The verdict is in, and it’s unanimous: during her performance on SNL this past weekend, Internet hatred magnet Lana Del Rey went down in flames like the Hindenburg. Whoops! As this was most Americans’ first introduction to her, it probably does not bode well for her career, and might serve as a cautionary tale to other green and/or mediocre entertainers similarly caught in the throes of the online hype cycle (yeah right). Even NBC newsman Brian Williams took some time off from doing important newsman things to note that something was majorly off with her performance, as evidenced by this email he sent Gawker media overlord Nick Denton:
From: “Williams, BD (NBCUniversal)”
Date: January 15, 2012 15:56:25 EST
I hope you’re well. Happy New Year. A big congratulations to the new freelance weekend guy, Taylor Bernam. He’s done some good posts right out of the box. I do wish the main page featured more TV coverage (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, the least-experienced musical guest in the show’s history, for starters). In my humble opinion as a loyal customer (you know I love you but the Blog View button will be the eventual cause of my death) and while I know you’re in the midst of an editor change, weekends have been allowed to go awfully fallow — and it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone. I know you’ve been watching NBC Nightly News religiously each evening and I’ll no doubt be getting a withering, detailed critique from you straight away.
It’s not really accurate to call her a “Brooklyn hippster,” as Lana Del Rey is pretty much the most hated thing since Train among those who read music blogs and care about being hip. (Probably more hated, actually, as Train never tried to bite said people’s style and sell it to middle America.) But barring that small error, Brian Williams is right. How many more Lana Del Reys will it take before people realize this way of doing business is a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad idea? [tagbox tag="Lana del Rey"]
Do I feel bad for Lana Del Rey? A little bit. She’s clearly the product of a culture that values looks and virality over talent and stage presence, and I imagine it’s tough to turn down an opportunity like SNL, even if you know you’re not ready for it. Then again, she likes to say shit like this:
“I definitely think it’s an honor. … I don’t think they’ve ever had anyone [perform] who didn’t even have a record out, so I do appreciate it,” she said. “[But I got it] because I’m a good musician. And I may not have a record out now, but I have been singing for a very long time, and I think that ['SNL' creator] Lorne [Michaels] knows that, and everyone over there knows that. It’s not a fluke decision.
Such humility! I’m sure it will earn her a ton of sympathy for all of her most cringeworthy TV moments.