Miley Cyrus Only Strips Down Her Songs (And Looks Back At The VMAs) On Saturday Night Live

Miley Cyrus was the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night. Cyrus gamely lampooned the Tea Party in the night’s sketches, but then she shocked everyone with her musical performances. How? Because she didn’t do anything shocking! Instead of twerking on teddy bears or making out with a hammer, Miley sang an emotional “Wrecking Ball” with a full backing band and did a beautiful acoustic version of “We Can’t Stop.”

Ever since her raunchy performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus has been gleefully courting more and more controversy with her performances.  Miley kicked off her Saturday Night Live hosting gig by poking fun of her VMA performance in a sketch that showed “old” Miley Cyrus (as played by Vanessa Bayer) warning “new” Miley not to do her performance. The sketch also featured Taran Killam as a slightly creepy Robin Thicke, Jay Pharoah as Will Smith and Bobby Moynihan as an upset teddy bear.

If Miley quipped that her VMA performances weren’t about the vocals, it was probably because her later SNL musical performances actually were about the vocals. Cyrus flipped the script last night and gave us two excellent musical performances that reminded us of why she’s a pop star in the first place: she can sing.

First, she sang her current single, “Wrecking Ball,” while wearing clothes. I mean, yes, she was wearing a mesh jersey, so you could see her underwear, but given everything that we saw in her recent Terry Richardson shoot, Cyrus looked quite demure.

Later in the night, Cyrus wore a white mesh hoodie-thing while singing “We Can’t Stop.” She was accompanied only by three acoustic guitars and killed it on the vocals.

Cyrus’s decision to strip down her songs instead of herself was a wise one. It was certainly not what the audience expected from her, but it also showcased how good those songs are and how great her vocals can be.

Saturday Night Live returns next weekend. Bruce Willis will host and Katy Perry will be the musical guest.

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Parodies Both Hillary Clinton And Michele Bachmann On Saturday Night Live

[Photo Credit: NBC]