It's been almost two months since one-time Disney star Miley Cyrus stole everyone's thunder at the MTV VMAs -- including Lady Gaga, who opened the show with her new single, Applause.
And while we're still talking about that now-infamous twerk by Cyrus, does anyone - aside from her "little monsters" - remember the Lady's performance?
And how does that bode for ARTPOP, Gaga's new album which is only weeks away from dropping? It's not too late for Gaga to get her groove back, but how can she make us all gaga for Gaga again? Glad you asked:
1. Remember it's about the music:
Applause reminded me of something Liza Minnelli might sing -- not one of the hottest pop stars on the planet. And the follow-up, Do What U Want with R. Kelly (that arbiter of contemporary taste), doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Then again, it did debut at the top of the iTunes chart so maybe there's hope yet.
2. Bring back the meat suit or a close fascimile:
I always loved Gaga's artful playfulness whether it was wearing the legendary meat suit at the 2010 MTV VMAs or arriving for the 2011 Grammys red carpet encased in an egg-like pod out of which she "hatched" to perform. "I never thought I'd be asking Cher to hold my meat purse," joked Gaga as she accepted an award from the legend. The meat outfit was condemned by animal rights groups and called the fashion statement of the year by Time magazine. Polarizing? That's the point.
3. Leave an impression:
As Cyrus can attest, shock value is as important as song and dance these days. Personally, I didn't find Cyrus shocking -- I just found her taste questionable. But Gaga has a whole team behind her. Surely one of them can concoct some combination of choreography, outfit and set design to get tongues wagging.
4. Widen her fan base:
Lady Gaga's got her Little Monsters where she wants them. But how about the rest of us? She can really sing and play the piano, unlike some pop stars out there, so maybe a more stripped-down song would work better as the next single?
5. Take a break:
When Gaga underwent hip surgery in February, I thought it might be curtains for a while. Instead, she rolled back into everyone's lives on a custom-made gold wheelchair like Bette Davis in an old black and white movie. Know when to give your audience and everyone else a break -- leaving them wanting more, not less. ARTPOP will be her fourth album in five years and a jazz album with Tony Bennett is said to be coming in 2014.