The award for most shocking moment of the Oscars goes to Lady Gaga.
I didn't believe it was Lady Gaga singing "The Sound of Music." I kept asking my girlfriend if that was actually her and even had to confirm the next morning by reading all the reports on the performance.
The Oscars feel a little on the dry side to me, but I often watch just so I can follow all the comments in my Facebook feed. I had it on in the background while I was doing other stuff and found myself singing along to the song, only to end up looking up to see who was singing and be extremely shocked.
It's hard to recognize the pop star without her stage props or meat-themed costumes. Or for that matter, strange dancerss prancing around the stage in white suits making t-rex arms. I associate the star with the music video for "Bad Romance," which is timeless primarily because I can still watch it and not entirely get what's going on.
Separated from all of that, and dressed so nicely, the performer took on "The Sound Of Music" in a way that I feel was better than Julie Andrew's original.
I was simply blown away by the bold and prominent power in Lady Gaga's voice in the rendition. It was absolutely the night's best performance, but also one of the best I have seen in years at the Oscars. The Lonely Island Guys were funny, John Legend had a solid performance that was quite moving, but what the pop star did was iconic, because she stepped out of her musical element and did something so well that it almost felt unreal.
I've always enjoyed her music as a guilty pleasure. Its odd, a bit formulaic, and relies on shock value more than talent to create, but it's fun and catchy. For me, she has always been one of the lesser evils of popular top 40 music. This performance gave her major credentials as a talented musician and gave me respect for her craft to the point where I'm thinking about removing her from the guilty pleasure category.
It makes me wonder what other pop artists I've wrongly written off as one trick ponies, and that messes with my head and my perception of pop music a little.
But what she did is what she always does. Every major award show she shows up at, she is talked about for her shock value. There was that one-year where she showed up at the Grammys in a meat suit and was the talk of the night. Then there was that one Oscars performance where she was one of the least controversial acts (aside from Mumford & Sons) and then we all talked about how shocking it was that she wasn't shocking.
But this time she Mayigi-ed us all of us and was the most controversial by showing us the full extent of her talent and a side of her that was so different that it was almost hard to believe it was real. Touche, you mastermind you.