The biggest surprise of the 2023 Oscars wasn’t that Angela Bassett lost the best supporting actress award to surprise winner Jamie Lee Curtis—it was that Lady Gaga performed, despite a prior announcement that she wasn’t going to grace the stage at the March 12 show.
Gaga took the stage for a stripped-down performance of her Oscar-nominated song “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick. Despite wearing a full face of makeup on the red carpet just hours earlier, the 36-year-old appeared bare-faced, with just the faintest trace of her crimson lipstick still on her lips as she belted her heart out.
She traded her off-the-runway Versace, which Gigi Hadid modeled just days ago during the Italian Fashion House’s L.A. show, for ripped skinny jeans, an inside out T-shirt (maybe there was a brand on the reverse?), and beat-up sneakers.
It was first reported that Gaga would skip the performance aspect of the 2023 Oscars because she was too busy filming Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to 2018’s Joker. “After a bunch of back-and-forth, it didn’t feel like she can get a performance to the caliber that we’re used to with her, that she’s used to, so she is not going to perform on the show,” Glenn Weiss, executive producer and showrunner of the Oscars, said during a press conference last week. “She is in the middle of shooting a movie right now, and here we are honoring the movie industry and what it takes to make a movie.”
It could be inferred, then, that her raw performance of “Hold My Hand” was cobbled together last minute—hence the casual look. Though, even if it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of her 2018 rendition of “Shallow,” which took home the Oscar, this year’s performance was still as—if not more—impactful.
Originally published in Glamour.com