Last week, Kanye West was announced as the musical guest on the season 44 premiere of Saturday Night Live, but as it turns out, he wasn’t part of the original plan. According to an interview with SNL creator Lorne Michaels on James Andrew Miller’s Origins podcast, Ariana Grande was scheduled to perform instead.
“We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago,” Michaels said in the interview, which was included in the podcast episode that published on Thursday. “That’s our premiere, and then Kanye West stepped up, and he’ll be there.”
Michaels didn’t elaborate on what those “emotional reasons” were and Grande hadn’t previously spoken publicly about her planned performance on the show. In addition to her previous SNL appearances, the pop star is also connected to the show through her fiancé Pete Davidson, who is a cast member.
The season 44 premiere — which will feature host Adam Driver along with West — airs Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC. West is set to drop his Yandhi album on Saturday night, though it isn’t clear whether the project will arrive before or after the show airs.