Lady Gaga writhes on a bed, emerges from a top hat and, yes, even wears a tail in her eye-popping "Applause" video. It premiered on Monday (August 19), the same day she confirmed she'll be opening the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, August 25.
Directed by fashion photographers, Inez & Vinoodh, the video is full of surreal, trippy imagery that re-imagines Lady Gaga in a clamshell bikini, doing her best Venus impression, and perhaps, most memorably, at one point plants her head on a swan's body. And while that may serve as the most unexpected set-up, her Little Monsters can't get enough of that clamshell bikini.
John told MTV News, "When she had the seashells on and she was thrashing around on the ground, it was so raw and real. I loved it."
"Probably the seashell look [was my favorite]," Reed said of the video. "It was revealing and baring everything."
However, Rachel, who traveled all the way from Ireland to be in NYC for the video premiere, couldn't get that swan scene out of her head. "There was this bit and she was like lying on a bed and she turned into a goose, it was all actually absolutely incredible," she noted of that bird transformation. "She was teasing it so much on Twitter and then when I saw it, it was so good."
Jimmy shared that he felt the scenes where she's in her clown makeup really spoke to him because he felt it symbolized her pain she must have felt while she was in recovery from hip surgery earlier this year and couldn't perform for her fans. "It could bring tears to my eyes," he said.
Nick declared Gaga's runway scene "everything," while the shots of her sporting giant wings amped several other of the Little Monsters who watched the video on Monday in Times Square.
Justin said, "The wings gave me life. His friend, Moses, added, "The wings were excruciating. They were so intense and bold. She gives me Gaga."
Fans can now watch the surreal "Applause" video on repeat until she takes the stage on Sunday at the VMAs to perform the song live from Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Katy Perry, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and more will also perform during the show, which airs at 9 p.m. ET.