Into the Tube: Lady Gaga at the VMAs

For somebody as determined to be a pop star as the irrepressible Lady Gaga, a stage like Radio City Music Hall for the MTV Video Music Awards must have been mecca. Sharing the stage with Madonna, Michael Jackson (in a posthumous duet with Janet), Beyonce and Jay-Z last night was arguably her biggest moment yet. Here was her chance to enter the collective pop-culture psyche once and for all.

For anyone secretly praying for Lady Gaga to crash and burn, she so didn’t. Two parts Vogue-era Madonna, one part Amadeus and one part Marilyn Manson bloodbath, the performance of her first decent single to date, Paparazzi, had more drama than a year’s worth of The Hills. From beneath the crush of a fallen chandelier, she rose, she vogued, she limped, she rolled her raccoon eyes into her skull and pounded the piano like a fiend. Then her heart exploded and she hung herself on a meat hook. Naturally!

In his ongoing collaboration with the tiny diva, Nicola Formichetti was responsible for dressing her and her dancers in the heaping amounts of lace, feathers, fringe and mesh, as well as Gaga’s elaborate outfit changes throughout the night. Their partnership has never felt so exciting.

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