It’s every producer’s worst nightmare. Everything’s going well, everyone’s done what they needed to do… and suddenly an uninvited guest comes along to potentially spoil the party, live on TV.
Yes, whether it’s a disgruntled awards show loser, an overzealous protester or just a future superstar DJ with a pineapple on his head, a stage invasion is one of those water-cooler moments that get everyone talking.
Here are just 14 of the most shocking and memorable examples…
- In what has undeniably gone down as one of the most shocking moments in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ history, Natalie Holt crashed Richard and Adam’s performance back in 2012 and attempted to pelt Simon Cowell with eggs.
She later wrote in The Guardian: “My actions were intended as a non-violent, egg-based protest because I think Cowell has too much power and influence in the entertainment industry. I also just wanted to make him look a bit silly.
“I hoped it would come across as a British panto-style jape, which might also generate some more serious debate.”
You know what they say, all good “serious debates” start with a nice bit of egg-flinging.
- In a move that would go on to define both Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s careers, the ‘Gold Digger’ rapper appeared on stage after Taylor’s ‘You Belong With Me’ was named Best Female Video at the VMAs.
This was the moment he declared the immortal line: “Taylor I’m really happy for you, and I’mma let you finish… but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. Of all time.”
Beyoncé was later honoured with Video Of The Year, and invited Taylor to return to the stage to complete her acceptance speech, as she had been left unable to complete it first time around.
- Kanye’s moment somewhat took the heat off rapper Lil Mama, who also stormed the stage at the VMAs that very same night.
Hers wasn’t an act of defiance, though, she actually just hopped up to bust a move while Jay Z and Alicia Keys performed ‘Empire State Of Mind’.
She later offered by way of explanation: “’Empire State of Mind’ had my emotions running high. In that moment I came up onstage to celebrate my two icons singing about NY.”
- Everyone remembers him crashing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, but few remember he’d actually done the same thing years prior.
At the EMAs in 2006, Kanye was so upset that Justice’s ‘We Are Your Friends’ beat ‘Touch The Sky’ in the category of Best Video that he stormed the stage, insisting that he should have won it instead.
“If I don’t win, the awards show loses credibility”, he claimed.
- Kanye got a taste of his own medicine in 2015, when comedian Lee Nelson stormed the stage during his headlining slot at Glastonbury (though he was removed so quickly, it barely registered with the rap star).
Lee tweeted afterwards: “I Kanye’d Kanye. That was for you @taylorswift13.”
- Like Kanye, Lee had form, though, and back in 2014, he ran on while eight-piece boyband Stereo Kicks were performing (as if there weren’t already enough people on the stage already) and briefly danced away to himself while they gave an earnest rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘You Are Not Alone’.
While we don’t endorse ruining anyone’s time on stage, there’s no getting away from the fact it was the most energy seen from a Stereo Kicks performance throughout their time in the competition.
- Sorry, Lee Nelson, but when we think ‘X Factor’ stage invasions, there’s only one name that springs to mind: Calvin Harris.
Long before he became a global name, Calvin disrupted the Irish twins while they performed on ‘The X Factor’, trying to blend in by holding a pineapple on his head.
He was later thrown out of the studio, and banned from ‘The X Factor’ by Simon Cowell.
- The King of Pop appearing at the Brit Awards should have been one of the most iconic moments in the ceremony’s history, but it wound up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
What should have been a serious and heartfelt rendition of ‘Earth Song’ quickly descended into chaos, when Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker decided to rush onto the stage, taking exception with MJ’s portrayal of himself as a “Christ-like” figure.
Jarvis was later arrested – and subsequently released without charge – when he was accused of hurting three of the children on stage.
- Like the VMAs, the Brits have been home to many a stage invasion, though none were as cringey as Brandon Block back in 2000.
After what can only be described as “a few too many sherries”, Brandon’s pals somehow convinced him he’d won an award, eventually leading to him staggering his way onto the stage, where he quickly came to blows with Ronnie Wood, who was presenting an actual award at the time.Awks.
- With all the topics they cover, it takes a lot to stop a ‘Loose Woman’ in her tracks, but protest group Fathers 4 Justice managed it in 2016, when in the middle of a discussion about Coleen Nolan’s fitness regime, they were heard chanting: “No kids no cash.”
Video was quickly pulled, though it was only a few seconds before the protesters were removed, to which Coleen joked: “Excuse me, can we get back to me?”
- Arguably the most exciting moment at the 2017 final of ‘The Voice’, the aspiring rapper stormed the stage holding a message up to the cameras, though he was pulled off the set by security so quickly that most people didn’t get the chance to read it.
- The inclusion of Ryan Lochte on the 2016 series of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ was particularly controversial, given that he’d just been given a 10-month ban from swimming over a fabricated incident during the Rio Olympics earlier in the year.
Determined that viewers shouldn’t let him move on from the matter, anti-Lochte protesters stormed the stage during his first live show, though they never actually made it onto camera.
- Yes, even Eurovision has been home to a stage invader. Is nothing sacred?Spanish star Daniel Diges’s performance in 2010 was already so surreal and bizarre, it hardly seemed surprising when streaker Jimmy Jump sidled his way onto the stage.
Unlike his past media appearances, he kept his clothes on this time, instead just joining in the choreography as Daniel sang for his country.
- During the 2016 series of ‘X Factor’, producers wound up calling the police after five men made their way onto the stage while Honey G was performing. Although she managed to keep her cool at the time, a spokesperson at the time said she had been “shaken” by the incident.
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