Rihanna’s Saturday Night Live Performance – Yay or Nay?

in category of Gossip, Audra Rundle

Did anyone see Rihanna’s performance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend? It’s getting some mixed reviews, so of course I want to weigh in.

Now, it should be mentioned upfront that I am not a fan of Rihanna’s music. It’s too “dance clubby” and doesn’t tell enough of a story for my taste. That being said, I do enjoy her honest-to-the-point-of-being-blunt approach to her celebrity. It’s refreshing that she doesn’t care to hide anything from her fans – even if she probably should keep some of it to herself (cough, tweeting pictures of herself allegedly doing drugs, cough cough).

It was clear that she wasn’t pulling an Ashlee Simpson on SNL, as her opening number was audibly shaky. It was explained away later by being blamed on a microphone reverb that was on. Okay, maybe that was the case. Or maybe she should have gone to the dress rehearsal.

The respect I was starting to build for “RiRi” was greatly diminished after learning she decided to skip the final dress rehearsal before the show, greatly upsetting the producers and other actors. The mandatory rehearsal is performed in front of the live studio audience and is used to work out the final few kinks to any skits or performances.

One of Rihanna’s representatives said, "Rihanna was sick and needed to save her voice for the live show." A doctor also reportedly visited her dressing room to administer a shot of penicillin before the show.

Rihanna called in sick just minutes before the rehearsal, leaving the producers with no other choice but to continue holding it without her. Her (many) backup dancers were all there to practice, and her choreographer danced in her place.

Everyone understands that illnesses happen – even illnesses that come on quite suddenly (she had attended the previous rehearsals and seemed just fine) – but what sort of flu lasts only a few hours and goes away right in time for show time? That seems to be what Rihanna had, as she looked beautiful, alert, and full of energy during her live performance later that night.

According to TMZ, the SNL staff was shocked at her normal and healthy condition when she did appear and were angry that she did not appear sick enough to have needed to skip the rehearsal. She was reportedly seen eating an apple and walking around chatting between songs. Apparently, Rihanna’s tough girl attitude is working, as no one had the gumption to call B.S. on her.

There had been much talk prior to the show that Rihanna would possibly appear in a skit or two, perhaps reprising her role as “Shy Ronnie” from her two previous stints on SNL. However, audiences were not treated to the singer’s newly honed acting skills.

Her singing performances, however, were noted by fans and the media as involving more fancy footwork from Rihanna than usual. It still didn’t compare to the gymnastics that Britney Spears used to do onstage in her heyday, but it was fun to see Rihanna jumping and jiving. There were, of course, ample numbers of hip thrusts and shakes as well. Man, I wish I could move like that when I was sick!

Whether she was really ill or not is for Rihanna, the doctor, and whomever was in her dressing room to know, but I hope she respects the process more if she is invited to SNL for a fourth time.



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