Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I stand corrected.

As my friends well know, I've never been much of a Lady GaGa fan. In fact, I may have used the words "despise" and "hate" more than once when the subject of GaGa came up. I'm someone who loves to root for the underdog, and her seemingly out-of-nowhere popularity didn't help: Every post-adolescent gay boy in Buenos Aires suddenly was worshiping at her altar. Although I have a passing interest in "Poker Face," her recent U.S. and UK chart topper, I didn't really get her. It was a combination of things: the bleached-blonde wigs, the fussy space-age get ups, the tacky-trashy persona and, most of all, the insanely annoying "Just Dance," her debut No. 1 hit with the anachronistic Euro-techno beat.

But I'm starting to come around -- and it has nothing at all to do with her music, which I plan on revisiting. Yes, I already had that passing interest in "Poker Face," and I've got to give her props for managing to work the titular phrase into a hit song, but my newfound appreciation for GaGa has everything to do with her personality. I just watched her perform "Poker Face" on an episode of Ellen, and while I was unimpressed by the performance itself (memo to singer-songwriters: the stripped-down and soulful piano intro is a nice way to display your chops, but it just doesn't work with some throwaway pop songs), she was so gracious during the after-interview (see video below) that I found myself kind of falling in love.

She told Ellen that of all the things she's done since finding The Fame (including working with Britney?), being on Ellen's show meant the most to her because Ellen is such an inspiration for women and gay people. She went on to talk about her years of rejection (Who knew? I didn't) and praised her mom for standing by her through it all. It's such a cliché compliment, but she seemed so down to earth and normal sitting there with her exposed body parts and a replica of the solar system around her head.

It'll be nice to not have to live in fear of my next GaGa sighting anymore. No, I won't be joining the freakshow on the dancefloor the next time the DJ spins "Just Dance," but it you can't read mum mum mum mah p-p-p poker face, don't worry. I'll be thinking good things.

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