Lady Gaga brings a can't-miss performance to the American Music Awards. (We saw rehearsal.)

This is not a picture of Lady Gaga rehearsing for the American Music Awards. Her rehearsal was closed to the public, and EW.com was allowed to remain and report on the proceedings only after much pleading and cajoling, and also some hiding. But at this point — after the Where-The-Wild-Flaming-Boob-Things-Are headtrip of her “Bad Romance” video — do you really need photographic evidence of the Lady’s abilities to know you should probably tune in? Ever since she first whacked us over the head with a disco stick, it seems even the most pop-averse among us are unable to resist her weirdo charms. At least she’s never boring. (And for the record? If even I think she deserves that Best New Artist Grammy, she probably deserves it. I’m cynical about everything.)

Gaga’s AMA performance appears to be her most far-reaching live effort yet, as though she took a look at that bizarre gyroscope dress-to-piano transition she rather botched on Saturday Night Live and said, “Yeah, but what if we made it even harder for me to get to the keyboard?” She’s not only performing “Bad Romance,” which was to be expected, but seizing the opportunity to debut “Speechless” off her Fame Monster reissue as well. This morning’s extended rehearsal was a massive effort that looked less like the prep for a shiny commercial broadcast TV show and more like the chaos surrounding load-in for a futuristic musical at some super-hardcore theater camp: As stagehands prepped the giant set pieces, a choreographer had the pack of dancers — including Gaga, in sunglasses, black bra, hot pants, and stilettos — writhing across every inch of stage. Like in the “Bad Romance” video (and the Timbaland performance from Friday’s rehearsals), there’s a lot of “Thriller” in their moves — the look is all twitchy claw hands and whatnot. While she marked the steps, Gaga gripped her mic, often directing the action or belting out lyrics a capella in her sonorous, well-trained voice.

I don’t want to ruin stuff for anyone out there, so I’ll just tell you that along with whatever hell-couture monstrosity Gaga decides to wear (one can only imagine), you will also be treated to gas masks, violins, and some serious crashing and burning. Shakira — whose closed rehearsal I scoped today, too — may have 25 female dancers stomping the yard in staggering precision, but Gaga’s got that thing she keeps insisting we call “art.” So, okay. It’s art. You win. Please do not burn me in bed with your boobs.

Who’s intrigued, Mixers? What do you think of Gaga’s everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink-plus-the-neighbor’s-kitchen-sink-plus-an-exploding-meth-lab-if-we-can-find-one approach to her visuals? And are they enough to get you to tune into this awards show, and our live blog? How about just the live blog?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Janet Jackson, Keith Urban and more rock Friday’s AMA rehearsals
American Music Awards: We’re live-blogging it!
Adam Lambert talks ‘For Your Entertainment’ at AMA rehearsals
Exclusive Q&A with Adam Lambert on OUT Magazine scandal: ‘Not every gay man is the same gay man.’
Beyonce & Gaga, ‘Video Phone’ official clip: When divas attack

Photo Credit: Michael Caulfield/Getty Images

Comments (74 total) Add your comment
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  • Grady

    What do you know, Whitney? You just got me pretty pumped for this!

  • jordan

    So, okay. It’s art. You win. Please do not burn me in bed with your boobs.

    loved that

  • davidsask

    YOUR LIVE BLOGS PISS ME OFF SO MUCH, THEY NEVER WORK! RARELY DOES SOMEONE GET A CHANCE TO SPEAK IN WINDOW IF AT ALL, SO WHAT’S THE POINT!

    • ger

      That’s because you yell too much

      • Khristina

        LMAO ger

  • maiv

    I would love to see her live!

  • Kurt

    Ugh. Gaga is way overrated.

    • Sara

      I used to think that too, but then I saw the light. <3

    • Tarc

      Hardly. You might not like her stuff (and that’s OK), but don’t confuse you personal taste with talent or quality.

    • Jim

      I agree that she’s overrated. I have yet to see what makes her an “artist.” She is just another pop star to me–catchy songs with nice beats. I’ll go into tonight with an open mind, but silly outfits and fake blood does not an artist make.

    • PS

      Her music removed of her imagery is your run-of-the-mill pop stuff. Not bad, just average. Pop music is all about image these days, so no wonder she’s popular.

    • mia

      I completely agree. When someone needs idiotic costumes for attention clearly something is missing. Some people interpret this as talent somehow. kinda sad.

      • @mia

        What like Madonna, Prince, MJ, Bowie who all dressed up onstage for theatricality? They must have lacked talent LOL. Thank GOD for artists who keep the visual alive. If Gaga couldn’t sing, play or write and mimed like Britney and Disney stars, you’d have a point.

      • Sol

        Exactly like Madonna and Prince — (that may have been mia’s point)

      • snoopy

        no. Prince and MJ have talent, unlike the others mentioned in this mini thread.

      • mia

        Oh my. you are seriously comparing Lady Gaga to Prince, MJ and Bowie??? please do yourself a favour and listen to their music and then listen to gaga’s. if you still can’t tell the difference there really is no hope for you.

      • doug

        guess theres no hope for me. i think she is comparable: she writes, sings, and choreographs her own songs; shes created an entire style unto herself, her songs are so damn catchy, and possibly meaningful (who’s to say they aren’t). give her some credit jeez.

  • Rad_Rosa89

    Ah I can’t wait for this!!!
    SO PUMPED!!!

  • lime

    lady gaga is psycho. and that is why we love her.

    i’m definitely watching this performance. i have no doubt that it will be disturbing and stunning in the best possible way.

  • linda

    just another performance to look forward to. luv all her songs. hope speechless gets to #1 also. luv it

  • Steve the Pole

    Haha
    the media is just too hard-pressed to find the next major pop star if they’re over-hyping the bejeseus out of this crap!
    It reminds me of the same way that they’ve treated the Twilight series as being the next big franchise in movies.
    Mediorcre drivel spoon fed to the easily entertained.

    • Steve the Pole

      Also, in the immortal words of Austin Powers, “She’s a man, bay-bee!”.

      • Tarc

        Wow, that last jab explained it all. I’m guessing that’s where ‘the Pole’ come in. Ugh.

      • Annyong!

        Hahaha.
        I can’t believe this tranny even has a fan base!
        People are just too easily entertained these days.

      • mike

        HAHAHA.. your soo funny! :D

    • you need to

      Youtube Vintage Lady Gaga Live at NYU – Captivated & Electric Kiss

      • Dani

        Yes! That was awesome, I just watched it last night. I thought she was amazing. She really does have talent.

  • JenR

    When does the show air? I wish they would include that information in these things.

    • DFDF

      Red Carpet 6pm, the show 8pm EST

  • Jen

    I just don’t get this Lady Gaga thing. I haven’t liked any of her songs and I personally think she’s overhyped and overexposed. She’s just bizzare, but hey that’s my opinion.

    • escapism

      Well of course she’s bizarre. Not everyone enjoys listening to dire Jack Johnson cofeehouse music lol.

  • Tarc

    Gaga’s a genius – best new artist since the greats of the 80’s – MMJ, Janet, Madonna, and Prince. If anything, she’s incredibly underrated. Sure, her live bits are not always perfect, but she’s a new artist and her budgets has been (at least until now) been pretty limited. She’s smart, well-educated in music, classically trained, knows her musical ancestors, and obviously respects them and bowwows from the best. Listening to her songs is fantastic – trying to pick out the samples, the riffs lifted, and the sounds from all of the greats (well, and how they are fused with her own melodies and lyrics). Awesome.

    • mia

      “genius”??? OMG, if you really believe that you realllly need to get out more.

      • Lena

        Believe or not, the woman is pretty smart. Though her whole appearance blocks people from noticing that.

      • al

        Well considering that she was accepted into Juliard and NYU’s Tisch University by age 17, I’d say she’s pretty damn talented. She writes all of her own songs and is classically trained in piano. Watch her acoustic versions on youtube. Those were what convinced me. This woman has talent! And she can belt out as much as Christina!

  • CB

    Can’t Wait!!!!1

  • Johnny

    I don’t understand her schtick. I have heard her sing, the woman has a voice! So why does she have to take the Marilyn Manson approach to get noticed? The medium (crazy feathers and tinfoil) obscures the message (golden pipes on this girl).

    • Sara

      You don’t understand it because it actually isn’t a schtick at all. It’s GaGa. If you think the medium is obscuring the message, then you just aren’t getting the message. See her live show and then you’ll get it. Nothing compares to a live show with the Lady.

      • Samsonite

        Are you kidding me? Of COURSE it’s a schtick! Did you not see that clip of her getting punked on MTV’s Boiling Points a few years ago? She used to look and act like a normal human being!

        It won’t be long before people grow tired of the spectacle (I know many people, including myself, who have grown tired of it ALREADY).

        I’m not trying to say she’s not talented, because she is. Just don’t be so naive to presume this glammed-up facade is anything more than a SCHTICK to sell records and keep her fame going.

      • Immi

        She does exactly what I would do if I were famous. It’s FUN to dress up! Costumes and high fashion are one of the best things about this temporary life! Enjoy yourself, get glammed up, have fun, put on a show! As an art student, I adore non conformist artists who keep the visual alive like Bowie, Pink, MJ, Gaga. I want to SEE something as well as hearing the singer when I watch them live. It’s the full package.

  • qjersey

    Her new CD has at least another 4 top ten hits on it!

    Now if only Glambert had done the duet on Telephone with her…

    • DP

      Fever, rather. Beyonce’s part was terrible but Telephone is just a bad song, imo. She should release Speechless.

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