Throughout the 95th Academy Awards, there have been quite a few moments of pure live TV magic. One moment that almost didn’t happen was Lady Gaga’s stripped down, passionate performance of her Best Original Song nominee “Hold My Hand.” The signature song from Top Gun: Maverick was made into a lynchpin of the evening, and it pretty much won the night for Gaga, even if she doesn’t land the trophy she’s been nominated for.
Continuing the performances of the Oscars’ nominees for achievement in songwriting, the Academy Award winner sat in an outfit very different from the sheer black gown she showed off on the red carpet. Sitting on a stool in a black t-shirt, Lady Gaga gave a shout out to Bloodpop, her collaborator on Top Gun: Maverick’s big song, and included a message that the world could use a little more love in it.
Which then led to an amazing rendition of her latest nominated triumph, that only used a small band on stage as accompaniment. Fans of that need for speed and the Mother Monster herself were treated to something truly amazing, as this moment of heart and art brought the house down.
Lady Gaga was originally reported as not taking part in the telecast’s musical portion, as her work on shooting her role as Harley Quinn in Joker: Folie à Deux had allegedly prohibited her from preparing a performance. But at the last minute, that decision was reversed, and more than likely inspired the simplified approach that we saw on stage tonight.
Honestly, that path forward was probably better than any other option that would have been prepared under normal circumstances. Lady Gaga is a performer who’s known to be at her best when she’s playing from her heart. “Hold My Hand” is exactly the sort of song that requires that treatment, as the emotional meaning behind the Top Gun tune carries the story of the Best Picture nominee forward in its own way.
While “Naatu Naatu” from RRR took the honors for Best Original Song, and also had an impressive performance that made tonight’s telecast something to behold, Lady Gaga has certainly won an impressive corner of tonight’s proceedings. Who knows what movie from the 2023 new movie releases will have songs as memorable as either of those, inspiring future performances that will stun the crowd as Gaga’s Top Gun: Maverick moment had done tonight.
The 95th Academy Awards will surely provide more spectacular moments that will be talked about throughout the night, and in the aftermath of the ceremony itself. If you want to catch this or any other moment you’ve missed, the 2023 Oscars will be available to watch tomorrow. All you need is a Hulu subscription and you’ll be able to relive the entire evening, and each Jimmy Kimmel slap joke that came to pass.