By now, you are probably aware that Lady Gaga is an unstoppable moneymaking machine , an insatiable studio junkie , a high-ranking Polaroid executive , an honorary Hair Wars champion , a burgeoning fashion icon , the next Madonna , more popular than Barack Obama and quite possibly a member of the Illuminati.
But, chances are, you didn’t know that she’s also a big fan of A&E’s “Intervention.”
Or maybe you did. After all, she tweeted about it Tuesday, calling the show “informational, heartbreaking and inspiring.” And while the idea of Gaga sitting in a hotel room, hair done up in Diet Coke can curlers, cigarette sunglasses still smoldering on the bedside table, watching Allison huff duster (and subsequently walk on sunshine) is rather amazing, it’s also important too. Because it’s just another step in the latest chapter of her career: her continued transformation from otherworldly pop deity into an actual human being.
And perhaps I am reading entirely too much into one simple tweet about a phenomenally addictive reality show (about addiction), but now — more than at any point in her time in the spotlight — Gaga seems determined to be one of us. She chugs beer at baseball games (albeit while wearing a leather jacket and a bikini), crushes BBQ at Boston dive bars and spends her off-days in New York cooking for her dad, drinking and watching episodes of “Cops” (something she made a point of mentioning onstage at her tour kickoff in Montreal ). She spoke openly and frankly about her ex-boyfriend in an interview with Rolling Stone, and her newest song — a piano ballad called “You and I” — seems to be very much about reconciling with him, in perhaps the most un-Gaga setting imaginable: a dark and dirty bar. (It’s also worth noting that the songs sounds a whole lot like a Billy Joel B-side, and who’s more everyman than the Piano Man?)
At this point, I don’t know what she could possibly do for an encore — maybe start Tivo-ing “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” or take on a disastrous adjustable-rate mortgage? — but the fact remains that right now, despite all her trappings, Gaga is probably the most openly human pop superstar on the planet (or at least the most open). Can you imagine any of her contemporaries — the Beyoncés and Britneys and Madonnas of the galaxy — giving the finger to photographers at a Mets game or slaving away in the kitchen? Of course not. Would any of them go to such great lengths to shed the veil of celebrity and seem so downright normal? Not in a million years. Lady Gaga has basically graduated to a whole new level now, one that’s either so far above — or so far below — anything anyone else has ever attempted that it seems positively groundbreaking: She is the cursing, drinking, red-meat-devouring deity. She is, in a sense, just like you or I.
But is any of it intentional? I’m not really sure. When I interviewed Gaga last year in San Diego, I asked her if she were “in character” all the time or if there were moments when she was just, you know, normal (i.e. When she went to the grocery store, did she wear those Alexander McQueen armadillo heels?). She responded, quite matter-of-factly, that Lady Gaga wasn’t a character; it was who she was, and that, if there was any kind of concept behind her career, it was — as she put it — to “create an atmosphere for my fans, where they don’t leave loving me, they leave loving themselves.”
So even back then, the template appeared to be in place. Gaga is not untouchable, she is not perfect — she’s not supposed to be. And while some might find the notion of their pop royalty slumming it down here with the rest of us rather uncouth, I for one find it rather admirable. It’s not careerist or calculated; it’s just Gaga being Gaga. And, I suspect, it’s just one of the many reasons her “little monsters” love her so.
And, if she wants to continue down her current path, might I suggest “Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch,” currently airing on VH1? It’s waaay everyman.
Do you think Gaga is relatable or untouchable? Share your thoughts in the comments below!