When the performance slate for the Grammy Awards came out, it was a little bit surprising that Lady Gaga was not included on the list. Who would pick up the over-the-top theatrical slack with Mother Monster sitting on the sidelines?
Nicki Minaj was happy to fill in. In the evening’s most complicated and elaborate performance, she began on stage with “The Pope” (really just a weird old man from central casting who walked the red carpet with her), and began “confessing” the lyrics to her new single “Roman Holiday.”
Things only got weirder, as the show cut to a pre-taped segment that featured the same holy-man character showing up at a house for an exorcism. Who needed a demon purged? Minaj herself, who haphazardly put on lipstick and sang the lyrics to “I Feel Pretty” to herself as she climbed up the wall.
Eventually, the action cut back to the Staples Center stage, featuring lots of stained glass and a small army of monks. Minaj was strapped to a Frankenstein-esque lab table, eventually set free to rap through the remainder of the song.
In short, it was a mess, featuring a whole lot of religious imagery, a smattering of pyro, and no real messages to be found. The one great moment was when Minaj levitated in what might have been an homage to The Craft.
It was certainly the night’s most bombastic stage production, but it’s unclear exactly how we’re supposed to feel about Nicki Minaj (or her alter ego Roman Zolanski) once it ended.
What did you think of Nicki Minaj? Use your wackiest fake British accent in the comments.