Lady Gaga Starts MTV VMAs With Bizarre Opera, Head in Box, Costume Changes

Well, that was very . . . Gaga. Lady Gaga opened up the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards — her first live performance of new single "Applause" and her return to the stage since hip surgery earlier this year — in bizarre, creepy fashion. Inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center, before launching into her comeback single, the pop provocateur, 27, began with an a cappella operatic performance with her famous face encased in a white cube. After several moments of an extreme closeup, the camera panned back to reveal the rest of Gaga's getup, an all-white, nun-like habit with pearls.

Finally kicking into "Applause," Gaga changed her look onstage with the help of backup dancers, with her head briefly appearing detached from her body in a clever trick.

As the performance wore on, Gaga slipped into more recognizable looks: A platinum-blonde symmetrical wig with a sequined jacket (her "Poker Face" look) and then a bright-yellow, Marilyn-Monroe-style look (a nod to a 2010 look). The Grammy winner's final look? A long curly blonde wig and the sculptural bikini worn in her "Applause" clip.

Lady gaga VMA
Lady Gaga Kevin Mazur/WireImage for MTV

Before the show began, Gaga (wearing a black Prabal Gurung gown) teased MTV's Sway about what was in store: "It's going to be awesome, it is a great show, I am so excited for the fans to see it."

Watch the video now: What'd you think of Gaga's performance?

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!