“American Idol” has never seen anything like [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist]. The show has had plenty of musical guests over the years, and yes, there was that frantic, flame-haired, foot-stomping visit from past winner Fantasia that made Simon’s jaw drop last year, but that was nothing compared to the alien-disco vibe Gaga brought on Wednesday night’s elimination show.
The “Just Dance” singer, known for her disdain for pants and a unique fashion sense that’s been described as “alien drag queen” in some quarters, left the audience a bit stunned with an over-the-top performance of her latest #1 hit single, “Poker Face,” on the typically middle-of-the-road singing competition.
(Take a look at our five favorite Lady Gaga fashions in the Newsroom.)
As the contestants awaited their fate, Gaga opened the song seated at a Plexiglas piano filled with bubbles and bathed in pink light, playfully hamming up the lyrics in a Bette Midler style to the accompaniment of a dreadlocked violin player. Wearing a bleach-blond wig and a pair of shiny aluminum shoulder pads, Gaga seemed like she was going to play it straight and tone down her flamboyant style (relatively speaking) while belting the lines, “Russian roulette is not the same without a gun/ And baby when it’s love, if it’s not rough, it isn’t fun.”
Then the pace picked up, the violin got cooking, and Gaga looked as if she’d take off — only to slow things down again for the chorus, which she crooned in an exaggerated Broadway style.
You knew that couldn’t last, though, and two minutes in, the song’s signature bouncy hook pumped out of the speakers. A male dancer in a suit removed Gaga’s shoulder pads, and she danced to the center of the stage in a puff of white smoke. Wearing a silver glittery leotard with a giant star on one shoulder and tassels dangling from her hips, Gaga aerobicized her way across the stage, along with her gang of pirouetting man dancers.
As the song progressed to a frenzied close, the violinist busted into a country hoedown solo and Gaga stomped around in a neck-snapping, one-woman mosh pit, ending the trip the far side of pop with a stare into the camera that revealed a bizarre makeup job that included an open zipper patched over her left eye.
“Idol” may never be the same again. While Gaga has made a reputation with her outrageous stage show and sartorial sense, perhaps this performance was a celebration of the milestone she notched this week, when she became the first artist in nearly a decade to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with her first two singles. She joins a distinguished list that includes Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey.
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