Rising from a beaded, glimmering backdrop was Selena Gomez at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night, performing “Come & Get It” live for the very first time on TV.
The pop singer was flanked by dancers as she worked her way through some Indian-influenced moves, the tabla drums of the track leading the charge. And if that inspiration wasn’t apparent enough, the stunning singer also wore a bindi on her forehead (reminding all fans of a certain age that Gwen Stefani tried that look before).
Bare feet, the season’s transparent fabrics shredded into fringed dresses, the twirling wrists, gold jewelry and Bollywood flair… there’s something that feels a bit off when there didn’t appear to be any actual Indian performers, though there were several dancers of color. (Gomez herself is Latina.) The full-throttle appropriation felt especially off-kilter as Gomez struggled through her vocals and the moves didn’t seem to be at all in unison. She was a little breathless at the end, as I’m sure some audience members were too, maybe for a different reason…
This doesn’t negate that “Come & Get It” will likely become a 2013 summer anthem, and maybe we could all stand learning a few new moves. The music video is on the way and may have a striking resemblance to the look of this performance.