Perry performed the aggressive track with one of the more frenetic stage shows in recent SNL memory. The singer – decked out in a revealing Beeltejuice-esque ensemble — went all out for the number, which included a wild fashion catwalk, a fog machine and an appearance from teen Instagram star Russell Got Barzz.
The only thing missing was Perry’s “Swish Swish” collaborator, Nicki Minaj.
For her second performance of the night, Perry presented herself as the main course in a surreal banquet for her other recently released single, “Bon Appetite.”
Perry’s set design and costuming was a significantly less visceral interpretation of her quasi-cannibalistic music video, but the singer was joined by Migos for the live performance.
The episode, hosted by Dwayne Johnson, served as Perry’s third time as a music guest and her fourth appearance on the show, after hosting once in 2011.
Perry briefly appeared in one sketch during the season finale as well, playing herself as one of way too many other artists on a rap track that’s overcrowded with guest artists. The sketch also included a cameo from Tom Hanks, who reprised his inexplicably popular character David S. Pumpkins (using the hip hop surname “Pimpkins”).
The 32-year-old singer added fuel to the rumors of a feud between her and Taylor Swift with her edgy single “Swish Swish,” which many believe was written as a direct dig at the 1989 artist.
Sitting down with Jimmy Fallon on Friday, Perry opened up about the controversial song, and dished on who, or what, it’s really about.
“I think it’s a great anthem for people to use whenever someone’s trying to hold you down or bully you,” Perry explained. “That’s kind of what this record is about. It’s just like [a] 360-degree liberation.” Check out the video below to hear more.
Perry’s forthcoming album, Witness, hits shelves June 9.