Katy Perry on SNL

Katy Perry cranked out another animal print wearing, transparent sheet blowing performance on Saturday Night Live’s third episode of the season this Saturday — and it was awkward. But good/awkward, the kind that only Katy Perry can manage.

After pulling off a solid performance at iTunes Festival — introducing new tracks off of her forthcoming album, Prism, while mixing in old favorites such as “California Girls” and “Part of Me” — she went for round two on SNL. Katy performed two Prism tracks on Saturday, “Roar” and “Walking on Air,” with just the right amount of poppy Katy sex appeal, wind machines, and elephant costumes.

Katy took the SNL stage first with the song “Roar.” Adorned in a leopard leotard (a less embarrassing clothing option than her band and backup singers’ full on animal costumes), she performed the overly rehearsed song with subdued energy. The performance felt more like the rehearsal before the big show, but the song provided just enough fun, quintessential of the typical Katy Perry songs that stay in our heads and make us want to buy every song she ever made. 

“Roar” touches on the personal strength themes that make Katy Perry songs so dynamic and powerful, but her treatment of the song on SNL did it little justice. The jungle theme didn’t work much, either, except for the zebra costume. That was kind of the best part of the night (except for the Bruce Willis and cast short video, “Boy Dance Party,” which everyone in the world has probably already watched about twenty five times).

Katy then performed “Walking on Air,” another song off of her new album. The SNL stage is small, to be sure, but the wind machines and funky sheets made the stage more cluttered than usual. The choreography could have worked on a bigger stage, which was proven with her iTunes Festival performance of the same song. Her literal take of walking on air had her leaning against a blast of wind in the corner of the stage and then standing under an arch of cloth, which just limited her movements more than necessary. 

But even with more space to play, the song altogether is a weaker single choice in comparison to Perry’s other wonderfully addicting songs. However, she warmed up fully by this point in the show, and her energy picked up more by the end of this song, giving the audience at home the hint that she, in fact, did have fun making music on SNL.

Katy Perry — guilty pleasure for some, pop inspiration to others — appeals to a variety of feel-good music lovers, and though her performance on SNL this past Saturday fell a bit flat, her endearing awkwardness came through just fine. And this performance most certainly did not make or break record sales. You’re going to buy Prism as soon as it comes out. Don’t pretend you won’t.

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