This year’s Academy Awards were arguably almost overshadowed by the “slap heard round the world”, but there were plenty of other moments that deserve the lion’s share of the attention. Between Ariana DeBose’s Best Supporting Actress victory for West Side Story and Jessica Chastain speaking eloquently about the LGBTQ community in her own Best Actress victory speech for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, the LGBTQ community was prominently showcased during the evening’s festivities. At the conclusion of the evening though, the gasp heard round the world was (thankfully) not due to some reductive act of machismo, but occurred when Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli emerged from the wings to present the final award of the evening, Best Picture (which went to the heartwarming family drama Coda).
While many initially might think that seeing Mother Monster and one of Hollywood’s leading treasures appearing live together was stunt casting at its finest, that explanation could not be farther from the truth. In fact (according to People), it was Gaga herself that requested that Minnelli present the final award of the evening with her. The Chromatica goddess noted on stage that EGOT winner Minnelli was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Cabaret, while decked out in a tuxedo of her own, in what looked to be a nod to Minnelli’s Cabaret co-star Joel Grey.
This is like a lesson in how to facilitate older people while honouring who they are.
What a class act by @ladygaga with legend Liza Minnelli.
The conferred whispers of "I gotcha" "I know" picked up by the mikes make it especially touching.pic.twitter.com/2JOWyrTQxn
— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) March 28, 2022
It was the respect and reverence that Gaga paid towards Minnelli though, that many are showing a great deal of admiration towards Gaga for. “Do you see that? The public, they love you!” Gaga said to Minnelli before giving helping the 76-year-old legend sort her cue cards as they prepared to present the final award of the evening. “You know how I love working with legends,” added Gaga. “And I’m honored to present the final award of the evening with a true show business legend.” Right as the clip package prepared to air, Gaga bent down toward Minnelli, simply whispering “I got you” to which Minnelli responded in kind, “I know”, which both of their mics picked up. Following the clip package, Gaga sang a famed line from Cabaret to Minnelli, to which Minnelli excitedly responded “Hi everybody, I’m so happy to be here. And especially with you, I’m your biggest fan” Gaga then opened the final envelope of the evening and Minnelli announced Coda as the Best Picture of 2021.
While Gaga’s interaction with Liza Minnelli showcased class, elegance, and paying homage to true Hollywood royalty. it was her interaction with Caitlyn Jenner that truly proved puzzling for many. As she prepared to enter Elton John’s Oscar party (with John’s husband David Furnish), Jenner approached and asked her if she was still in Malibu to which Gaga simply said “yes”. Jenner then pursued the line of questioning, saying that she hasn’t seen Gaga at their local Starbucks in a while. Gaga’s reply was sweetly dismissive, yet loaded with delicious shade: “Well, I switched baristas.” And it was all caught on tape and shared to Twitter.
Initially buried under the larger story that emerged from the Oscars, the interaction between Gaga and Jenner took on a life of it’s own this week, with Twitter largely declaring “I’ve switched baristas” as their official new exit line. One company even dropped a t-shirt with Gaga’s now-famed reaction to Jenner, with the line “I’ve Switched Baristas” underneath.
The Oscars this year showcased some of the worst behavior we’ve ever seen on the Academy Awards stage, but thankfully Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli’s tender exchange showed that kindness and reverence for our living legends is what is needed more of in our country today. In a society that is accused (with good reason) of not caring for it’s senior members, Gaga telling Minnelli “I got you” hits that much harder. Someday, I hope there is someone there to say “I got you” to each and every one of us.