Lady Gaga performed her Born This Way single "The Edge of Glory" at the American Idol finale tonight on a literal edge, putting to shame any artist who has sung about an edge without bringing a mountain along (Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith, Yes, we're looking in your direction).
The singer started the song wearing a beaded curtain on her head, perched atop a very Matterhorn-looking peak. After the first chorus, she tossed off her cloak, revealing a bejeweled and studded leather bikini reminiscent of the get-up she wore to the infamous New York Mets game last summer (a.k.a. her "Telephone" outfit). She removed her headpiece, which was covering up her Axl Rose bandanna, and played a few notes on an organ that was conveniently also on the edge of glory.
Then three unfortunate things happened -- E Street saxophone legend Clarence Clemons began to blow his solo and A) the camera forgot to pan to him, B) he kind of didn't sound so great, and C) Gaga and a shirtless male dancer did a sexy roll around the floor. This is not how we like our Clarence Clemons. If Bruce and Patti were watching, we hope they averted their eyes.
Lady Gaga is known for dramatic television performances (she has set fire to things, broken glass, hung bloody from a rope on the ceiling, that sort of thing), and she concluded "Edge" by grabbing her dancer's hand and plummeting off the ridge into a less glorious chasm. Since half of U2 was in the house promoting their Spider-Man musical, she might have also considered wrapping the song by standing on the literal Edge. Just a tip for the next time you Interscope labelmates are in the same place, Gaga!
[Photo: Kevin Winter/American Idol 2011/Getty Images]