The final “Saturday Night Live” of the year is always a special occasion, and 2023 was no exception: Billie Eilish gave the TV premiere of her song “What Was I Made For?”, which was written and recorded for director Greta Gerwig’s summer blockbuster “Barbie.” Plus Mishal’s interpretation of “Wish Yourself a Merry Christmas.” She also appeared in a feature-length sketch with host Kate McKinnon which concluded the show.
The musical performances showed how quickly Eilish had grown as a singer: she brought a deep longing to the first song and a sultry jazz flavor to the second, with a depth and precision that had only been hinted at earlier in her career.
“What were you created for?” He was introduced by Gerwig who appeared on stage alongside host (and “Barbie” star) McKinnon in a joyful embrace. Eilish appeared wearing a simple pink polo shirt, jeans and silver sneakers. Her performance was accompanied by a backdrop that paid homage to the film’s powerful montage scene, but with clips from a childhood home movie and personal photos from Eilish, as well as past and present “Saturday Night Live” cast members Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson, Molly Kearney, Ego Nwodim, Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Sherman, Chloe Trost and Kristen Wiig.
For her second single, Eilish chose the holiday chestnut “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” made famous by Judy Garland in the 1944 film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” At the end, artificial snow fell on the stage around Eilish and her accompanists, brother/collaborator Finneas and jazz musician Christian McBride, as well as a six-piece string band.
“What were you created for?” Up to five Grammy Awards (including Song of the Year and Record of the Year) as well as a Golden Globe Award and a Critics’ Choice Award; An Oscar nomination also seems likely. Eilish, Finneas and the song were also honored at diverseThe 2023 Hitmakers Gala earlier this month, where he took home the award for Movie Song of the Year for “What Was I Made For?” They were introduced by a moving speech by Elton John’s longtime songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin.
Watch Finneas describe the creation of the song diverseThe “Behind the Song” video series is here.
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