Guest singers like Sia that put out pop hits aren’t always in the most hospitable position when they step onto the Saturday Night Live stage. The more comedy club-esque feel of the venue, coupled with the costumes, dancing, and sometimes even the song choices can be off-putting. However, in the most recent episode, which was hosted by Kevin Hart, she delivered her performance without moving an inch, and blew the house away.
Sia performed two tracks off of her album 1000 Forms of Fear, staring with her most recent single, “Elastic Heart.” During this part of the performance, the artist stood still on stage the entire time, face covered by a black veil, while the spotlight instead went to two dancers. One was 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler, with whom Sia has worked before, and the other was the infamous Shia LaBeouf; together they reenacted the music video for “Elastic Heart” right up to its heartbreaking, if controversial, end.
The second song was the Grammy-nominated “Chandelier”, and Sia kept her face covered by the veil and remained still for this as well. Even though Ziegler was present, and might have been a fitting choice due to her starring role in the original video for “Chandelier”, the “Titanium” singer opted for a darker more orchestral rendition of the song. In order to create the proper ambiance, Sia chose instead to be accompanied by a mime, dressed in black with somber make up, who acted out the song lyrics as she sang.
However, for whatever reason SNL’s writers chose not to write Sia’s appearance into one of their sketches, and that was only one thing they might have done differently to really incorporate her into the show. They may have missed an opportunity there, considering the success of the sketch in the Season 40 Halloween special, when guest Jim Carrey and regular cast member Kate McKinnon each dressed in Ziegler’s costume from the “Chandelier” music video, and proceeded to fight it out with each other on the dance floor. However, mistake or not, that doesn’t detract from Sia’s tasteful performance as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live.