‘Saturday Night Live’ Musical Guest Backs Out After Live Audience Canceled

by Matthew Memrick

After “Saturday Night Live” producers decided not to have a live audience, musical guest Charlie XCX chose to back out.

In response to a spike in COVID-19 variant cases in New York, show producers announced that a limited cast and crew would do the show eight hours before Saturday’s show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show also opted to go without a live audience.

The New York Post reported that a COVID-19 outbreak occurred. The news report also listed Kenan Thompson as possibly the only sketch performer and former SNL cast member Tina Fey potentially subbing for Colin Jost on Weekend Update.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Music Host Charlie XCX Pulls Out Of Performance

The English-born Charlie XCX, known as Charlotte Aitchison, would have performed songs from her new album, “Crash.” The album will come out in March. 

On Instagram, the performer said she was “devastated and heartbroken” about her decision. She noted that her backup dancers worked “so hard all week alongside the SNL team to bring the most amazing musical performance to life.” She went on to say, “it can’t happen this time, but (she’ll) be back.”

She added, “I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad.”

Over 53,000 fans liked the post.

On Friday, Charlie XCX posted a photo of herself on Instagram, showing off what likely would have been her Saturday Night Live performance costume. Many fans, including singer Camilla Cabello and party magnet Paris Hilton commented on the look.

The last time a music host brought drama to the longtime comedy skit show was country star, Morgan Wallen.

In 2020, Wallen notably was suspended from a scheduled Saturday Night Live performance that October. After video evidence surfaced showing Wallen not following NBC’s COVID-19 protocols, Producers made a move. Wallen returned to the Dec. 5 show, performing two songs. He also appeared in a skit over the controversy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the long-running Saturday Night Live show dealt with COVID-19 last year and even aired three remotely filmed episodes.

Rudd Still Set To Host COVID-Stricken Show Without Charlie XCX

Host Paul Rudd, who is currently People magazine’s sexiest man alive, will run the show. There was no word on a replacement for Charlie XCX, but Rudd has done some notable lip-synching roles in the past. 

By the way, Saturday’s show marks his fifth appearance on the comedy-skit show. He’s made appearances in 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2019. ‘Rust’ star Alec Baldwin holds the record for hosting SNL the most, with 17 episodes, beating out Steve Martin (15 episodes). 

Charlie XCX performed on the show as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 2014.

Broadway shows have recently taken a hit because of the rise in COVID-19 cases. 

According to Deadline, New York reported its highest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic took over. Friday’s count of 21,027 broked a Jan. 14 record of 19,942 cases.