From the moment ‘Saturday Night Live’ first appeared back in 1975, it established itself as one of the most important musical venues in the nation. With just two short songs, up-and-coming singers and bands could create an entire career thanks to the buzz that would follow a memorable SNL debut — performances that in many cases have since become legendary. And that still holds true today: if you’re great on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ chances are you’re going to make it big.
But what if you, you know… suck?
Welcome to Ke$ha‘s world. As anyone who has been online this week knows, Ke$ha, the songstress behind the ubiquitous pop hit ‘Tik Tok,’ had her maiden SNL performance last weekend. And the result was nothing short of disastrous, as media outlets around the hemisphere raced to be the first to post their “Was Ke$ha the worst ‘SNL’ musical guest ever?” articles.
With that in mind, we thought this would be a good time to take a look back at her competition for the title, those musical guests that were memorable for all the wrong reasons. So without further ado, here’s our list of the worst ‘SNL‘ performances ever.
• Ke$ha — No doubt you’ve already seen this by now, but we thought it only fair to remind everyone just why this list is necessary. It was a toss-up just which of Ke$ha’s two performances were worse, but despite the day-glo body paint she used in ‘Your Love is My Drug,’ we ended up going with ‘Tik Tok.’ And not just because it was the worst use of space imagery in a live performance since William Shatner‘s rendition of ‘Rocket Man.’ So what was the deciding factor? Two words: Laser. Harp.
• Ashlee Simpson — As bad as Ke$ha was, she still couldn’t quite topple the undisputed queen of bad performances, Ashlee Simpson, whose 2004 lip-sync fiasco put a major dent in her career plans. She tried to excuse it away by explaining that she began losing her voice during rehearsals, but no excuse was ever offered for the totally bizarre jig she launched into as an attempt to cover up the gaffe. She then fled the stage and let the band jam without her — arguably the best musical decision of the night.
For more on the list and to check out some videos of these performances, click here.