Lana Del Rey, 25, (nee Elizabeth Grant) became an Internet sensation after a video of her song “Video Games” went viral last year. On Saturday, she created another Internet sensation, but not in a good way: the Lana Del Rey SNL performance has become a Google search trend after her lackluster gig was blasted on Twitter.
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It was, to be sure, Lana Del Rey’s U.S. television debut. She is reportedly the first artist to perform on SNL before the release of a major label album since Natalia Imbruglia. “Born to Die” is set to be released on January 27, 2012 in Ireland, January 30, 2012, in the U.K., and on January 31, 2012 worldwide.
Until now, you could say that Lana Del Rey has mostly been a cyberspace hit. After she first gained international attention with “Video Games,” she followed that with a series of rapid-fire internet releases. All of those will be featured on “Born To Die.”
There was a great deal of scrutiny focused on the Lana Del Rey SNL performance. There were questions about the risk SNL was taking showcasing a relatively untested performance. When asked by MTV, she replied,
“I don’t think they’ve ever had anyone perform who didn’t even have a record out [apparently not knowing about Imbruglia], so I do appreciate it. I’m a good musician. And I may not have a record out now, but I have been singing for a very long time, and I think that Lorne [Michaels] knows that, and everyone over there knows that. It’s not a fluke decision.”
The Twitterverse was not pleased with the results. Actress / singer Juliette Lewis Tweeted, “Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 yearold in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform. #signofourtimes.” The tweet has since been deleted.
Perez Hilton Tweeted, “Just watched SNL. Not only was @LanaDelRey vocally WAY off, but watching her utter lack of stage presence was cringe-worthy. #DontBuyTheHype.”
Eliza Dushku Tweeted, “Who…..is…..this wack-a-doodle chick performing on #SNL..? Whaaaa?”
Non-celebrity Tweeter @Jetblq was kinder. He said, “I don’t care what anyone said, @LanaDelRey performance was fantastic. Well at least it was better than Ashlee Simpsons’ disaster.”
We’d side with @Jetblq, more or less. The Lana Del Rey SNL performance left a lot to be desired, but how much of that was due to nervousness on a huge stage — and we don’t mean size-wise — rather than lack of talent. That’s the way we’d figure it.
If there was a big mistake made in scheduling Lana Del Rey for an SNL performance, it was probably on her part, or her agent’s part, for accepting the gig. SNL is live, and offers no room for errors. You don’t get a do-over on Saturday Night Live.
Watch the videos of her two songs (Video Games, Blue Jeans) on SNL in the sidebar, and judge for yourself.