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May 23, 2024

Jacob Elordi’s Controversial SNL Hosting Gig

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Jan 21, 2024

Introduction

In one of the most highly anticipated Saturday Night Live episodes in recent history, breakout heartthrob and Saltburn star Jacob Elordi took to the iconic SNL stage amidst intense scrutiny over his career and personal life. Fresh off his steamy and shocking on-screen exploits in the blockbuster Saltburn, Elordi had plenty of material to draw from in his opening monologue. However, his self-deprecating jokes about the now infamous ‘grave scene’ from Saltburn with co-star Barry Keoghan seemed to court rather than quell controversy.

Opening Monologue Mocks Saltburn Backlash

Elordi wasted no time addressing the elephant in the room – the intense backlash over Saltburn’s disturbing intimacy between his and Barry Keoghan’s characters. “I know some of you saw that movie with your parents, and for that I’m sorry,” Elordi joked, referencing the scene where Keoghan’s character pleasures him in a graveyard. While some praised Elordi for confronting the backlash head on, others felt the lighthearted tone was inappropriate given the serious discourse surrounding consent and power dynamics in the film.

“If you were uncomfortable watching, imagine how I felt laying in that grave!” Elordi continued cheekily to gasps from the audience. He went on to clarify he was not in fact in the grave during filming, which elicited both chuckles and some groans.

Sentimental Monlogue Attempts Image Rehab

In addition to his Saltburn commentary, Elordi also got personal in what many viewed as an attempt at image rehabilitation following swirling rumors about his dating life and alleged diva behavior on set.

“This stage means the world to me,” shared an emotional Elordi. He thanked Lorne Michaels and the SNL team for taking a chance on him as a host. Despite mixed reactions from viewers on social media, the studio audience was clearly smitten, audibly “awwing” at Elordi’s heartfelt words. Still, some critics felt the sentiment came off as disingenuous damage control.

“He’s trying desperately to reshape his reputation as a player and unprofessional coworker,” commented Buzzfeed’s celebrity columnist Ima Carebear. “Crocodile tears won’t work.”

Regina George Sketch Drives Nostalgia

While Elordi’s monologue aimed to redefine his image, his first sketch as host deliciously played into his heartthrob persona. Featuring original Regina George actress Rachel McAdams reprising her iconic Mean Girls role, the meta sketch cast Elordi as a high school student competing for Regina’s affection against a musical theater nerd played by the night’s musical guest, Renee Rapp.

Sparks flew between Elordi and McAdams as they flirted through fetch references (“that’s so fetch”) while a frustrated Rapp belted emotional ballads in the background. The sketch seemed precision-engineered to go viral while feeding viewer nostalgia for 2000s pop culture and Elordi’s dreamy on-screen magnetism.

“It was perfect stunt casting,” raved Brian Lowry of CNN. “Having Rachel reprise Regina was genius – it played right into what people love about Elordi.”

Sketch Viewer Reactions
Regina George Overall positive – praised nostalgic casting and Elordi’s charm
The Bachelor parody Mixed – some felt scene played too much into Elordi’s heartthrob image
Airline Bathroom Negative – called crass and offensive

Raunchy Humor Draws Backlash

However, not all sketches landed smoothly. An airline lavatory mishap sketch starring new cast member Marcello Hernandez played into vulgar stereotypes. The scene involved Hernandez’s character trapped mid-flight in an airline bathroom distressfully pleading for help from Elordi’s exasperated flight attendant.

While intended as humorous commentary on nightmare travel tales, many viewers took offense at the toilet humor, calling it “crass” and “juvenile.”

Vulture’s Sophie Légaré called the sketch “utterly classless – especially disappointing after Elordi’s sensitive monologue.”

Controversy also stemmed from Elordi’s starring role in a Bachelor parody that culled drama by revealing the suitor had secretly been in an intimate relationship with one of the male production crew members. While likely designed to showcase Elordi’s acting versatility, some argued playing yet another queer character dangerously typecasted Elordi when he still owed the LGBTQ community an apology for Saltburn’s questionable consent depictions.

“This just shows Elordi failing to read the room,” asserted prominent LGBTQ activist Rocke O’Shea in an impassioned Tweetstorm. “You don’t get to fetishize queer relationships without accountability.”

Musical Guest Boosts Inclusivity

Unlike Elordi, musical guest and “Evan Hansen” actress Renee Rapp won near universal praise – both for her soaring vocals and prominent inclusion throughout sketches. Rapp identified as genderfluid last year and made history as SNL’s first non-binary performer.

Rapp shone particularly bright in a “Short Kings Anthem” sketch reprising fan favorite characters created by Chloe Fineman. As danced beside Fineman’s Nicole Kidman character, gushing about the beauty of short successful men, Rapp elevated the silly premise with their infectiously joyful stage presence.

“Rapp was the perfect antidote when Elordi’s charm wore off,” remarked Mashable’s Skylar Baker. “Their authentic pride and confidence inspired where Elordi’s monologue platitudes fell flat.”

Dakota Johnson Preview Stokes Drama

While Elordi attempted to rewrite his reputation in one wild night, SNL wasted no time stirring up drama for their next host, Elordi’s Saltburn costar Dakota Johnson. Premiering right after Elordi’s episode, a Johnson-hosted episode promo depicting her literally pushing Elordi out of frame to hype her episode generated laughs but also raised eyebrows.

Given rumors about Johnson and Elordi’s tense on-set dynamic, many interpreted Johnson’s shove as a subtle dig at her costar. A candid Instagram post from Johnson the next day showing her laughing with musical guest Justin Timberlake did little to quell rumors of a feud.

“Dakota is beyond over the Elordi drama.” dished gossip columnist Stacy Blueblood. ”Don’t expect her to mince words when she takes the SNL stage next week.”

Indeed, SNL has already proven adept at spinning headlines to drive viewership. Whether the alleged Saltburn feuds are real or exaggerated, viewers are already invested in the inside gossip. Johnson’s hosting gig is primed for record ratings – especially if she directly calls out her smug costar in the heart-stopping way only SNL can satirically deliver.

Until then, SNL can pat themselves on the back for a headline-grabbing episode certain to dominate entertainment news cycles. For better or worse, Elordi’s hosting stint only intensified the spotlight on him – but at least kept us laughing in the process.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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