... Dressed as Nintendo’s Mario
In a bizarre turn of events, a leaked document detailing the planning of the Tokyo Olympics has revealed that Lady Gaga was originally meant to make an appearance at the Opening Ceremony.
According to Bunshun, Gaga was meant to appear remotely at the ceremony dressed as beloved Nintendo character Mario. Disappearing into a green warp pipe, she would reappear IRL – only this time, it would be Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe, dressed as Gaga-as-Mario.
The stunt was presumably meant as a nod to former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s warp pipe appearance at the Rio 2016 closing ceremony. But any mention of Gaga-as-Mario’s appearance at the games was quickly scrapped.
Until last month, Nintendo was billed to have a huge presence at this year‘s Opening Ceremony, including having music from its videogames played during the procession. While the official reasons for Nintendo stepping down are unclear, some people have speculated that it’s to do with public attitudes towards the Games. A poll taken shortly before the Opening Ceremony found that 83 per cent of Japanese people didn’t want the Games to be held this summer due to COVID-19.
Others have also pointed out the number of high-profile resignations in the weeks leading up to the event, including Tokyo Olympics composer Cornelius, who stepped down after interviews from the 1990s resurfaced where Cornelius discussed his history of bullying as a student.
Gaga did, however, make a different sort of appearance at the Games in doppelgänger form. Eagle-eyed fans spotted a striking resemblance between Jordan’s Julyana Al-Sadeq, who was competing in the women’s taekwondo competition, and Gaga herself.
See Gaga’s Olympian lookalike below, and look back at her other doppelgängers here.