Lana Del Rey's 'SNL' Performance Slammed by Juliette Lewis, Twitterverse

11:51 PM PST 01/14/2012 by Shirley Halperin
Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

Did the sexy singer, who was visibly nervous during her late-night debut, bring new meaning to "not ready for primetime player?"

Is buzzed about newcomer Lana Del Rey not ready for primetime?

The sexpot singer made her Saturday Night Live debut on Jan. 14, one of fewer than a handful of artists to nab the coveted slot before releasing a first album (Del Rey’s Born to Die is due out Jan. 31 on Interscope), and reaction has been surprisingly harsh.

Following the performance of “Video Games,” the song that’s largely responsible for Del Rey’s breakout, The Firm actress Juliette Lewis, herself a singer who’s opened for the likes of Foo Fighters and Chris Cornell, tweeted, “Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 yearold [sic] in their bedroom when theyre pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes.”

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It was a sentiment echoed by many on Twitter, as Del Rey was visibly nervous and her timing seemed a bit off.

“Lana Del Rey's next song is called ‘Muted Television While People Brush Their Teeth And Prepare For Bed,’” wrote @ranggrol.

“I expected to be blown away by Lana Del Rey due to the hype. It's time for SNL to get a real band on,” offered @NeonBMC.

“Lana del Rey has a nice voice & is GORGEOUS but she doesn't do it for me; her songs are too flat,” wrote @KingWithNoKrown. “I just don't see what the big deal is.”

Tweeted @karen_g: "Watching Seth Meyers walk up to Lana Del Rey, shaking his head and saying, ‘It wasn't bad!’ says just about everything, doesn't it? Ouch.”

I love you but that was a HOT MESS,” snapped @MsPearlSnaps.

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But Del Rey had her defenders, too. Several music sites, including MTV.com, pointed to the 25-year-old’s admitted nervousness. And it’s likely that her singing style may also have thrown viewers, especially those accustomed to auto-tuned vocals that border on synthetic. Del Rey sings with a stoic, hushed, sometimes guttural delivery and her melodies often veer into unexpected terrain. Still, it's hard to put aside that Del Rey is green when it comes to performing live, and SNL was proof of that fact.

On Twitter, a fan with the handle @connersup wrote, “I actually thought Lana Del Rey did pretty good tonight. She was also gorgeous as usual.”

Another named Pony Sparkles declared: “i still love you lana del rey, my beautiful sedated zombie fembot ice princess.”

But perhaps @emiliawrites summed it up best with her Twitter sign-off: “Ok, now I've watched the Quite Ok But Not Mindblowing Or NuffinLana Del Rey SNL "Video Games" performance I can sleep.”

Watch Del Rey's performance of "Video Games" below:

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin

UPDATED: Artists who performed on SNL prior to the U.S. release of their debut album include Natalie Imbruglia in 1998 and Jessie J in 2011. 

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