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Lana Del Rey On SNL: How Did She Do?

01:01 PM Monday 1/16/12 | |

Just about everyone who caught Lana Del Rey on “Saturday Night Live” had an opinion about the singer/songwriter’s performance, from gossip blogger Perez Hilton to NBC anchor Brian Williams. 

Since releasing the tune “Video Games” online in June 2011 and re-releasing it in October as the first single from her new album, Del Rey has been building buzz thanks to her husky vocals and re-imagined retro image.

On Saturday the 25-year-old singer showed off “Video Games” as well as “Blue Jeans,” as the first musical guest to play the show before the release of a major label album since Natalie Imbruglia’s 1998 performance.

Although Del Rey didn’t lip-sync or forget her lyrics, plenty of viewers didn’t think too highly of her set.

The Huffington Post thought she was “pitchy and strangely guttural.”

Newsday complained that Del Rey was off key and wrote that the performance was “so awful that it could easily have been a Kristen Wiig skit, maybe one where she impersonates a Fiona Apple wannabe.”

The Los Angeles Times described Del Rey as “sounding and looking like an amateur Jessica Rabbit.” The paper wrote that although her voice is distinctive, she “appeared to be trying to do too much with it, distractingly switching between highs and lows, moving between pouting and singing.”

Countless tweets were sent out critiquing the performance. Perez Hilton wrote, “Just watched SNL. Not only was @LanaDelRey vocally WAY off, but watching her utter lack of stage presence was cringe-worthy #DontBuyTheHype.”

Singer/actress Juliette Lewis reportedly wrote, “Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 yearold in their bedroom when theyre pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes” The tweet has since been deleted from her Twitter page. On Sunday, Lewis added another tweet about Del Rey: “I woke up singing a @LanaDelRey song! Such great haunting melodies! Regardless of my own taste LIVE she's a #FreshandYummy songwriter.Period.”

A private email between Brian Williams and Gawker blogger Nick Denton, which was posted on Gawker.com, included the NBC anchorman’s take on Del Rey.

“Brooklyn hippster [sic] Lana Del Rey had one of the worst outings in SNL history last night — booked on the strength of her TWO SONG web EP,” Williams wrote, adding that she is “the least-experienced musical guest in the show’s history.”

This blogger’s opinion? Sure, Del Rey couldn’t stop playing with her hair and she didn’t know what to do with her hands, but was her awkward set really a train wreck? I agree she really needs to work on her stage presence but I don’t think her vocals were that awful – as long as you like her vocal style in general. If there wasn’t so much hype surrounding Del Rey, maybe viewers wouldn’t have freaked out so much.

Del Rey, who was born Elizabeth Grant, initially put out a three-track EP in 2008 titled Kill Kill under the name Lizzy Grant. In early 2010 she released a self-titled album on iTunes under her stage name but it has since been taken down. Now she’s promoting her major label debut, Born To Die, which is due out Jan. 30 on Interscope/Stranger Records.

Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of Lana Del Rey’s SNL set.


  1. bep76 wrote:

    10:30 PM, Jan 16, 2012

    i didnt really care for her voice but thesed people picking on every little thing about her is kind of stupid. i mean, doesnt brian williams have better things to complain about. and perez hilton never has any right to criticize anybody. did anybody see his performance in another gay sequel???

  2. neutralmilk wrote:

    07:41 PM, Jan 16, 2012


    I couldn't listen to the lyrics because she sounded terrible-the mix and her voice was has bad as it gets. But anyone can have a bad performance, but she wasn't much better at her LA show last month.

    She seems to be a millionaires daughter, who wants her career and plaudits handed to her. Sadly, it involves hard work and not buying hits on youtube and facebook.

  3. trespunto22 wrote:

    05:24 PM, Jan 16, 2012

    Off key? whatever? Okay, if you don' t like her music its one thing, but to diss her mechanics on stage is not germane! Who cares how uncomfortable she looked? I like how human she was on stage (didnt know where to put her hands!? What does that even mean!?) and of course she was nervous, its SNL! Come on people listen to the lyrics, that what matters and she has good lyrics. The world would be much better off with her in the limelight as opposed to Gaga or Perry. Forget about it!

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