Saturday Night Live's first episode of 2022 was scheduled to feature rapper Roddy Ricch as the musical guest, with West Side Story star Ariana DeBose hosting. Unfortunately for Ricch's fans, he had to withdraw from the show after he was exposed to COVID. Bleachers, the indie band headlined by Jack Antonoff, will perform instead.
"Due to recent COVID exposure on my team and to keep everyone safe, I won't be able to perform on SNL this weekend," Ricch wrote in an Instagram Story post Wednesday. "I'm working with the SNL team to lock in a new date though! Love... Stay Safe." This was set to be Ricch's first appearance on SNL.
See you Saturday! pic.twitter.com/pK3BjxbZcH— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) January 12, 2022
The SNL team did not have to look far for a replacement act. A few moments after Ricch shared his statement, the show posted an updated photo for Saturday's lineup, including Bleachers as the musical guest. Bleachers is fronted by Antonoff, who previously appeared on SNL in 2012 as a member of the band fun. In March 2017, Antonoff performed with Lorde when Scarlett Johansson hosted.
Antonoff founded Bleachers in 2014 and has released three albums under the name. The latest is Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, which was released in July 2021. The album includes the singles "45," "Chinatown," "Stop Making This Hurt," and "How Dare You Want More."
SNL Season 47 had been coasting along smoothly until the last episode of 2021. Due to the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Lorne Michaels and his team put together a unique episode. Paul Rudd still hosted and was inducted into the Five Timers Club, but Michael Che and Kenan Thompson were the only cast members who remained on set. Tina Fey and Tom Hanks, who happened to be there for Rudd's Five Timers induction, made guest appearances and helped introduce past holiday sketches. Fey and Che also did Weekend Update together. Charli XCX canceled her musical performances, although she still appeared in a pre-taped sketch.
SNL airs Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC previously announced plans to air new SNL episodes of Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 as well. Episodes will stream live on Peacock at the same time as the broadcasts.