Lady Gaga is the first announced performer at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, and that means the following items are true: 1) She somehow has to outdo her “meat dress with matching meat purse and meat angst” ensemble from 2010, 2) She has to outdo the existence of her experimental alter-ego Jo Calderone, who smoked and yelled at us at the 2011 ceremony, and 3) Somehow, she’s got to attempt to better her performance of “Paparazzi” from 2009. She’ll be trying on August 25 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
“Paparazzi” wasn’t even one of my favorite singles from The Fame. Although I liked her clinical fixation on the bizarro world of pop idolatry, the song struck me as a bit too self-serious at the time — I preferred the in-your-face good times and cheekiness of “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “LoveGame,” and “(Eh, Eh) Nothing Else I Can Say.” That opinion changed when I saw how much Lady Gaga was owning her arty seriousness at the VMAs with this wacko, brilliantly sung performance. It has to be the best VMA moment of the past 10 years.
Relive it here, then dare yourself to speculate how the hell she’ll begin her gigantic ARTPOP album promotion at the VMAs. That disc doesn’t come out until November 11, but the Born This Way-sized blitz begins on MTV August 25.