Lady Gaga Dives And Dazzles On ‘American Idol Finale’

Mother Monster joined by E Street Band sax hero for a performance of 'Edge of Glory.'

Lady Gaga took her performance to the edge — and then took a diving leap over it — during Wednesday’s (May 25) “American Idol” season finale.

Gaga, who memorably mentored the contestants earlier this season — advising Haley Reinhart to up the drama quotient in her performance, she told her, “Give them a little, ‘I’m crazy and I’m a laugh away from a tear’ ” — performed her new single “Edge of Glory.” She was perched on a mountain top of sorts made of faux rocks high above the “Idol” stage, not unlike Kanye West’s volcano-top performance at the 2010 BET Awards. Dressed in a long cape and a bedazzled headpiece draped with hanging chains, Gaga was rendered practically immobile, as she didn’t have much space to maneuver atop her spot. A trio of dancers were at the base of the set performing choreographed dance steps while Gaga belted high above them.

Gaga ditched her cape and headpiece after the song’s first verse, revealing a Xena the Warrior Princess-type battle-ready bikini ensemble, accented by a flowing blond wig and an oversize cross. Bathed in deep blue lights, she fingered at a piano that was built into her set, and wailed the song’s booming, summertime-ready chorus.

She was joined up top by a shirtless male dancer as Bruce Springsteen sidekick Clarence Clemons (who performs the gigantic sax solo at the center of the song) reprised his role on the Nokia Theatre stage. Dressed in an oversize black coat and a black hat, he was barely visible, but his sax lines were immediately recognizable, even if they wavered in and out of audibility.

Gaga and her dancer friend, who were laid out at the top of the set during Clemons’ sax intermission, rose to their feet during the song’s final chorus. As Gaga sang, “I’m on the edge of glory/ And I’m hanging on a moment with you,” they held hands as they inched to the edge of the platform. They embraced, took a breath and then dove off the edge of the stage, landing out of sight, behind a bed of fake rocks. Steam shot up high in the air and the curtain closed on the latest in a long string of memorable televised Lady Gaga performances.

The performance was well-timed to the release of Gaga’s Born This Way, which hit stores on Monday and is on pace to become the year’s fastest-selling album.

What did you think of Lady Gaga’s performance? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t miss a special edition of “Idol Party Live” Thursday at noon on MTV.com for analysis, finale red-carpet coverage and the last “Idol in 60 Seconds” of season 10. Get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.