Sunday, October 26, 2014

Iggy Azalea on SNL: How Uninspired Can You Get?

I have never been a fan of Iggy Azalea. Nor have I always been impressed with the musical performances on Saturday Night Live. So I shouldn't have been surprised by Iggy Azalea's uninspired, boring, canned performance on Saturday Night Live. But I was - mostly because it was just. so. awful.

I settled in to watch Iggy Azalea's performance on SNL with low expectations. Which was great because if I even had neutral expectations, I would have been disappointed. First and foremost, Iggy Azalea's performance was so....canned. That's the only way I can describe it. There was no variation in her tone versus what's rapped in her songs. There was no creativity. No inspiration. I could have listened to the radio for the exact same effect.

Secondly, her performance left just about everything to be desired. Where was the dancing? The creative movement? The use of the stage? The most interesting thing about her performance was everyone else. Guest singer Rita Ora's vocals, in comparison, did not disappoint. Iggy looked like a robot who was told to move around with Rita. Iggy bounced around in a skimpy outfit, utilizing her looks to carry her performance.

A while back, I read about the racial controversy sounding Iggy Azalea. I thought it was silly because talent is talent, regardless of ethnicity. However, I kind of get some of the anger now - people were upset because Iggy is being hailed as the great new rapper, but she's just...not. I don't think this should be a racial thing (because things really shouldn't be), but I can certainly see how people are concerned with Iggy not being representative of rap culture because she's just not that great. And her dancing relies heavily on sexual movement and booty shaking - showing that sexuality can shine beyond talent in the music industry. Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that Iggy Azalea is not talented at all, because it's clear that she is. She definitely can rap. But her performance comes off as so standardized, almost like she's a marionette going through the movements. This is in contrast to performances like Ariana Grande's, in which her song was performed differently than the album version and she truly shined on the SNL stage.

Overall, I'm unimpressed. I expected more from her live performance, but I guess SNL knew viewers would be underwhelmed, so they armed Iggy Azalea with guest singers and distracting (and talented, mind you) dancers in the foreground of her performance.

By the way...way to not hug Rita Ora back and make it look like you were blowing her off, Iggy. Then again, all of the pair's interactions looked forced (this site agrees) so this is unsurprising. And the whole second song was a vocal disaster, although the band Iggy performed with blames this on technical issues. (Hello, Ashlee Simpson flashback.)

On a positive note, Iggy did participate in an SNL sketch, so she went above just her musical numbers, so I do give credit for this.

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