The most memorable part of Miley Cyrus' Oct. 5 "Saturday Night Live" appearance was...her singing?
Yes, I believe it's true.
As the show's host and musical guest, Miley bared her midriff often but didn't offer any moments on the same level as her VMA performance.
Yes, Vanessa Bayer did her Miley impression. No, Miley didn't talk about Sinead O'Connor. Yes, Miley used the word "twerking."
Surprisingly, my favorite parts of the episode involved music.
As the musical guest, Miley performed "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop." She sang both songs while flaunting getups different from the highly sexual apparel she's recently worn. By letting her vocals stand alone, Miley proved she can sing. (Go ahead, disagree with me in the comments section.)
Arguably, the best sketch of the night also involved singing. "We Did Stop (The Government)" was a pre-taped parody of "We Can't Stop" that centered on the government shutdown. While singing, Miley portrayed Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Check this out:
Here's a full recap of Saturday's show.
Opening sketch: We see New York City in 2045, where a seemingly homeless "Papa Joe" (Kenan Thompson) is describing the end of civilization. How did modern civilization end? With Miley Cyrus' VMA performance, of course.
He flashes back and we get Miley's first appearance of the night. She's wearing her unitard from the VMAs. Miley's future self warns her about the performance. This gives Vanessa Bayer a chance to showcase her spot-on Miley impression. Miley's future self (Bayer) even brings current Miley a gift: "It's Molly -- the American Girl doll you keep singing about in all your songs." Jay Pharoah showcases his Will Smith impression.
Miley's lines range from "I must have smoked too much...cigarettes" to "I need some freedom to grow up and make mistakes."
Monologue: Miley promises, "There will be no twerking tonight...Now that white people are doing it, it seems kind of lame." She says she won't apologize for her VMA performance and won't portray Hannah Montana. She can, however, give us an update on Hannah Montana's life. "She was murdered," Miley says. Then, she mentions a possible "Wrecking Ball" skit -- and we get a shot of Bobby Moynihan seemingly naked on a wrecking ball. A short but sweet opening bit.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" bit: This short bit features cast members portraying awkward celebrities auditioning for the "Fifty Shades" movie. Miley delivers a fair Scarlett Johansson impression.
Girlfriends Talk Show: Miley portrays "Little Teeny," a hip-hop obsessed young adult who's appearing on a talk show with her young friends. It gives Miley a chance to shake her rear end, but the sketch sort of falls flat.
"We Did Stop (The Government)": Aside from the opening sketch, this pre-taped bit is probably the strongest bit so far. Miley portrays Michele Bachmann while singing "We Did Stop," a "We Can't Stop" parody that centers on the government shutdown. Among the lyrics: "If you're not ready for healthcare, can I get a hell no?" Taran Killam's stellar John Boehner is a highlight. I also love the "out of twerk" reference.
"Piers Morgan Live" parody: Not much to discuss here. Miley briefly portrays Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical MTV movie about Clinton's life. It's not especially memorable, but it gives Miley a chance to flaunt her midriff.
Miley sings: She performs "Wrecking Ball" while wearing...a sheer Poison jersey? Yep. And no, she doesn't rip it off mid-performance. Actually, Miley's focus on vocals is kind of refreshing.
Weekend Update: No Miley appearances during this one. I'm disappointed. On a non-Miley note, what do you guys think of Vanessa Bayer's Bar Mitzvah Boy character? Seems like we're going to see that one a lot this season.
Cheerleading skit: Miley plays the leader of a young cheerleading squad. While rehearsing a cheer, members of squad randomly get sent to another planet. Yes, you read that correctly. I wish I could say "you had to be there," but this skit just feels off. Kenan Thompson's appearance as the leader of a planet can't redeem it.
Mornin' Miami: Miley's among a trio of news hosts who appear super peppy when filming consecutive promos, but act bored, angry and drained when the camera turns off. As someone in the news business, I appreciate the concept. But the skit seems to last a little too long. Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan join Miley as hosts on the fake news desk.
Miley sings...again: We get an acoustic version of "We Can't Stop." Three male guitarists join Miley on stage. She sits on a stool and wears a white sleeveless hooded mesh getup over a white bikini top. Once again, there is no stripping involved. Glad Miley's letting her vocals stand alone.
Poetry class: Miley plays a teen who's attending a class with a guest poetry teacher played by a spastic Vanessa Bayer. Miley's character writes a poem confessing a crush on the teacher. It has its moments, but it could be better.
Final skit: It's not really even a skit. Miley (playing herself) is trying to have, um, romantic relations with new cast member Kyle Mooney. Long story short: He misses his opportunity. Seems like this short bit mainly functions as another opportunity for Miley to show her midriff.
And...we're done! What did you think?