Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera stepped up to kiss the Queen of Pop’s ring – well, Madonna herself – at the 2003 VMAs, and Lady Gaga got her chance to pay homage this weekend on Saturday Night Live. But rather than play it straight, SNL cast the two in a mock catfight that pit Gaga (the night’s musical guest) against Madge (in town promoting best-of collection Celebration). It all went down during a “Deep House Dish” sketch when DJ Dynasty Handbag (Kenan Thompson) announced “two exciting entertainers, performing together for the very first time.” The pair of slight blond stars spun around and while Gaga nailed her first lyric – “What’s wrong, Madonna, can’t get into the groove?” – Madonna seemed to blank on her lines, recovering in time to try to yank Gaga’s hair. “What the hell is a disco stick!?” Madonna shouted as the two struggled.
Lady Gaga returned just minutes later for her first performance, in which she put on her best red vinyl and danced to a version of “Paparazzi” that included a brief keytar solo. She was also careful to carefully enunciate the line “To that shit on the radio,” marking the second time this season profanity made it to the air on SNL – and it’s only the second episode of the year.
Gaga debuted an outfit that could double as a third-grade model of the atom for her second performance. The get-up called “The Orbit,” according to her Twitter, was eye-catching but a bit troublesome – it whacked Gaga on the head a few times and caused drama when she segued from “LoveGame” to the piano for a some riffs on life in New York (”cheered for the Yankees with my dad in section six”), “Poker Face” and a bit of new song “Bad Romance.” But Gaga took the time to stretch out and show off her considerable chops on the piano, and shout out “Saturday Night.”
But Lady Gaga was not done there: she showed up again in the night’s final sketch dressed in the bubble outfit the cover of Rolling Stone helped make famous this May. In fact, she was thumbing through the issue as Samberg approached wearing the exact same outfit (now he knows how Pink and Shakira felt at this year’s VMAs).