Lady Gaga’s “Applause” Music Video: Watch

Aug 19th, 2013 // 18 Comments
lady gaga applause video
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Lady Gaga‘s long-awaited “Applause” video debuted this morning (August 19) on Good Morning America and on giant screens in New York’s Times Square, with Mother Monster introducing the clip while wearing a white getup and a mask similar to the one on her first ARTPOP promo photo. The video itself was more art and less pop, in that it felt very much of the theater/stage world, with Gaga wearing black tights and a cap for much of it, dancing and doing tragedy/comedy mugging for the camera.

The clip is largely black-and-white, but the shocks of color are powerful. Things don’t get too weird — the video certainly lacks the narrative structure and “wow” factor of many of Gaga’s prior works — but we do get Gaga’s head on a black swan, and the singer emerging from a giant top hat with a tail. There’s also a variety of wigs and bras, including a clam shell one as she poses like Botticelli’s The Birth Of Venus and a bra made to look like hands cupping her breasts. The visual was directed by Inez & Vinoodh, who also helmed the song’s single artwork and Gaga’s nude V shoot.

Check it out up top.

Gaga will perform the live debut of “Applause” at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. The singer teased the performance with a rehearsal photo over the weekend, but has been coy about what kind of spectacle she’ll give us.

Was the “Applause” video worth the wait? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

  1. Mohammad

    Why do you guys hate her on this website?

    • Mohammad,

      Not trying to be sarcastic but the site is called “Idolator”. Gaga has spent much of her career poking fun at our culture’s obsession with pop icons, our ridiculous nosiness into the lives of strangers from shows like Jersey Shore and Basketball Wives and our online hypocritical arguments over who is better in music when the people they compare Gaga to are nothing more than people trying to get your attention as much as she is (meaning, if I have to hear one more time that Katy Perry has more talent and integrity than Gaga whilst the individuals saying this ignore Perry’s whip cream titties I might have to start a White House petition to force the public into denial therapy).

      This site, and many others like it, are the root of the joke that Gaga keeps poking at along with the rest of our media culture that seems to be so self-entitled into thinking they are better than everyone else while ignoring why the rest of the world doesn’t like us at all. So the argument then becomes: it’s everyone else who is delusional because we really are the best? (sarcasm again).

      Think about it. How many people have you heard say the song sucks, the video lacks “wow” and that Gaga is drowning yet again? Yet these same critics (professionals and online, negatively bored home bodies alike) are perhaps one of the main reasons why Gaga is still relevant. Because if they stopped attacking her she wouldn’t a part of a discussion that everyone is angry we are having. So as much as my initial reaction is to be upset that sites and people like this one seem to “hate her”, the truth is after deep thought I kind of appreciate their unnecessary hate. If for no other reason because if puts more money in Gaga’s pocket, therefore affording her to continue making music and producing visual content for those of us with less of a need to demonize her because unlike those who do actually hate her, I for one know that her talents deserve recognition more so than some muscle head on a reality show with a tanning problem.

      “Applause” may not be an instant hit in the realm of comparison to many other songs released to the public in the past, but it does make a valid point about those who don’t like it. And that is they can’t stand to hear someone talk highly about themselves or their success. God forbid anyone actually admit they like attention and the cheering (applause) that comes along with it. What kind of egotists are we? (SARCASM again). The song and video combined makes an excellent attempt at pointing out our cultures need to seek out the “black swan” and bully it until it commits suicide or regret it’s success from the backfire of it’s existence. If Gaga is a monster to most of our culture then we have created her. Remember, the only difference between a black swan and white swan is the color of the feathers and the enormous amount of pressure the white swan has to maintain being perfect while the black swan struggles with never being perfect enough.

      Gaga doesn’t hire film crews like Peter Jackson to create “Lord of the Rings” visuals. She collaborates with talented people who all have a voice in the creation of our culture and the arts it’s immersed in. This is our circus and we can either enjoy the sheer fun of it’s playful presentation or we can throw vegetables in hopes it will never return. Personally, I would much rather she continue to create and continue to push everyone else to create as well.

      Gaga is not a God, or some super human artist that none of us can relate to. She is a woman who happened to get noticed (through hard work and creativity) for who she is. And to deny any aspect of who she is as if we personally know her, her life and what she has gone through is a great crime that none of us would ever want to deal with ourselves.

      I look forward to Gaga’s album and every album she creates thereafter. Not because I am delusional about her being talented but because I appreciate her view of the world and the points she tries to make through her work. Why these “guys hate her” you ask? Because simply put, the only thing they believe they are good at involves the negativity of others rather than the positivity they have in themselves.

      • DylanB

        I think this response is brilliant. It mirrors many of my own thoughts and opinions concerning idolator and their seeming grudge toward Gaga. I’d like to add a few things. Idolator and it’s “journalists” love and glorify simple-minded, narrow, sugary bubble-gum pop. That is their shtick, and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but when it comes to analyzing complex, multi-dimesional, honest and beautiful works of art, they’re claiming to understand something that they simply don’t. For example, one of the most poorly written reviews I have ever read was the review for Aura (burqa), the recently leaked demo by Lady Gaga. He called her work “performance-art bafoonery” among many other ridiculous statements and criticisms as he attempted to dissect her entire career and intent, making him sound quite ignorant indeed. I was perplexed as I felt that the leaked track was one of the most refreshing contributions to pop music I had heard in ages. Only a couple of days later, this same writer reviewed a snippet of Paris Hilton’s new track. Or whatever it was. He dubbed it “amazing” and went on to say that the lyric in the snippet, which is “if you feel like a little dirty dancing”, is an “objectively great lyric”, after which he declared that Paris Hilton’s first album was also “amazing”. Once I read this article I had to chuckle because it made me realize quite a lot regarding the people who are writing for this site. These people don’t want art. They don’t want to think. They want Selena Gomez and Paris Hilton. When it comes to an artist like Lady Gaga, an endlessly creative and talented force, and a woman who has changed the face of pop music forever, they have no place dissecting and critiquing her work. And it’s a shame that they even try. But I digress. To each his own, and I suppose you just have to take what their interpretations with a grain of salt.

      • Calling Lady Gaga an artist is like calling Ronald McDonald a chef.

  2. Theo

    You just saw Gaga flying, hand-painted, as a f- goose, and you’re telling me there’s no “wow” factor.

  3. I see why she wanted to release the video and song together, it certainly makes the song sound “bigger.”

  4. calin

    It’s OK, nothing I havent’ seen before!!!

  5. The video to me was very disappointing, but looking at it as an art video, it is quit awesome. Especially Boticelli’s Venus reference, and the tragedy/comedy get up where she’s in the bird cage. It’s no Bad Romance or Paparazzi, but a new breed of Gaga videos. However, a little less art bombs and a little more dancing would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Finally getting things back to the music… The video is great! I’m a huge fan and I haven’t genuinely loved a Gaga video since Telephone, so it’s nice to see a straight-forward pop video without a long, drawn out storyline/imagery. She looks amazing, her body is banging during the choreography section. I couldn’t be happier with it. Put your hands up, make ‘em touch!

  7. As from the side of ‘their hype’ the song and the video are flops (the song is messy and the video is in the style of Lana Del Rey – actually dark, boring and sad) (sorry fans).
    As from the music itself it goes stable 3,5 out of 5.
    Finally, the music video scores 3,9/5.

  8. MAG

    the video is obviously just trying to be fun. It does make some references to art and theatre but all in all its just trying to be fun a simple/crazy at the same time. Its a good first single and video (not great but good) and was obviously picked to bring attention to the album which it has.

  9. Sven

    I really enjoyed watching it.

  10. Marc1

    The video was good, but gaga claims to be a big ARTIST and for that type of artist this video is underwhelming. Also it strikes a huge resemblance to David Bowie’s work. It was once rip off Madonna left, rip off Madonna right, and sample a bit from Bowie and Grace Jones. Now it’s blatantly steal from Bowie. Also she thinks too highly of herself, applaud for me!? C’mon! The song is mediocre and this is not sad. This is typical, pop stars don’t last very long. They used to say Watch out Madonna, Debbie Gibson is the next you. Then it was Taylor Dane is the next Madonna. Then it was Paula Abdul is going to replace Madonna. Then it was Gwen, Britney, Xtina, and tons more. Point is a classic Gaga is next in line, she came in shiny and new, but once the cracks showed the public turned away. This is not to take away from Gaga’s talent. It’s just to say her time is up for the arena she was accustomed to.

  11. I think the video is fantastic . More creative than many other female singers .

  12. roger

    This video is just all over the place. No consistency. Just because you throw in a lot of elements and with different clips does not mean it’s art. Poor Gaga just ran out of tricks up her sleeve. At least you came out with Bad Romance, Poker Face, and…… Oh wait, that’s all I remember.

  13. Alexander.


  14. Alexander.


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