Good 4 u, but what’s going on? Olivia Rodrigo’s performance at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards appeared to momentarily confuse the star-studded audience — including Selena Gomez, Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes.
At the top of Tuesday’s show, the 20-year-old belted out some of her latest hits from her sophomore album, “Guts.” Even more, she recreated parts of her music video “Vampire,” which consisted of blazing sparklers, the background going black and a security guard rushing the singer off the stage.
The audience got noticeably quiet during the awkward moment as the camera panned toward Gomez, 31, Ballerini, 30, and Stokes, 30, looking confused.
Rodrigo’s song “Good for You” then briefly played and she returned to the stage to sing “Get Him Back.”
“Selena’s face while Olivia’s performance says it all,” one person on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared.
Rodrigo was one of many performers to hit the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. While Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Wayne, Doja Cat, Anitta and Demi Lovato performed, presenters included Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Emily Ratajkowski, Rita Ora, Jared Leto and Sabrina Carpenter. Additionally, Shakira was presented with the Video Vanguard Award and Diddy was the recipient of the Global Icon Award.
Taylor Swift, who was the most-nominated artist at the ceremony with 11 nods, was also in attendance. She took home multiple accolades, including Pop Video for “Anti-Hero” and Best Pop for the same song, which was presented to her by *NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.
Rodrigo recently shut down any feud rumors between her and Swift, 33, during an interview with Rolling Stone.
“I don’t have beef with anyone,” Rodrigo said when asked about Swift. “I’m very chill. I keep to myself. I have my four friends and my mom, and that’s really the only people I talk to, ever. There’s nothing to say…There’s so many Twitter conspiracy theories. I only look at alien-conspiracy theories.”
The pair appeared friendly when Rodrigo launched her debut album, “Sour,” in May 2021, but Rodrigo later admitted to RS she was “a little caught off guard” when she gave Swift and Jack Antonoff two writing credits for “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” (for Swift’s “New Years Day”) and “Deja Vu” (inspired by Swift’s “Cruel Summer.”)
“I don’t think I would ever personally do that,” she noted. “But who’s to say where I’ll be in 20, 30 years. All that I can do is write my songs and focus on what I can control.” Earlier this month, she also spoke out when fans speculated that “Vampire” was about Swift.
“I was very surprised when people thought that,” Rodrigo told The Guardian. “I never want to say who any of my songs are about. I’ve never done that before in my career and probably won’t. I think it’s better to not pigeonhole a song to being about this one thing.”
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