The most highly anticipated musical performance of the Oscars came courtesy of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, who sang “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.”
When Lady Gaga performed the song at the Grammys two weeks ago, she stood alongside other musicians and channeled a rock-star vibe. Not the case on Sunday night, when she and Cooper walked to the stage by themselves and gave quite the steamy performance.
Earlier this month, Cooper said that he wasn’t going to channel his character Jackson Maine — whose voice was inspired by co-star Sam Elliott — during the live duet. “He’s gone. I’m not going to try to get him back,” Cooper told Stephen Colbert. “It will be me singing.”
Well, that didn’t turn out to be the case entirely. The song only clocked in at three and a half minutes but took viewers on a roller-coaster of emotions that deserve to be dissected. Here’s a breakdown.
0:01: So the guitar is strumming, but unlike the other musical performances, there was no celebrity introduction. Is that because THESE TWO NEED NO INTRODUCTION? (Yes, that is why.)
0:04: Walking to the stage from the audience. This, my friends, is DRAMA.
0:09: “Sing for me like one of your French girls.”
0:18: “Tell me something, Bradley, can you actually sing?”
0:27: Okay, maybe you can!
0:41: “I’m falling — off-key."
0:56: Oscar voters love an actor who transforms himself, and here we see Bradley Cooper transforming into Jackson Maine mid-performance.
1:01: Did I just witness someone fall in love so hard that she had to take a seat?
1:11: Lady Gaga, take the wheel.
1:20: These are rhetorical questions — “Aren’t you tired trying to fill that void? / Or do you need more? / Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?” — but I think she deserves some answers here.
1:29: Oh. Oh my.
1:50: Thirty-seven percent of the reason we’re all watching this is to hear Lady Gaga belt out, “I’M OFF THE DEEP EEEND / WATCH AS I DIIIIIVE IIIIIN.”
2:03: This single gesture from Lady Gaga has convinced me that there is a pack of wild beasts who are out to hurt Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and they can only find refuge in the deep, or shallow, or whatever this song is about.
2:16: Ah, I forgot that this is a duet. You still here, Jackson?
2:30: Piano break! Tickle those ivories, baby.
2:32: Mentally, emotionally and spiritually preparing myself for all of the vowels ahead.
2:51: This Bradley Cooper head nod is the kind of affirmation I’m going to visualize whenever I successfully complete a difficult task.
2:55: I guess he’s done singing!
3:02: Oh. He’s not. He’d just rather get incredibly close to Lady Gaga and use her microphone, despite there being another perfectly good one nearby.
3:11: What is about to — AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SCREAMING!!!!!!
3:18: Umm, this feels pretty intimate. Right? Anyone else feel uncomfortable?
3:24: Like, should I be watching this? Should any of us be watching this?
3:31: So I guess they’re married now?