A couple of years ago, The Cut interviewed Joe Sabia who is the creator and the voice of Vogue’s 73 Questions series. It’s an insightful Show Your Work discussion about how he makes it work. Like at this point I’m pretty sure most people know that this isn’t a spontaneous situation, that there’s a lot of producing that goes into these pieces but you never know, there may be a few people out there reading this who have no idea that these are rehearsed and blocked, that the questions are set in advance and that shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment of them, in fact it gives us more to appreciate.
All this was on my mind while I was watching Adele’s 73 Questions because you’ll notice, the entire time, all 18 plus minutes, her lighting is PERFECT. Which means that they would have run through the whole path of it, making sure that Joe, holding the camera, and Adele were dancing together, moving together along a coordinated path through the single take, while lobbing questions and answers at each other. Both, then, were consciously performing – and they would have done this several times, as Joe has explained in the past that they do it over and over again until they get the right take. That’s just one example of the production value that happens on these shoots and a testament to the skill of professionals who do this kind of work. It’s not anywhere near as simple as pressing the red button on your phone.
So what did we learn from Adele’s 73 (and more) Questions? I mean everyone’s going to have their own standout moments. Mine are as follows…
Tottenham Hotspur! Right off the top!
Also, Adele and I have something in common: we hate slides. She says she prefers heels over slides because she hates slides. And she’s right. We’re right. Slides are bullsh-t.
Next, as a Brit who has written and won an Oscar for a Bond song, Adele is asked to weigh in on who should be the next James Bond. Her answer is excellent: Jonathan Majors. From He Who Remains to 007? As unlikely as that would be since he’s American, I love the idea. And my petty ass is wondering how Tom Hiddleston would take it.
Speaking of petty though… Adele’s response to Prince William or Prince Harry? Prince Harry. And remember, the questions are vetted in advance. She could have chosen not to answer – but she did, and it’s consistent with what she’s said in the past. Years ago, she’d already said she’d like to hang out with Prince Harry and that clearly hasn’t changed, much to the chagrin, probably, of the royal reporters at the British tabloids who would have loved to crow about it if she had said William, but also can’t trash Adele because she’s one of the most beloved Brits. Well played, Adele.
And finally, my favourite takeaway from this and all Adele interviews, because no Adele interview is complete without a Beyoncé mention, have you noticed? Beyoncé always comes up. I wonder if Beyoncé will come up during Adele’s conversation with Oprah. For Adele, who is one of the biggest superstars in the world, Beyoncé is her personal superstar.
Speaking of superstars though, few superstars have the reach of Adele. After 24 hours, her 73 Questions already has over 4 million views. You know she’s been breaking all kinds of streaming records with “Easy On Me”, and it was just confirmed yesterday that it’s the “most-added song in radio history”. There is no doubt then that “Easy On Me” will debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 when the chart results come out on Monday. It’s just a matter of how many weeks she’ll reign. And how much bigger it’ll all become when the album drops on November 19.