Whether it’s your fourth grade talent show or your network TV debut, everyone has one of those not-so-fresh moments where things just don’t go off the way you expected in front of a huge audience.
Buzzed-about singer Lana Del Rey had one of those on Saturday night. Two of them, in fact. Hyped as the first artist to play “Saturday Night Live” before the release of a debut album, Del Rey took some serious fire after she stumbled through shaky, deer-in-the-headlights performances of “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans.”
In a moment that made Ashlee Simpson’s infamous lip-synching scandal seem like child’s play by comparison, Del Rey even took fire from respected NBC news anchor Brian Williams, whose email meant for Gawker Media founder Nick Denton was accidentally made public after he told Denton that the performance was “one of the worst outings in ‘SNL’ history.”
Del Rey is used to answering her critics by now about everything from her looks to the full-court major-label push behind her upcoming debut, Born to Die.
But she is, of course, not the first star (or future star) to do a face plant in their big debut.
For every Mariah Carey, who was savaged for her acting bow in “Glitter” only to gain a measure of respect back for her small role in “Precious,” there are awkward big screen bows by the likes of Christina Aguilera (“Burlesque”), director Sofia Coppola (“Godfather 3″) and Kelly Clarkson (“From Justin to Kelly”) that appear to have prematurely ended those actresses’ movie careers.
Music careers have also stalled out after cringe-inducing first efforts. Kim Kardashian hasn’t progressed much beyond the oil-slathered, Hype Williams-directed video for “Jam (Turn It Up),” which has never officially been released. But even she can take solace in the fact that although Rebecca Black got savaged for the insipid hook and music on her first single, “Friday,” the song’s video has racked up 19 million views to date.
Sometimes that cross-over just takes a bit of time. Case in point: The Rock. The former professional wrestler made his leading man debut in “The Scorpion King” in 2002 and was almost universally panned, but has since gone on to score a series of hits with movies like “Fast Five” and “Tooth Fairy.” (And don’t even get me started on Tim Tebow, who will officially line up as the Denver Broncos’ quarterback again next year even after a wildly up and down first tour of duty.)
Hell, even former Beatle Paul McCartney was raked over the coals last year when critics handed him his lunch after the premier of his first ballet, “Ocean’s Kingdom.”
So, cheer up, Lana. Maybe you’ll get them next time!