MTV VMAs 2023: Olivia Rodrigo’s Shocking Stage Malfunction Explained

This performance took guts to pull off.

Olivia Rodrigo dropped jaws at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, when the award show stage appeared to malfunction during her performance of “Vampire” in Newark, N.J. As she sang the powerful lyrics, the pyrotechnics of the show sparked as if exploding. Olivia looked around frantically before a red curtain fell from the ceiling and a stage worker quickly ushered her offstage. 

Stars in the crowd including Selena Gomez expressed concern for the singer; however, the issues actually appeared to be planned as part of the show, replicating her “Vampire” music video that was released in June. Not such a bad idea, right?

Her music video similarly started off with Olivia singing in a forested backdrop, before the camera pans out to show she’s actually on stage at the “19th Annual Awards.” The equipment starts going awry with sparks raining down from the stage lights, and she starts bleeding after getting hit by a spotlight.

At the VMAs, the 20-year-old went on to perform her new hit “get him back!” off her album GUTS, which further suggested nothing went wrong during her first song.


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