After releasing the confusing video for her new single “We Can’t Stop,” Miley Cyrus has been twerking in the public eye in skimpy clothes, sticking her tongue out into the face of anyone who dares step with a 5-foot radius of her. And with its oversized teddy bears, suggestive hand props, appropriated dance moves, and unapologetic exhibitionism, Miley’s VMA performance with Robin Thicke seemed to solidify Miley’s reputation as a confused former Disney star seeking the wrong kind of attention, sending her on a path toward overrated fame and eventual irrelevance.
But then Miley hosted the October 5 Saturday Night Live, and everything changed. Twerking and vocals aside, before the cameras of the SNL crew Miley became, well, good. And likable. As Bob Lefsetz, acclaimed music industry analyst, wrote the day after Miley’s latest SNL gig:
Watching her on SNL you were wowed not by her body but her brain. She read the cue cards better than any cast member. Which is testimony to years on the Disney Channel, but so many TV stars are wooden on SNL and Miley was not. Because she’s smart and she’s talented. And unlike her forbear, Madonna, she comes down off the pedestal and is truly likable.”
It turns out that Miley is more than just a skinny girl twerking on everything. She’s a talented artist willing to push creative new work to her fans every single day. Case in point: her latest video performing “We Can’t Stop” a cappella with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. Even if you’re not (yet) a Miley fan, I promise you will appreciate, even enjoy, this video:
Compliments to Miley aside, it seems like quite the accomplishment to me that Miley had the self control to wait until the song’s closing bars to mark the production with her signature move: slipping her tongue out of her mouth like some kind of snake with half a head of blond hair. Her lingual choreography is an unfortunate defining trait, but it’s something we can live with… Right?