Monday 25 November 2013

[Watch] Katy Perry Delivers A Shockingly Good Performance Of "Unconditionally" @ 2013 AMAs

After the out of tune performance of Unconditionally at the EMA's earlier this month, I wasn't expecting much from Katy Perry when she took the same song to the American Music Awards. But boy did she impress this time around.

Not only was the staging and the theatrical side of it beautiful and interesting to watch, but her vocal was actually much improved. The low notes did sound breathy, and shaky- clearly this song is too low for her range- but at least she was hitting them and maintaining the song's melody. The belts were also better, being confident and projected- if slightly forced.

I do wonder if my appreciation for this was artificially inflated by the low standard I came to watching it with, but even if that has happened, it would only be regarding the vocal. The performance itself was great by any standard! Right?



  1. I think that the rather weak performance at the EMA's was an exception, because I can't see anything wrong with that one too

  2. Why is everyone calling this a case a Racism? She sounds decent, looks good, and isn't doing anything in a mocking fashion. :I

  3. Cultural appropriation.

  4. No. Just no.
    The chorus was ok. But she was consistently flat everywhere else. I was counting bung notes, got to 13 in the first like minute of the song and gave up.
    BUT MORE THAN THAT. THIS IS A RACIST PERFORMANCE. Like, seriously? This is cultural appropriation to the nth degree. Not only is she taking the elements of the Japanese Geisha that she wants and flagrantly Westernising them, she also then starts introducing Chinese and Korean elements?!?! As if Japan doesn't have a vast and sumptuous culture enough of it's own to be worth of a performance?
    If Miley had done this, she would be being slammed worldwide for being a racist - see: Miley twerking. Peter Alexander was just labelled a racist for his Japanese pyjama line which offensively used exclusively white models. Katy is being racist and insensitive with this performance.

    Oh and Katy, dear... Check your history. To be a Geisha, you actually have to be able to entertain. *sassily flicks hair and struts away from huge pool of shade just thrown to continue tanning with a cocktail*

  5. I'm gonna comment on the elephant in the room. This whole blend of everything Asian is a big turn off. I am not the pc police or anything but this is just bad. I have no problem with cultural appropriation, if it is applicable. The whole motif does not add to the song and with so many references out the to pull from, why choose a bastardization of multiple Asian cultures. The references are from all over the region without belonging to one place. It comes across as lazy and insulting. If you are going to appropriate, at least do your homework. This performance came across as one big wikiapedia page.

  6. Ugh - flat vocals, weak belts & busted choreography. Yep....must be Katy Perry.

  7. Katy Perry works in stereotypes. Its her thing! But yep, I read about the upset this has caused some. I agree if Miley had done this NOW it would have caused outrage but If she had done it BEFORE the twerking phase, i think no one would have batted an eyelid. Besides, Madonna already did the Geisha thing in the 90s (i think it was the 99) without any repercussions.

    However I think the real difference between the two, is that the people Miley was appropriating from came out and spoke out against what was happening. She was taking a relatively new form of dance- that the mainstream was unaware of- and bringing it to the masses without giving credit. That's very different from using established and well known imagery in a performance. Ain't no one gonna think Katy invented what was going on stage, here. Yep, she was playing to stereotype and appropriating from Japanese culture, but was it offensive? I'll leave it to those with Japanese heritage to decide. [I'm sure someone will link me to articles if this has already been written about]

  8. I like this, perfectly explained logic to your distaste, all without resorting to saying :

  9. i thought the chorus was okay but the reason why it held up was because the backdrop and staging were so overpowering

  10. "And the bottom line is that Katy’s performance presented an offensive caricature of the exotic, obedient Japanese geisha “unconditionally” in love (with a Western hero, if the Madame Butterfly allusion is to be taken seriously), while presenting a disrespectfully-conceived collage of multiple East Asian cultures, on a nationally-televised public event."

  11. "She was taking a relatively new form of dance" Twerking has been around since before Miley was even a thought between Billy Ray Cyrus and his then girlfriend.

  12. What about this collage of several East Asian cultures was disrespectful? The very amalgamation of all of them being combined? Or just because it wasn't a woman of Asian descent doing this?

  13. I didn't get the display. Not even gonna bother commenting on that. The vocals? Oh yes, she did so well. She resonated some decent B4s. And then there was this vibrato that killed me. Is it safe to say she's improving?

  14. Oh my, seems like no "white" person can use anything from another culture anymore without some idjit shouting "Cultural Appropriation! Racism! "

    I'm with Ash...the problem is that it had nothing to do or to add to the song.
    And now I am off to some Chinese site complaining about their cultural appropriation of Country music, which I understand is quite popular there.
    Or maybe I'd better first visit a K-pop site in order to call racism on all that Korean appropriation of western pop culture. Oh no, I'd better not as I'd likely be called a white supremacist and a....racist if I did that.
    I know! I will instead go and find the most expressive *rolls eyes* picture I can find

  15. So, I honestly don't care for cultural appropriation, I think it's BS, let's get that over with.
    Ummm, the vocals are good... by Katy's standards, but nothing that's gonna make me watch this performance over again.
    My problem with the performance was that it was too much. Her costume, the dancers, the umbrellas, the whole staging and backdrop. Not only does it not fit the theme of the song, music video, or album at all (continuing the Prism marketing plan of "eh, why not"), but it wasn't visually appealing at all. It's like, we expect a slice of cake from Katy Perry, but she's just force feeding us the whole thing with extra frosting on top.
    I do enjoy Katy when she's doing something right (that goes without saying for all pop stars tbh), but it's unfortunate that the flashiest performance of the night was by far the most boring.

  16. relative to the imagery that Katy was using.

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