Maddie Ziegler and Sia Chandelier Performance On Ellen: What Am I Missing Here?

I’m an unabashed fan of Ellen DeGeneres. She’s funny. She’s kind. She’s giving. I watch her show often (while folding laundry, of course. I’m nothing if not a great multi-tasker.)

But the other day, she had the artist Sia on her show to re-create her video for her hit song, Chandelier. And I was a bit…….stunned. First, let me say, I enjoy Sia’s music. Have a few of her songs on my iPod, as a matter of fact. I was looking forward to her performance.

Instead of being wowed (in a good way), I sat there, slack-jawed. I was uncomfortable. When they didn’t show any audience reaction, I figured the rest of the audience felt the same way.

Nope. As soon as the performance ended,  the audience erupted and the camera revealed a standing ovation.


If you’re not familiar……

(1) Here are a few snippets of the lyrics to Chandelier: “I’m the one “for a good time call” ,” “1-2-3 drink, 1-2-3 drink, throw ’em back ’til I lose count,” and “Sun is up, I’m a mess, Gotta get out now, gotta run from this. Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.”

(2) Maddie Ziegler (from Dance Moms) is an 11-year old dancer.

(3) And her costume for the performance, a flesh toned bodysuit, looked like this:


I was troubled. I wrongly assumed others would be, too. And when I Googled “Maddie’s performance Sia Chandelier on Ellen” the adjectives in the articles that popped up were “amazing,” “haunting,” “emotional,” and “incredible.”

Call me a prude. Call me self-righteous. Call me old-fashioned.

I don’t care.

I have an issue with prepubescent girls dancing on television in skin-tight, flesh colored leotards, creating the illusion of nudity to songs that describe adult alcoholic beverage (over) drinking behavior.

So sue me.





Filed under Soapbox

14 responses to “Maddie Ziegler and Sia Chandelier Performance On Ellen: What Am I Missing Here?

  1. I blame Miley Cyrus. 😀

    No, not just Miley, but don’t you think the whole music scene has gone crazy? Song lyrics and videos are so explicit now they make me cringe. Call me a prude too. There was a time when some things were left to the imagination, but now nothing is.

    • My thoughts exactly! My boys usually watch Ellen with me. I’m so glad I was watching this by myself. I hate to think what message they would take from it.

  2. Donna Meade

    Thank you. I had to turn it off a short time after the video started.

  3. You should express your opinion to the show. They need to know it wasn’t a total hit.

  4. liamiman

    I never saw it, but I agree.

  5. Laurel

    I understand where you are coming from, but unlike many performances like Miley Cyrus’, I feel there was a reason that this was done the way it was. The song is not about enjoying drinking and singing about drinking just for the sake of it. Rather, it’s about the sort of (mental health) problems Sia experiences and the way that alcohol is ruining her. In that way, the fact that the dancer is so vulnerable and young greatly enhances this message. This is a song that is not explicit for shock value. In my opinion, it is a song that has the ability to further de-stigmatise things like mental illnesses and alcohol addiction. The dancing and supposed nudity, in this case, was not supposed to be overly sexual, unlike many other performances today, it was supposed to further illustrate the vulnerability the song conveys. I think that’s why people called it ‘haunting’ and ’emotional’, because it is a song, and performance, that demonstrates her incredible ability to convey the pain that she feels.

    • I really appreciate your thoughtful response to my reaction. I truly appreciate your perspective and now agree, that there is value in Sia’s message. However, I’m still uncomfortable with the age of the dancer with such a mature subject matter.

  6. I loved it I thought it was beautifully done

  7. Grace

    This is a really late reply and the conflict has probably already been solved but i just wanted to add a few things.
    I simply love this song and I completely agree with Laurel. The song has plenty of deep meaning to it. At first I was shocked to see the little girl representing nudity too but then I went on to look at the lyrics. I don’t want to repeat everything Laurel said but the song shows a character who parties all night long and can’t seem to get away from it even though she wants to (“I throw em back till I lose count”) and so she represses it (“when will I learn, I push it down, push it down”) However the repressed feelings pop back up in eccentric actions like swinging from the chandelier’.

    Maddie Zeigler is used to represent this character because she’s a wonderful actor and dancer who can produce the eccentric effect realistically. (If you watch the actual music video you can see this better in her facial expressions) Perhaps the nudity has been used to represent eccentricity i.e. the true raw feelings of the character or it could be used to show how innocent the character actually is (?). I’m 16 and I love this song not because I can relate to it but because it has so much meaning to it unlike other songs. I watch the video nearly 5 times every week and I never think anything about the nudity. The song has way more context to it that just that. =D

    I suppose it is bad for Maddie Zeigler to act out such adult issues but then again there are so many other kids who are in movies that deal with way more sexuality than they should. It could also be in a good way since nowadays kids are learning about the adult life way ahead than what used to be.

    I’m sure if you had watched the music video before you had watched the one the ellen show you wouldn’t have noticed the of the kid or minded it that much. =D

  8. Lisha

    Is anyone going to comment on her singing? I like the music of the song.If you didnt know what the words were its a good song.When I listened to her sing it live I was so confused at how she is such a big hit. I never heard such bad singing in my life. It made me cringe listening to her try to hit alot of notes.

  9. Patti

    Is Maddie wearing a ‘censored’ version of the costume on Ellen? Looks slightly different, but if anyone mentioned it, I couldn’t find comments. Wondering if this is the compromise? Video was very controversial, but I think the adjustment helped shift the focus to Maddie’s talent, where it should be. Sorry for the late post.

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