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