Did you see Lady Gaga‘s Christmas special? Ya know, the one where she performed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Muppets? The one that aired on Thanksgiving night at the same time that you were dozing off on your aunt’s couch while watching football? Nope, didn’t watch? Well, you aren’t the only one. It didn’t get very good ratings. This isn’t surprising when you consider that everyone was eating and spending time with family and not understanding what connection Lady Gaga and Muppets have with Christmas.
One thing that was surprising though was Lady Gaga’s performance of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. First, because I was like, “What? Huh? Whyyyy???” And second, because it was even more awkward than it sounded. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is charming and dashing and all of those other words generally reserved for Disney princes. And Lady Gaga actually is capable of singing well and this fact really comes through when she’s performing toned down songs. So while JGL and Gaga are definitely a weird duo, the idea of them singing the Christmas classic was intriguing. Instead the performance was dull and strange and slightly creepy.
The performance is staged around a chaise. Okay, sounds good. Chaises are classy. JGL has on a suit and tie while Gaga is wearing a red satin gown. Great. Still classy. But then there’s the choreography which is just… ugh. There’s a lot of them pushing each other back down onto the chaise and strutting around with props. I get what they were going for, I mean, it’s in the lyrics of the song. She wants him to stay. He has to leave. It’s cold outside. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But it did not come off well at all. They seem tired and at some points look like they’re going to start laughing, but then that’s interjected with moments when Lady Gaga seems too aggressive. There’s a shot where she has crazy eyes like she will actually start beating Joseph Gordon-Levitt with that prop cane if tries to leave one more time.
The singing is almost as bad as the choreography and definitely as boring. While watching this I kept adjusting the volume on my computer thinking that if I could just get it loud enough, then the vocals would sound better. But no, I think they’re just really not into this. I want to give JGL the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn’t have Lady Gaga to play off of since she was too tired, but I think that might just be because I like him better and really it could go either way. You can tell they can sing pretty well, but they are holding back for most of it. It’s like watching a school play where the kids are nervous but have momentary flashes of confidence.
I can’t speak for the rest of the special but based on this performance, the ratings, and the fact that it was a Christmas special about Lady Gaga and Muppets, this all just proves one thing– Christmas celebrations are starting way too early. Joseph and Gaga were clearly sleep-singing through a tryptophan-induced slumber. There are still Thanksgiving turkey carcasses in refrigerators across America for crying out loud! We’ll get to Christmas when the time is right. We’ll get properly excited, we’ll decorate, and we will definitely not use this duet to get us psyched.