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Elton John defends Lana Del Rey over infamous Saturday Night Live performance: ‘Where was the #MeToo movement there?’

Josh Milton October 24, 2019
Elton John (L) has come to Lana Del Rey's corner over her infamous performance on Saturday Night Live in 2012. (Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli via Getty Images/ Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Elton John (L) has come to Lana Del Rey's corner over her infamous performance on Saturday Night Live in 2012. (Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli via Getty Images/ Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

In 2012, a fresh-faced Lana Del Rey hit the Saturday Night Stage for her musical debut on the show and, from seemingly every section of the industry, her performance was panned.

From fans to journalists to even NBC news anchor Brian Williams (who called it “one of the words outings in SNL history”, according to a leaked email) people were sufficiently unimpressed by Del Rey’s rendition of ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’.

But seven years on, the singer, 34, has taken time to reflect on the performance, one that Elton John, 72, has defended in a Musicians on Musicians interview for Rolling Stone which hit newsstands today.

With her latest album, Norman F****ing Rockwell, receiving a wave of widespread critical acclaim, Del Rey’s SNL stint seems like a distant memory.

But touching on that time, she stated she doesn’t feel it was a bad performance and neither does John who was “distressed” to see her so “crucified”.

The ‘worst outing in SNL history’, to Elton John, ‘wasn’t that bad.’

John began: “You came through that awful thing in that SNL. Which was so distressing for someone like me to see someone so crucified.

“I’ve watched and and it wasn’t that bad.”

The ‘Video Games’ singer responded: “It wasn’t terrible.”

“It wasn’t terrible at all,” John continued. “I don’t know what the agenda was there, but where was the #MeToo movement there? ”

“Oh, you said it, not me!” Del Rey replied.

John then explained how, after the performance aired, he phoned Del Rey up in what became their first encounter with one another.

“’Listen, I just want to offer my help’,” he told Del Rey, “‘I know you’re sober and everything, but just don’t take any notice of these people.’

“Most people, that would have flattened them forever. It was an outrageous assault.”

Lana Del Rey says SNL show was the only time she ‘wasn’t nervous’ while performing.

Del Rey, from New York City, later recounted how her SNL show marked “the one night in all my time performing that I wasn’t nervous.

“I remember the intention I had,” she added. “Looking back, there was a more eccentric performative approach to it.

“I was thinking about [American soprano] Maria Callas, or someone darker coming through.”

The ‘Rocketman’ singer reassuringly replied: “You were still a very, very young artist.

“I don’t think you should have been put in that position so early on in your career” he said, before comparing  Del Rey’s SNL situation to that of Ashlee Simpsons.

In 2004, she had a lip sync fiasco as a recording of her song ‘Pieces of Me’ began to blast out behind her. “That’s a major f**k-up,” John stated.

“That’s funny. Not to her it isn’t, but it’s very funny to watch.”

Del Rey tersely retorted: “I’m not laughing.”

More: Elton John, Lana Del Rey, saturday night live

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