Today's Evil Beet Gossip

People Really, Really Did Not Like Lana Del Rey on SNL Last Night

Photo: Lana Del Rey reportedly tanked on Saturday Night Live last night

OK. I watched both videos and, considering this is her U.S. television debut, Lana Del Rey‘s performances on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live seem sort of fine. (For what it’s worth, Rolling Stone has previously described her live shows as “anxious.”)

But Lana Del Rey is relatively frosh, isn’t she? She was only signed to a label in 2011. She sure has an interesting sound, though, and she’s more on-key than Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and sometimes Adele, who—please! Please don’t shoot me!—can get a little “pitchy.” I’m sorry! But it’s true!

I’m a little sad, then, that Lana Del Rey is getting completely shredded online today. I’m not even a fan of hers! But she has a voice like a sylph.

Freaking Reuters, man:

Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” is a slow burn of a song — but it was too slow a burn for some “Saturday Night Live” viewers.

The songstress is a divisive figure for music fans, embraced by some for her modern-day torch songs and dismissed by others as a poseur. Her “SNL” performance of “VIdeo Games” and another song, “Blue Jeans,” seem to have won her few new fans.

She was given the chance to perform Saturday before even releasing her first album, and the Twitterati were brutal.

Among the unimpressed viewers was Juliette Lewis, a star of NBC’s new legal drama “The Firm,” who broke ranks with the network to criticize Del Rey.

“Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 year old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform. #signofourtimes,” she tweeted.

Added actress Eliza Dushku: “Who……..this wack-a-doodle chick performing on #SNL..? Whaaaa?”

Did Entertainment Weekly get in on this auto da fé? You bet:

If Radcliffe was making a strong first impression as an SNL host (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had him back someday) first-time musical guest Lana Del Rey did anything but. Just ask the Internet. After both of the singer’s warbly performances, first “Video Games” and then “Blue Jeans”, the Twitterverse was doing anything but singing the controversial pop star’s praises. …Having never heard Del Rey perform live myself (which was probably the case for many viewers, considering the singer hasn’t released her debut album yet) I’d venture to say she made her mark on SNL, but probably not the one she’d hoped for.


Look, I get it. When the audience becomes convinced that somebody’s spotlight is unearned, they yell for blood. (Just look at reactions to the Kardashians or the cast of Jersey Shore.) Sure, OK, she’s still too green to put on TV. But you can’t sincerely tell me this ravishing kid isn’t a natural talent.

In any case, I’m convinced that if you close your eyes, either song sounds a lot better than it looks.

What do you think? Was her performance as bad as critics say?

(Image via New York Daily News.)

23 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Oh, yes…for these performances she deserves all the criticism she’s getting…it was bad…really bad! Maybe she’s capable of doing much better…but not on this night.

  • ….why does her voice sound that way? i feel like something must be seriously going on with her ’cause that bad. and i do believe she is normally very talented.

  • I belatedly found the most articulately scathing Del Rey review yet. It ruffled my feathers, but it’s worth a read anyway:

    Watching Del Rey’s performance of “Video Games,” it struck me that she is really a parody of herself, a Ke$ha-like figure whose identity is pure construction. The difference, though, is that artists like Ke$ha throw that identity in our face, while Del Rey simply waifs her way through the performance, revealing in nearly every moment just how delicate and vulnerable her tableau truly is. There are moments where her voice is genuinely haunting, but there are also moments where it amounts to a dramatic reading, and other moments where it’s like she forgets she’s supposed to be singing, or invents a new character to perform a particular line because she was so far into another key that she might as well just go with it. It’s the kind of performance where you half expect the show to follow it up with an exact replication of the performance with Kristen Wiig or Abby Elliot doing an impersonation in order to further capture the Baudrillard-esque spectacle of it all. I honestly couldn’t tell you a single thing about this song, as I was simply too mesmerized by everything else on display, but suffice to say that my fascination with Del Rey has little to do with her music.

    This is actually completely in line with Rolling Stone’s (positive) earlier review, which noted that the changes in her voice from phrase to phrase can be “jarring.”

  • I don’t think she deserves so much criticism, since shes relatively new and SNL is a huge, nerve-wracking performance. That being said, I really couldn’t connect with her. I really couldn’t tell the difference between the songs she was singing, and it was just a little painful to watch at times. It dragged on and was very depressing to hear, almost like constant moaning.

    I feel like she has potential and really need to work on harnessing that, because there were definitely moments where her voice was unique and haunting. It was just too all over the place and weird to make a good impression, but I hope she keeps working at it.

    • I agree.

      I didn’t find her performance to be “career killing” as others have said, but it certaintly wasn’t outstanding. Nothing that she cant bounce back from with a little more practice, and becoming more comfortable performing live.

  • *And at least she didn’t lip sync ala Ashley Simpson! I’m sure that could have been arranged if she was too nervous/actually had a problem with her vocals that night, but she put it all out there for everyone to hear. More balls than I could ever have!

  • I have never heard of this girl before, but i just found her “video game” video on YT and while the video makes absolutely no sense, as well as the lyrics, i really liked her voice…

    • The lyrics make total sense! It’s a woman who’s completely besotted with her lover and he treats her like crap.

  • It was bad compared to some of her other performances, like the one on Jools Holland, which was amazing. But the people calling her a “one-tit wonder” and labeling her music as “botox pop” are assholes.

  • Wow, IMO that wasn’t good at all, it was all warbly and weird. I really don’t get the trend of “I’m a singer but I’m not really singing” thing alt music seems to love.

  • Ugh. I LOVE this girl, I love her so much, but this … I’ve seen acts in middle school talent shows that were better than this. Like, lots of them. It seems like it was just way, way too soon to put this girl on TV, much less SNL.

  • I liked her song but her stupid video on youtube made NO sense and just had random clips mixed in with her pouting in front of her MacBook.

    SNL was just extremely premature.

  • I have seen her on other YT videos and she is not the best at singing live. She gets very very nervous. I saw her on Jools Holland and while it was good you knew she was pretty much shaking, she couldn’t barely look at the camera. I love her so much, and the criticism she is getting is awful, full of hatred. I have the feeling it wouldn’t be nearly as bad if she were a man. The amount of times I’ve heard awful, sexual things about her lips, urgh.

    • Totally agree with this!
      I can’t imagine any situation with a male fronted vocalist where the comments would be as scathing, and concentrated on his “image”.

  • You can clearly see the poor girl has a massive case of stage fright. Yes, it was a bad live performance but I’ve seen far worse – does anyone remember Avril Lavigne singing live? It was like someone killing a cat, but it didn’t seem to hurt her career (I know she’s not exactly popular any more but she had a bloody good run for more years than her talent deserved).
    I imagine there’ll be a statement from her PR saying she had food poisoning or the plague or something and that’s why it wasn’t very good.

  • Horrible performance and so obviously manufactured talent and image…so unnatural, it’s difficult to enjoy her

  • She sucked SO bad. My girlfriend and I were like, who IS this, and who does she think she is?
    I’m so glad a lot of people felt the same way. I like new music, but she is dreadful.

  • Ummmm I thought she did really good. I am not even a huge Lana fan but after hearing all the commotion over this performance and then watching it I honestly do not know what the big deal was. It it more because it is not what the SNL viewers are used to? LDR is definitely not every ones cup of tea but I do not think this performance deserves all the criticism it is receiving.

  • Blue Jeans was definitely way worse than Video Games, most likely because her range is quite obviously limited, and Video Games stays in her lower register. Because of this limited range, and because a lot of her recorded music seems pitch corrected, she should really just remain a studio artist until she can get some more training for live performances.

    When my friends who are diehard LDR fans and I spoke about these performances, what put them off the most is that she didn’t seem gracious at the end of her songs at all. I get that people have their schtick, and bigger name artists can get away with that kind of behavior, but I don’t think it’s a good way to start your career by having your stage presence convey that you couldn’t care less about being there.

  • she will only sound good in the studio if she doesnt practice, she has no idea what she’s doing all the keys are out of place and the ones that are where they should be dont sound the way they should. i found this performances very dissapoining