The 2023 Oscars featured a lot of things: a long list wins for us all to argue about, beautiful gowns, another live performance from Rihanna this year, and some extreme close-ups of Lady Gaga.
Gaga showed up to perform the original song she wrote for Top Gun: Maverick, “Hold My Hand.” While the music video is all heartfelt bravado — Gaga wearing a fighter jacket in front of a wind machine mixed in with footage from both Top Gun movies — the Oscars performance was different. On-stage, Gaga went for more of an MTV’s Oscars Unplugged look, wearing just ripped black jeans and a gray t-shirt.
It also involved the camera pushing in very close on her — real close. Almost (not quite, never that close, but almost), maybe, too close? But it all seemed to be part of the raw and relatively unfiltered vibe Gaga wanted for the performance. She introduced the song by saying:
I wrote this song with my friend BloodPop for the film Top Gun: Maverick in a studio basement. It’s deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life. And we all need a hero sometimes — there’s heroes all around us in unassuming places. But you might find that you can be your own hero even if you feel broken inside.
Unfortunately Gaga didn’t win the Oscar. But “Naatu Naatu” from RRR won, which is still a win for everyone watching the Oscars. I mean, c’mon, look at this.