For the second time this year, Sia was recruited to serve as Saturday Night Live musical guest, this time for the show’s much anticipated Donald Trump-hosted episode. Her return visit came less than 10 months after the singer recreated her unique, Grammy-nominated music videos in an electrifying pair of performances, and Sia didn’t mess with that formula in her second SNL go-round as she delivered two singles off her upcoming LP This Is Acting.
For the choir-backed “Alive,” Sia – face again nearly obscured by hair that’s topped by an enormous wig and cartoon eyes painted on her cheeks – was accompanied by a young martial artist whose often-unorthodox karate moves turn into a manic dance routine that corresponds with the music; the single’s music video boasted a similar motif, albeit with a different dancer. On the liberating, piano-driven “Bird Set Free,” Sia’s second performance of the episode, she was again augmented by her dancing doppelgänger who this time pantomimed being trapped in a cocoon and then bursting out, wings fluttering.
Both of the songs Sia performed on SNL – “Alive” and “Bird Set Free” – were originally written for Adele, who will be the SNL musical guest in two weeks. Next week’s episode will feature host Elizabeth Banks and musical guest Disclosure, who will be joined by Lorde and Sam Smith.