Lady Gaga Was Supposed To Disappear Into Warp Pipe During Olympics Opening Ceremony
Lady Gaga was, at one point, supposed to make an appearance during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year. According to Bunshun, leaked documents detailing the planning of the ceremony show that Gaga was meant to, remotely, disappear into a warp pipe wearing Mario’s signature red hat and reappear in the arena, except that the person set to reappear IRL would have been Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe, dressed up as Gaga-as-Mario.
These plans, which were drawn up last October, apparently did not survive for very long and, by the spring of this year, any mention of Gaga was removed from the planning documents entirely. The stunt was intended to mirror former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s warp pipe appearance in the Rio 2016 closing ceremony.
Until last month, Nintendo — which owns the rights to Mario — had a large presence in the opening ceremony, including having music from their games played during the ceremony. (The procession of countries featured a soundtrack was made up of famous Japanese video game music, and Nintendo was noticeably absent.)
It’s unclear exactly why Nintendo backed out of the games, though there are plenty of reasons. A poll taken shortly before the games began found that 83% of Japanese people didn’t want the Games to be held this summer due to COVID-19. And the Olympics opening ceremony team had a number of high-profile resignations in the weeks lead up to the event, including from Cornelius, who pulled out as composer after criticism over past bullying.
The pared-back Olympics opening ceremony did, however, feature appearances from John Legend, Keith Urban, Angélique Kidjo, and Alejandro Sanz singing “Imagine.”
In other Gaga-Olympics news, some fans have pointed out that the pop singer has a doppelgänger in the Games in the form of Jordanian taekwondo competitor Julyana Al-Sadeq: