• Viral badge
  • VMAs badge

Olivia Rodrigo's 2023 MTV VMAs Performance Was A Little Confusing, And Selena Gomez's Reaction Said It All

Near the end of "Vampire," something...weird happened.

So Olivia Rodrigo performed at the 2023 MTV VMAs tonight.

closeup of olivia

She performed a few songs from her latest blockbuster album GUTS, including "Vampire" and "Get Him Back!"

olivia on stage with dancers

But near the end of "Vampire," something...weird happened.

olivia singing on stage set in the woods

Basically, there was an intentional stage malfunction that was directly referencing the video for "Vampire."

View this video on YouTube

Geffen / Via youtube.com

Unfortunately, the reference wasn't that obvious to a lot of people watching inside the Prudential Arena and at home.

Olivia Rodrigo seems startled by the fireworks onstage. #VMAs pic.twitter.com/FKkTyAkhVg

— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) September 13, 2023
@RaminSetoodeh / Via Twitter: @RaminSetoodeh

Girl, is this part of Olivia Rodrigo’s performance?! What is going on?! #VMAS pic.twitter.com/GFVZpkjmby

— Rachel. (@_loveRachel_) September 13, 2023
@_loveRachel_ / Via Twitter: @_loveRachel_


— rooting for mecole, america, cory (@bitchesiswack) September 13, 2023
@bitchesiswack / Via Twitter: @bitchesiswack

But no one looked more concerned than Selena Gomez:

Not Selena Gomez covering her ears during Olivia Rodrigo performance 😭 pic.twitter.com/aeXjQ8tl2e

— 👰🏾‍♂️ (@ReigningMinaj) September 13, 2023
@ReigningMinaj / MTV / Via Twitter: @ReigningMinaj

olivia rodrigo really traumatized selena gomez with her fake stage malfunction during her performance… selena ain’t ever going to an awards show again😭 #VMAs pic.twitter.com/lJ9kDKofXl

— 𝐜🧩 (@sweeterheavens) September 13, 2023
@sweeterheavens / Via Twitter: @sweeterheavens

Nothing more genuine than @selenagomez actually thinking something was wrong on stage with @oliviarodrigo performance haha #VMAs2023 pic.twitter.com/TU2yAl8r5J

— Johan Sandrea (@imsandreaa) September 13, 2023
@imsandreaa / MTV / Via Twitter: @imsandreaa

The way Selena Gomez was concerned for Olivia Rodrigo during her performance for “Vampire” 😭😂 #VMAs pic.twitter.com/rvXxBT614m

— Women of R&B (@rnbgirlies) September 13, 2023
@rnbgirlies / MTV / Via Twitter: @rnbgirlies

And, to be clear — despite what some are already saying online, it seems like she was reacting to the stage malfunction, not Olivia's vocals.

before y’all get these two ladies dragged, it was when the stage was having an intentional stage malfunction. not during olivia singing pic.twitter.com/uUdpv2nWbW

— sammy (@selenuhrrr) September 13, 2023
Twitter: @selenuhrrr

So there you have it!

Check out all of our VMAs coverage here.