Lady Gaga befuddled audiences when she showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday dressed as a character she called "Jo Calderone."
Gaga appeared in drag as her alter ego — a guy with a greaser hairstyle and a sort of New Jersey accent — throughout the telecast. Backstage after the show, reporters anticipated the arrival of the pop star, eager to get to the bottom of the bizarre stunt.
But Gaga, who deigned to answer questions from only four outlets she had pre-selected, was still in character.
[Updated, 9:40 a.m., Aug. 30: See the profanity-riddled interview here, but be warned: Calderone has a very dirty mouth.]
Asked if she was able to express herself more fully as Calderone than as Gaga, she/he replied: "I don't understand the question." (Apparently, Gaga is Method.)
Still, the reporter pressed on, trying to get the singer to open up about the weird act.
"Well, she's just really [angry] at me right now," Calderone explained, his speech peppered with quite a variety of colorful expletives. "And she said ... 'If you really love me, you'll go instead of me and you'll get in that spotlight.' So I did."
Oh, we totally get it now!
Calderone went on to describe himself as Jersey-bred Average Joe: "My family's from Palermo, Sicily. And I'm not a singer or a model or actor or anything, I'm just a guy."
And how much longer can the public expect to see Gaga as Calderone?
"I'm gonna be here about five more minutes."
And that was the best news we received all night.
— Amy Kaufman
Photo: Lady Gaga poses backstage as "Joe Calderone" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 28. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press