When Christina Aguilera tweeted she planned to give the gays everything they want when asked about her Las Vegas residency, I, a dedicated gay fan, was not fully prepared for just how much she would deliver on that promise.
Well after seeing The Xperience at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater not once, but twice (for research), I am happy to report Xtina’s gay icon status is still in excellent standing.
The Xperience brings to the stage everything Xtina fans love about the six-time Grammy winner—that booming voice, over-the-top glam, empowering anthems, bops, and her embrace of the LGBTQ community which helped her reach gay icon status. So without further ado, I bring you seven of the show’s best moments.
1. When She Sings “Your Body”
Xtina’s fans have been asking for a live performance of “Your Body” from 2012’s Lotus since Obama was in office. Before Xtina emerges from a giant silvery lotus, you hear her belt out “I think you already know my name” and then you hear all of the gays lose their shit.
2. When She Tributed The Divas Before Her
Aguilera gets the party started with her spin on Donna Summer’s 1977 hit “I Feel Love.” Later in the show, she plays a clip of Cher’s iconic interview where she tells her mom, “I am a rich man.” And to really drive it home, she delivers a powerful performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Love the Lord” from The Preacher’s Wife, a song she tells the crowd she auditioned with to get her record deal. Nippy would be proud.
3. When She Let Her Queer Dancer Go Off
For a performance of “Glam” from 2010’s Bionic, Xtina lets one of her dancers be the star. In the clip above, narrated by Demi Lovato (“Fuck me up!”), Dancer Tramon sashays in a fierce latex number and makes his sexy back up dancers snap for the kids. It’s absolutely everything and intersectional AF.
4. When She Sings “Reflection”
Aguilera tells the audience the Xperience is a safe space and an opportunity for everyone to take off the mask they wear to hide their true selves from the world. Then, for the first time in nearly two decades, she sings “Reflection” from Disney’s Mulan belting out the lines “Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?” and “When will my reflection show who I am inside?” making me feel proud of how far I’ve come from the terrified teen to the flourishing homosexual I am today. Plus, Xtina just sounds damn amazing here.
5. When She Gets Vain…Bitch!
Jusice for Bionic was finally served during the Xperience. As Xtina said so herself, that album was ahead of its time. Listen to the gays gag when she performs “Vanity” for the first time, hits them with a Burlesque moment, and then slaps them with the iconic “Lady Marmalade.” Let us glue our wigs back down, girl!
6. When She Empowers Women
Xtina dedicates a whole set in the show to putting her middle finger up to the patriarchy. Last year’s Grammy-nominated duet with Demi Lovato “Fall in Line” and Peaches’ “Boys Wanna Be Her” serve as the soundtrack to a montage of images of women at marches and words of empowerment (“Girls Matter,” “Brave,” and “Respect Resistance”) which was followed by a sickening Grimes-remixed version of “Can’t Hold Us Down” and Liberation’s “Sick of Sittin’” with Xtina telling the crowd, “We don’t need anyone telling us what to do.” Preach!
7. When She Shows Her Pride
Following the one-two punch of “Beautiful” and “Fighter,” Xtina closed the show with enough rainbow confetti to cause a Pride March organizer to worry there may be a shortage. The singer wished the audience a Happy Pride Month while Lotus’ “Let There Be Love” played.