Charli XCX has been a hotly anticipated guest on SNL not just because her latest material sounds incredible so far, but because she was bringing a few friends with her. After announcing her new album will be called Crash, and describing is “sexual and sort of demonic,” XCX also dropped the new single, “New Shapes,” which features Caroline Polachek and Christine And The Queens. It followed up her earlier single, “Good Ones” (which recently got a Perfume Genius remix) and definitely set the tone for Crash‘s “poptastic” turn.
So when Charli was posting promo for the show and she included photos of herself with Caroline and Christine, fans were even more excited about tonight’s live renditions of the new songs. Since the trio’s video for “New Shapes” already included a faux TV performance, it seemed likely they’d be recreating it in some form. But due to the surge of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, all of this is not going to happen after all. Though the SNL performers have been carefully quarantining in a bubble, that’s not the case for musical guests, and the risk is too great at the moment for Charli to perform. And even with quarantines, several members of the cast have reportedly tested positive.
“Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of Saturday Night Live and the show will have limited cast and crew,” the show said in a statement today. “The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”
Charli also released a statement of her own expressing her sadness over the cancelation: “Due to the limited crew at tonight’s taping of SNL my musical performances will no longer be able to go ahead,” she said. “I am devastated and heartbroken. Myself, Caroline [Polachek], Christine [and the Queens], and all of our crews and teams have worked so hard all week alongside the SNL team to bring the most amazing musical performances to life. It can’t happen this time, but I’ll be back! I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad. Please look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Lots of Love, Charli.”
The rest of the show will still go on, just with limited cast and without the normal live studio audience.