After days of fans anticipating his performance on Saturday Night Live, Roddy Ricch is no longer able to hit the stage as scheduled on the famous nighttime sketch comedy series. The rapper, 23, has been exposed to COVID-19, forcing him to back out of the show. In his place are Bleachers. The announcement came via his Instagram story on Wednesday, Jan. 12, sharing that a member of his team was exposed.
"Due to recent Covid exposure on my team and to keep everyone safe I won't be able to perform on SNL this weekend," he wrote. "I'm working with the SNL team to lock in a new date though." Ricch was first announced as musical guest weeks ago. He was initially scheduled to perform on the first episode of the new year. That episode was scheduled to be hosted by West Side Story's Ariana DeBose.
The show announced via Twitter the same day as Ricch's cancellation that Bleachers, an indie-pop band by Jack Antonoff, is taking Ricch's spot. "The hardest attempt to date of taking the sadness out of Saturday night," they wrote, adding, "bleachers are the first musical guest of 2022 on @nbcsnl!"
The move comes amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in New York where SNL films. They had to have a quieter show on Dec. 18 with a limited cast and crew as a result of the COVID-19 surge. Paul Rudd hosted the show for his fifth time.
Charli XCX was the musical guest on Rudd's episode but had to cancel her set. The singer, 29, was scheduled to perform her latest single "New Shapes" with Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek. Her appearance was called off within hours of the episode's start time, leaving no musical guest.
Despite Ricch's absence and the replacement, DeBose's hosting marks her SNL debut. She's a Broadway veteran, with credits in major productions including Hamilton and A Bronx Tale.