This weekend saw Rihanna's return to Saturday Night Live, and in a hilarious promotion of her album Unapologetic, she appeared in a sketch singing "Diamonds" as a bad karaoke video.
Oh, wait... that wasn't a sketch?
Nope, it was just her performance. By now everyone is familiar with the refrain "Shine bright like a diamond," but apparently that lyric wasn't quite enough sparkle for the show's producers, because they had to literally have diamonds flying through the air, screensaver-style, along with all kinds of other visual distractions.
Fortunately, Ri Ri's second performance was more subdued, as she debuted the soulful ballad "Stay." Catch both performances below!
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So then... what's going on here? Presumably, it's the producers of SNL and not Rihanna herself responsible for the graphics here, which seem to have been imported from a particularly bad karoake video. But what's the point? If we want visual accompaniment to "Diamonds," we can easily go watch the video, which has much better special effects. The point of a live set is to see the artist performing, which is hard to do when you're getting a migraine from all the lightning and dolphins and flying hourglasses.
"Diamonds" are expensive. These graphics are very, very cheap. And not to nitpick, but Rihanna's oversize Army jacket didn't really work with those visuals either. Adding a camoflauge pattern on top of all that was major overkill. Let's help SNL puts a pin in adding graphics to the live performances and lets the artists just do their thing from here on out.
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Fortunately, Rihanna redeemed her appearance with "Stay," a beautiful new track that we can perhaps assume is her next single? It's been awhile since Ri Ri had a ballad on the charts, and "Stay" seems like the perfect candidate. (It's hard not to see it as a song directly referencing her romance with Chris Brown, regardless of whether or not it was written with that intent.)
Moreso than "Diamonds," we think Rihanna may have a hit on her hands with this one.
What did you think of "Stay"? Let us know in the comments!