Though Lorde’s most famous image to date has come in the form of the staid and simple video for “Tennis Court,” she’s slowly blossoming into one of the weirdest and most dynamic performers we have, a fact which was only underscored by her appearance at Sunday night’s MuchMusic Video Awards.
The New Zealand-based youngster’s murky performance began with the subdued strains of “Tennis Court” which seamlessly transitioned into the highwire “Team.” She punctuated that latter track with the toss of a hat, some erratic dancing, a series of hair flips, and a possible homage to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense. It may not sound like much, but she managed to put on one of the more otherworldly award show performances in recent memory.
Lorde’s American funhouse mirror reflection, Ariana Grande, also showed up for a rendition of her presently inescapable sax-pop track “Problem.” That song’s A-list guest Iggy Azalea wasn’t on hand, but her absence was overshadowed by the presence of some intense choreography.
MuchMusic, it should be noted, is the Canadian TV station that curiously employs Fucked Up’s Damien Abraham, but despite that strange slant to their programming, most of their awards still went to bonafide pop stars.
You can watch footage of Lorde’s dramatic medley up above and Ariana Grande’s show-closing performance below.