Lady Gaga, we were counting on you and you absolutely blew it
You had the biggest platform in pop culture and all we got were some sequins
by Amanda Ross
Let me preface this article by saying that I would literally take my own life for Lady Gaga. I’ve been a nauseatingly dedicated fan since 2007 — like, I had tickets to her show with Kanye before it was cancelled, I closely followed her busted hip saga, I have a YAAAAS shirt from the Art Rave. I’ve been there for it all.
But this Super Bowl halftime performance was so lackluster and disappointing for any Gaga fan, no matter how casual.
We’ve seen her meat dress, her ablaze piano, her Joe Calderone — she’s set the standard so high that even her literally jumping off a fucking roof didn’t feel especially interesting.
Lady Gaga be like pic.twitter.com/BA4o8t0gl3
— ️️ (@OrdureBizarre_) February 6, 2017
Now don’t get me wrong — I know this was a Super Bowl halftime show, something that needs to be at least marginally accessible to middle America. I didn’t expect Gaga to come out with FUCK TRUMP spelled out in sequins on her vagina (though that would have been great, right?) but in such a politically turbulent climate, I did expect the always progressive Gaga to have something more to say.
Beyonce’s performance last year was way more powerful, laden with loaded imagery and something we’d talk about for years to come. And Obama was still president then! We didn’t even know how bad things would get! Yes, we were all pleased to have Gaga do a 2017 rendition of “Born This Way” but the idea that LGBTQIA folks are, y’know, people wasn’t a revolutionary idea in 2011 and it’s not a revolutionary idea now. Interlocking traditionally patriotic themes with her gay-positive songs was fine, but not enough.
To further prove my point, my ultra conservative father was very impressed which I take to be a failing on Gaga’s part.
Showmanship is Gaga’s bread and butter. She’s a trained performer, with her theatrics ability toe-to-toe (or cheek to cheek, sorry) with her storied vocals. Her halftime show was, to be sure, technically incredible, but where was the creativity? The special Gaga spark? The stroke of outrage that’s been a staple of her career for nearly a decade? Even the coterie of white gays in my group chat were not impressed.
Oh, and let’s not forget this stunning betrayal:
Me when Beyoncé didn't come out during telephone pic.twitter.com/ieKk5bzNeA
— Beyoncé (@HiveUpdate) February 6, 2017
The biggest problem with Gaga’s performance is that it could have been done by anyone. Ariana Grande could have produced the same level of vocal excellence. Pink could have done those roof-jumping acrobatics. Beyonce could have (and did) delivered the same level of showmanship. There was nothing authentically Gaga about the entire boring 10 minutes.
Gaga, we were counting on you. Not just to stand up to redneck America in the face of unbridled racism, but even to deliver an artistic, overwhelmingly creative performance capable of allowing us to escape everything that’s going on if only for a few minutes. You blew it.