Hozier On SNL: One Big Heart-Eyed Emoji

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Remember when "Stay With Me" dropped and everyone scrambled to learn more about Sam Smith, the baby-faced British crooner that showed up out of nowhere to remind us that England's got more to offer to pop than the distant promise of a new Adele album and One Direction's tattoos? His Saturday Night Live performance was the beacon at the beginning of his ascent to fame, and Hozier, the smoldering singer-songwriter also hailing from the northernmost reaches of the Atlantic, is following in his footsteps.

See also: Sam Smith SLAYED Saturday Night Live

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Sorry, Haters: Maroon 5 Rocked SNL

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There's an elephant in the room sporting some excellent hair gel, so let's acknowledge it and move on before we dive into Maroon 5's performance on Saturday Night Live. People lo-ho-hoooooove to hate these guys, the falsetto-favoring, Voice-judging, badly tattooed frontman in particular. Adam Levine is despised for everything from his looks to his unabashed adoration for pop music and whatever color he decides he wants his hair to be this week. He's the anti-rock god, in that people never accept the music he makes for what it is: it's always not quite pop or not quite rock and definitely Not [Their] Thing.

See also: Ariana Grande Doesn't 'Break Free' of Mediocrity on Saturday Night Live

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Ariana Grande Doesn't 'Break Free' of Mediocrity on Saturday Night Live

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By most accounts, Chris Pratt and Ariana Grande have won the summer of 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy, the geek blockbuster bonanza that catapulted Pratt from Parks and Recreation ensemble player to major Hollywood heatthrob status, is still breaking records for both its soundtrack and its box-office appeal. Between the MTV VMA-winning "Problem," her unstoppable collaboration with Iggy Azalea, My Everything, her sophomore full-length, out August 25, and a mile-long, star-studded list of collaborations in the bag, Grande has reached peak pop stardom shortly after her 21st birthday. Booking both Pratt and Grande for Saturday Night Live's 40th season opener was a veritable feat and a perfect pairing after a stellar summer, but the expectations that come with that kind of billing are equally huge, and only one of the two lived up to the hype.

And the one who did? Yeah, Pratt doesn't have a "Problem" at all -- but Grande had plenty.

See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL

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St. Vincent Confuses the Masses on SNL

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Unpacking this one is going to take a minute, so buckle up, because St. Vincent's Saturday Night Live season finale was one for the ages--and it's not necessarily for the reasons you'd think.

See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL

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The Black Keys Bore on SNL

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There are times when Saturday Night Live is having a rough night, one where the timing's off from start to finish, the host flubs their lines or breaks character in a totally unfunny way, and the big group hug that takes place onstage while the credits roll is more of a consoling embrace than a congratulatory one. In those instances, the musical guest has the unique opportunity to break out as the star of the show and upstage the host, making every bland Weekend Update joke or try-hard sketch worth it for those two songs alone. If Jay Pharoah couldn't get the audience to laugh at his Obama impression on that particular episode, maybe Haim would've swooped in and saved the day. If Ben Affleck faltered, Kanye was there to catch him with "Black Skinhead." It's all about balance and give-and-take when something is off in Studio 8H, and as SNL is the cornerstone of live TV, there's nothing we can do but watch the trainwreck roll out.

That didn't happen on SNL this week. If anything, the Black Keys brought down SNL, and they brought down SNL fast.

See also: Eminem's SNL Performance Was So Bad It Was Taken Off the Internet

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Coldplay and Good Music "Consciously Uncouple" on Saturday Night Live

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Now that Coldplay is on the major promotional circuit to drum up interest for Ghost Stories, the single premieres and media appearances have put some serious distance between Chris Martin and his goopy separation. Martin succeeded in making Gwyneth a conversation topic of the past by donning a ponytail wig and offering up a weird, broody cameo in a sketch that had him kissing Andrew Garfield like he's never been kissed before on Saturday Night Live.

See also: "OMG Her Face!": America Reacts to Haim's SNL Performance

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Ed Sheeran Goes Full John Mayer on SNL

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First things first: Ed Sheeran's Saturday Night Live portrait makes him look like Hobbit Spice and it's impossible to quit staring at it. Secondly, it's exciting for an artist of Sheeran's stature to use the SNL stage to premiere new material instead of dropping it via YouTube or Twitter or whichever social network he'd choose for instant gratification and clickable domination. A creepy as hell headshot may have come out of it, but Sheeran's SNL debut was a fruitful one for him that established crossover appeal--or at least it justified Sheeran's presence on the playlist of anyone over the age of 18 who needs to lay off the greatest hits of Jack Johnson and John Mayer for awhile.

See also: "OMG Her Face!": America Reacts to Haim's SNL Performance

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Pharrell and His Hat Celebrate a "Happy" SNL Birthday

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Last year may have brought about the global triumph of Mrs. Carter, the facepalm-inducing skeeviness of Robin Thicke and the tongue, cultural appropriation and subsequent redemption of Miley Cyrus, but Pharrell and his hat are the reigning pop juggernauts of 2014. He got Meryl Streep to shimmy at the Oscars. He's convinced the world that a chirpy, chipper song from a kids' movie can be enjoyed by listeners of every age. His sartorial choices have spawned a plethora of memes and Twitter accounts, and "Happy" and the rest of G I R L show no signs of dropping from the Billboard Hot 100 anytime soon. The only thing surprising about Pharrell's Saturday Night Live performance is that it didn't happen sooner, and that a NBC page didn't get roped into wearing a giant foam suit in the shape of his infamous Buffalo topper.

See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL

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Sam Smith SLAYED Saturday Night Live

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Sam Smith's a vocal powerhouse from across the pond. Still relatively unknown to American audiences, Smith is in the process of making the initial laps of touring behind his debut, In the Lonely Hour, won't see an American release until June 3. He initially broke through in the UK as the guest on Disclosure's "Latch" in 2012. Now, Smith is 21 and ready to truly break, and if his Saturday Night Live performance is any indication, it's only a [brief] matter of time before "Sam Smith" is a household name.
See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL

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The National Are Completely Inoffensive ... Which Is What Makes Them So Offensive

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Here's the deal with The National: you either embrace "Mr. November" as a personal anthem and the rest of their catalog for its completely approachable and expertly helmed agenda in Almost Arena Rock, or you don't. You're either with Matt Berninger when he starts screaming as though he accidentally stepped on lit coals, or you're recoiling because you think the lead singer thrashing about up there is about to break his glasses in the middle of a seizure. You either keep tabs on who guitarist Aaron Dessner is working with this week (dude's an amiable producer whose credits include Sharon Van Etten's Tramp and Local Natives' Hummingbird in addition to the majority of The National's releases) or you get confused about which Dessner brother is the one who's making a guitar do very weird things for no explicable reason, 'cause there are two.

You're either a National fan or you're not. They're that polarizing, despite their wholly inoffensive contributions to the indie rock canon, and their Saturday Night Live debut was no exception.

See also:
"OMG Her Face!": America Reacts to Haim's SNL Performance


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