Lana Del Rey is having a very rough beginning to 2012. Following a treacherously ill-received and unearned performance on "Saturday Night Live" earlier this month, the would-be viral starlet has cancelled/rescheduled her 30-date tour, citing the overwhelming backlash from the public.
The "Video Games" singer's tour was set to coincide with the release of her album, Born To Die – but the axe fell after her tour managers, booking agents and label heads at Interscope met following her listless, failed appearance on "SNL." A source tells the New York Post gossip column Page Six: “(Lana) and her manager decided to cancel (the tour) after SNL. She was very upset. They figure it allows time for her to clear her head, then go back to selling tickets. More importantly, they figure the extra time gives them more distance from SNL.”
Lana, formerly Lizzie Grant, has a storied history of having her creative whims and aspirations bankrolled by her massively wealthy father, and her preening expectations of superstardom drew the ire of music fans before many had even heard a note. With vaseline-lens hipstamatic video themes, doe-eyed pouty entitlement and American-Apparel-meets-the-Hamptons styling, the breathy internet sensation was hailed maniacally as the next spotlight queen, and reviled for her quotable expectations of top-tier success.
Del Rey's near lifeless performance on SNL is being blamed for the tour cancellation, but let's boil this down. Having used industry clout, daddy's money and a blizzard of hype to secure a national television spot for a viral internet sensation, the expectation was that the world would be fawning over this ethereal hipster princess, this marriage of industry architecture and one-percenter ruthless ambition. The pre-orders on the album would go through the roof. The Lizzie Grant album reissue would sell like new iPhones on Steve Jobs' birthday.The tour would sell out immediately.
Then SNL happened, scuttling the smoke-and-mirrors hype around her mediocre new album and eliminating momentum for a live run. As I mentioned in our original Hype Check piece discussing the disastrous SNL failure, it's not simply that Del Rey had a bad performance – in fact, her Jools Holland appearance was considerably better than what we saw Saturday night. Her undeserved industry positioning and exposure (she's the first act to perform on SNL before releasing a debut album since Natalie Imbruglia) are the central problem, the continuously ringing bell of inauthenticity that the 2012 internet masses simply cannot stomach – or ignore. She's been shoved hard to the frontburner by an industry that's not only sticking to its 1990s formula of shilling overpriced and undervalued product, but declaring war on its own patrons by propping up insane bills like SOPA and PIPA.
SNL handled the debacle in its own, hilarious way:
Looks like the people shoved back hard enough to make a difference. Here's hoping we see a whole lot more of that in 2012.