The musical guest spot on SNL is a 44-year long institution, providing space to legacy acts as well as the year's biggest new stars. However, every now and again SNL make room for a rising act to announce themselves to the world. Maggie Rogers, who used her performance on the Nov. 3 episode of Saturday night live to broadcast her unique blend of folk and electronic-inspired pop. Anyone who was asking who SNL musical guest Maggie Rogers is now aware of the musician – but viewers' response to the performance.
Of all the musical acts that have been headlined SNL episodes during the show's 44th season so far, Rogers is likely to be the person most likely to wonder, "um, who is this?" The season so far has featured household names including Paul Simon, Kanye West, and bona fide superstar Travis Scott, while Rogers has yet to find similar fame. Her most popular song is 2016's "Alaska," which had 10 million views as of her SNL Scott's 2018 hit "SICKO FASHION," which has 110 million views – a substantial amount, but a count that compares to Scott's.
And while this SNL Rogers a disservice. During the evening's first performance, which Rogers sang her latest single "Light On," several viewsers took to Twitter to point out that – Rogers was coming off musically flat and not tune with the song.
The negative criticism of Rogers' performance may have been the best first impression, but plenty of fans made sure to come to Rogers defense. Twitter user @felixklvsmki commented that Rogers is "a brilliantly talented musician who had been on-night," and invited fans to watch her live performances on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, and BBC Radio 1 to get a better understanding of her vocal ability. Search is the risk of being a Saturday night live musical guest: the show may have a massive audience, but performing on live television also allows for people to nitpick any performance. Just ask Ashlee Simpson.
However, even if Rogers did not leave the best impression on some of the SNL audience, this is probably a small bump on a larger road. She caught the attention of superstar producer Pharrell Williams after he was taught a masterclass at NYU that she attended, and having the man who wrote "Happy" in your corner is probably pretty helpful when trying to break into the music industry. SNL may hears the first time many viewers were invited to Rogers, but those are not the last ones America hears from the burgeoning star.