Even Selena Gomez didn’t know how to react to Olivia Rodrigo’s fake stage malfunction during her performance of “Get Him Back” at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.
While Rodrigo was singing her guts out onstage on Tuesday night, she was seemingly thwarted by pyrotechnic glitches. She was suddenly whisked offstage by a staffer at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, before it became clear that the whole thing was just part of the act.
Eagle-eyed fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, couldn’t help but scout the crowd for reactions over the chaos, notably zeroing in on Gomez, who appeared confused and startled as she covered her ears.
— 𝐜🧩 (@sweeterheavens) September 13, 2023
selena was in DISTRESS thinking olivia was having an actual stage malfunction IM CRYING pic.twitter.com/dKr7BPFyd4
— haley (@FAMEFUCKERS) September 13, 2023
After Gomez noticed that some of her reactions from the evening were quickly circulating on social media, the “Only Murders In The Building” star dropped her thoughts in an Instagram Story.
“I will never be a meme again,” she wrote early Wednesday morning after the ceremony. “I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself. Much love.”
Gomez, who also went viral for her seeming displeasure when Chris Brown’s name was called out as a nominee for Best R&B, didn’t clarify which moment she was referring to from that evening.
The “Come And Get It” singer was seen scrunching her nose after Brown’s name was announced. Brown pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 and has since been accused of assault and misconduct in separate incidents over the years.
Despite going viral over her facial expressions, Gomez came out a winner at the VMAs. She snagged the award for Best Afrobeats for her smash summer hit “Calm Down” with Nigerian artist Rema.
Check out the full list of 2023 VMAs winners here.