The opening number of the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards was such a drag. Or rather, a Lady Gaga in drag.
Walking out to the edge of the stage, Gaga delivered a monologue as Jo Calderone, her male alter ego, most recently seen in her “You and I” video (watch and understand). Dressed as a man, and bearing a striking resemblance to actor Ralph Macchio, “Calderone” went on about “his” breakup with Gaga over her need for stardom. Using that as the springboard excuse to do the song in character, Gaga/Calderone declared that he “needed to get in there” under the spotlight with Gaga, immediately ran across the stage to a piano and launched into “You And I.” Sound confusing? It was for some. The only one the camera caught who seemed to get what was going on was actress Katie Homes, who smiled away while folks like Russell Brand and Justin Bieber wore blank expressions.
As for the musical performance, Gaga wailed on the piano and belted out the lyrics with perfection as the legendary Brian May played his guitar solo alongside her (he appears on the recorded version of the song). Unfortunately after dancing on the top of her piano while spraying a bottle of beer all over the stage, Gaga took a mini-spill and slipped on the beer-soaked floor. But, just like the pro she is, she got right back up and finished out the song so close to May that her head was nearly resting on his guitar’s fretboard.
Staying in character the entire night, Gaga/Calderone also had the duty of presenting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award to Britney Spears. This made for a fabulously uncomfortable moment as Spears nervously laughed while Gaga sleazily leered at her, looking for a kiss from Ms. Spears like any male player would. Getting dangerously close to giving her second girl-girl smooch on MTV, Britney leaned in but pulled away at the last minute saying “I’ve already done that,” referring to her infamous liplock with Madonna during their performance together at the 2003 VMAs.
Gaga stuck around for the rest of the show, drinking with Kanye West and Tony Bennett down in the front while they danced to the newly expecting Beyonce’s gleeful performance of “Love On Top” as Daddy-To-Be Jay-Z looked on with a grin.
Winning the award for Best Video With A Message for “Born This Way,” Gaga also won for Best Female Video which was presented by the ladies of the Jersey Shore cast and comedienne Cloris Leachman. Showing she had the best sense of humor in the house, Leachman bent over and stuck the award under her backside, forcing Lady Gaga to retrieve the moon man from between Leachman’s legs. Gaga/Calderone accepted the award and thanked Gaga’s little monsters (her nickname for her fans), no doubt enjoying “his” moment in the spotlight.
Watch Lady Gaga at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards here.
Check out photos from the 2011 MTV VMAs here. Follow me on twitter at Twitter.com/concertexaminer.