It’s official: everything was real about Kacey Musgraves’ performance of “Justified” on “Saturday Night Live” — no lip-synching, no miming and certainly no feigned nudity. Her appearance on the first number of Saturday’s show was achieved just as it looked: completely in the buff, boots excepted.
“She was nude,” Musgraves’ publicist confirms to Variety. “Precautions were taken, and this was the first time it’s happened on the show.”
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It’s safe to say that a large portion of the viewing audience didn’t even notice, as the mostly mood-lit Musgraves was seated on a stool with a decent-sized acoustic guitar, a strap across one shoulder and hair draped over the other, cross-legged. But it hardly escaped everyone, as the did-she-or-didn’t-she-doff question grew as a topic of discussion over the weekend, with admirer Howard Stern bringing it up on his show Monday morning.
Prior to having it confirmed by her publicist, the singer/songwriter affirmed what the intent had been when both she and her stylist took to social media to post the inspiration for the performance: the similarly non-electric/non-clothed performance of Robin Wright’s Jenny, singing as “Bobbi Dylan” in the film “Forrest Gump.”
“Boots by @celine, Birthday suit by @spaceykacey,” wrote stylist Erica Cloud.
On Reddit, fans who attended the live taping and dress rehearsal of the show in New York Saturday had been insistent that what you saw really was what you got… although they did not see everything.
“I was in the dress rehearsal audience,” wrote one Reddit user. “After her performance people gathered around her with large towels to wrap her so could stand and walk off stage.” Wrote another: “Was at the live. Pretty sure she was actually naked. I was on the audience side closest to her. Right before her first song, they set up a moveable wall, blocking the audience from seeing her. After the song, they moved it back to cover her again and covered her with some sort of towel/robe. She was super chill, kinda walked off stage in the towel and waved. But yeah, seemed pretty legit.”
Musgraves’ rep confirmed she was shielded from the audience by a sheet as the performance was set up.
Later, Musgraves dressed up in a flannel shirt and jeans for her second number, “Camera Roll.” Both songs played in the season premiere were from her new album, “Star-Crossed.”
“Justified,” which was the first song released from the album, takes on a bittersweet tone as the narrator, in the long aftermath of a breakup, sings about being “justified” in having moved on, while seeming to leave open the possibility that the pendulum isn’t done swinging, since “healing doesn’t happen in a straight line.” Healing involves curves being thrown, as Musgraves made clearer Saturday.
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