fans, particularly since the show had been rescheduled three times. Many were lamenting the artists’ lack of punctuality in the live comments, with Swizz Beatz even writing, “This is very disrespectful,” and “Can’t lie man."
The singers eventually both sat on their thrones and sang their classics, but it was still unclear as to why Cole was so late. On Friday, her DJ revealed that she was experiencing technical difficulties prior to the battle beginning.
“She didn't wanna come out 'cause her screen was blurry,” Cole’s DJ explained on 97.9 The Box. “On her end, her screen was blurry. She was there on time. I seen everything. She was there but she didn't wanna come out because the screen was blurry and stuff wasn't right, you know. We couldn't hear [Ashanti's] side, so it was a lot of technical stuff going on there.”
Among the many fans who caught Ashanti and Cole’s back-to-back was 21 Savage, who belted out the lyrics to Cole’s song “I Remember” on Instagram Live.