In case you missed it, Taylor Swift’s return to the awards show stage via the 2018 American Music Awards was literally on fire. But the real star of the show wasn’t Swift—sorry, T—it was her snake, who is apparently named “Karyn.”
The giant cobra that Swift traveled around the country with during her Reputation tour—a not-so-subtle nod at the “snake” nickname Kim Kardashian gave her in the wake of their now-infamous leaked phone call—made an appearance onstage at the AMAs, and Twitter agreed that the reptile hands down won the night. Earlier this year, Swift revealed to a fan that the snake’s name is “Karyn” (with a “y”—very important), and “Karyn” began trending Tuesday shortly after the performance had finished.
“This performance was honestly everything. Just a few years ago Taylor was taunted by the entire world and repeatedly called a snake, tonight when Karyn rose so did Taylor and her confidence #TaylorAMAs #AMAs,” wrote one user.
Another fan pointed to the similarities between Swift’s Balmain red carpet look earlier in the night and Karyn’s actual scales.
It seems even Swift recognized Karyn’s unmatched popularity. Shortly after her performance, Swift took to Instagram Stories, reposting a Buzzfeed story about Karyn, captioning it with a thank-you to fans for “liking [her] duet with Karyn.”
Swift’s performance comes just days after her rare public political statement, in which she took to social media to endorse the Democratic candidates for Tennessee’s Senate and House of Representatives races—in turn, upsetting conservative men. Ahead of the show, fans wondered whether her choice to sing “I Did Something Bad” at the AMAs was somehow related to her political message.
“It just dawned on me that Taylor Swift is the opening performer at the American Music Awards tomorrow. Awards show ratings have been dismal in recent years. Ironic that she’s never been political before, but decides to be right before the AMAs,” wrote one fan. “Taylor revealed her political stance and set the United States on fire. She will sing “I did something bad” iconic, fabulous, winning as always and destroying careers. The world is not ready for this,” shared another.