Jimmy Kimmel explains his reaction to Fergie's 'unusually sultry' national anthem at NBA All-Star Game

It was the smirk seen 'round the world. During Fergie's unique rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at last weekend's 2018 NBA All-Star Game camera operators caught a number of celebs and players in the house expressing their admiration for the singer's bold, jazzy vocal choices. One of the most memorable was a cut to Jimmy Kimmel Live! host Jimmy Kimmel, who appeared to be barely containing a smirk.

On Tuesday night (Feb. 20) Kimmel returned to the air to explain the viral moment, telling his audience that he didn't realize he was on camera at the time. "I feel like I need to address something that happened Sunday night at the NBA All-Star Game," he said to open the show. "I was at the game with my son Kevin and, somehow, I became part of a National Anthem fiasco." 

That fiasco, he clarified, was Fergie's "unusually sultry" version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which he attempted to explain by referencing the lyrics to The Black Eyed Peas' 2005 hit "My Humps" after explaining that the real reason he was smiling was because he loves the Anthem so much.

Photos from Fergie's performance:

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Fergie at the NBA All-Star Game
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Fergie at the NBA All-Star Game
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Singer Fergie sings the national anthem prior to The 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Singer Fergie sings the national anthem prior to The 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Singer Fergie performs the national anthem before the start of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 18, 2018. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Fergie sings the U.S. National Anthem prior to the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Fergie sings the National Anthem before the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Fergie performs the National Anthem prior to the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fergie performs at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, February 18, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Fergie sings the National Anhtem prior to the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Fergie sings the National Anhtem prior to the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Fergie sings the National Anthem at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, February 18, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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"In hindsight, trying to work in the words 'my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps' may have been a mistake," he joked, adding that he phone blew up after his smirk became an instant meme. "I didn't realize I was on camera, then my phone started just buzzing with text after text and I was like, 'Oh, I think I might have been on camera." He also noted that Fergie has apologized, saying she was just trying to do her best and sang it the way she did because she's a "risk taker."

Here's the thing about taking risks, though, according to Kimmel. "When it comes to the National Anthem... don't... just regular is fine."

Reacting to the backlash on Monday (Feb. 19), Fergie said she just wanted to "try something special for the NBA... but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone." While the internet wasn't kind to Fergie, one person definitely had her back: Mariah Carey. When asked how to handle that kind of criticism, Carey said simply, "Dahling, nobody needs to listen to that."

RELATED: Celebs at the NBA All-Star Game:

32 PHOTOS
Celebrities at the NBA All-Star Game
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Celebrities at the NBA All-Star Game

"Property Brothers" star Drew Scott and fiancée Linda Phan

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Karlie Kloss and boyfriend Joshua Kushner

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy Carter, Tina Knowles and Richard Lawson

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Chris Rock and Megalyn Echikunwoke

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Cardi B and Offset

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Queen Latifah

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Maria Shriver

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Jimmy Kimmel and Spike Lee

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Chris Tucker

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish, with kids Hendrix Hart and Heaven Hart

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

DJ Khaled and Ludacris

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Snoop Dogg and Chance the Rapper

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Odell Beckham Jr.

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Lou Adler, Jack Nicholson and son Ray Nicholson

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Ellen Pompeo and husband Chris Ivery

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Anthony Anderson

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Carter

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Cassie and Diddy

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Beck

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Nick Cannon and Justin Hartley

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Julianne Moore and husband Bart Freundlich

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Common

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West and Bill Russell

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Ludacris, Chance The Rapper, Chris Rock, Chadwick Boseman, Common and Dave Chappelle

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy Carter and Tina Lawson

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Chadwick Boseman and Floyd Mayweather

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

DJ Khaled and Fergie

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Michael Jordan

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tracy Morgan

(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jamie Foxx, Fergie and Ludacris

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Pharrell Williams performing the halftime show

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

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