7 Most Shocking Moments From ‘The Idol’ Premiere

The HBO drama about a rebounding pop star from “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson scandalized Cannes audiences during its debut screening

Lily-Rose Depp in "The Idol" (HBO)

Note: This story contains spoilers from the The Idol” episode 1.

Weeks after “The Idol” scandalized the Cannes film festival as audiences witnessed the first two episodes of “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson’s new series, viewers around the world could finally experience the debauchery firsthand as the HBO series makes its debut.

Co-created and co-executive produced by Levinson, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, “The Idol” centers on pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), who attempts to reclaim the public’s attention after a nervous breakdown derailed her last tour. Jocelyn leans on Tedros (Tesfaye), a nightclub owner with a sordid past who leads her down a path of corruption.

Following its Cannes debut, reviews and commentaries poured in regarding the series’ scandalous moments filled with sexual content and nudity that many called outrageous. Several critics who screened the first two episodes called out the sex scenes as falling into male fantasies while leaving Depp’s character disempowered.

As expected from the creator of “Euphoria,” “The Idol” premiere did not fall short in terms of its shocking moments that kept us on the edge of our seats:

Chaim Locked an Intimacy Coordinator in the Bathroom for $5,000

The debut episode opened with a sultry photoshoot for Jocelyn’s new album cover, featuring a barely tied satin robe around the pop star. The set’s intimacy coordinator raises alarm bells when Jocelyn exposes her nipples — which is against her nudity rider. While the intimacy coordinator explained to Jocelyn’s team that the nudity rider must be followed to protect vulnerable parties, her team mocked the suggestion by quipping, “she looks quite vulnerable.” When the team learned that reversing the nudity rider would mean pausing the photoshoot and losing the day’s work, Jocelyn’s manager, Chaim, found a new solution: locking the intimacy coordinator in the bathroom and offering a staffer $5,000 to make sure he stays in there.  

Jocelyn Wore a Hospital Bracelet for Her Comeback Album Cover 

Referencing her recent nervous breakdown, Jocelyn donned a hospital bracelet for the photoshoot for her comeback album alongside bottles of tequila. While Xander (Troye Sivan) wondered if the bracelet could romanticize mental illness, record label executive Nikki (Jane Adams) assured him “mental illness is sexy” — adding that mental illness can be a big way for everyday consumers to relate to the pop princess.

Jocelyn Choked Herself While Pleasuring Herself

For many audiences members at Cannes, this was the moment that solidified the series’ scandalizing status. After briefly hooking up with Tedros at his nightclub and returning home solo, Jocelyn choked herself while pleasuring herself, seeming to reference how Tedros grabbed her throat while they were kissing on the dance floor. 

Jocelyn‘s Vanity Fair Interview

While speaking to a Vanity Fair journalist (Hari Nef) working on a profile of the pop star, Jocelyn told the reporter that “everyone answers to someone.” When asked who she answers to, Jocelyn replied “God,” leaving the journalist perplexed.

Jocelyn Liked Tedros’ ‘Rape-y Vibe’

After Jocelyn and Tedros’ brief rendezvous at the club, Jocelyn told her assistant/best friend Leia (Rachel Sennott) that she wanted to invite Tedros over to the house. Leia cringed slightly and told Jocelyn she thought Tedros had a “rape-y vibe,” to which Jocelyn responded that she kind of likes that.

Tedros Greeted Leia With a Kiss on the Lips — and Other Creepy Things

When Tedros arrived at Jocelyn’s house, Leia let him in while Jocelyn finished getting ready. Tedros greets Leia with a kiss on the lips, which immediately left Leia unsettled. She told him to make himself at home and he oddly responded, “are you sure?” He then continued to act strangely as he waited for Jocelyn, sniffing her furniture and practicing which variation of “hey, angel” he’d try out when meeting with Jocelyn.

Tedros Choked Jocelyn With Fabric and Whipped Out a Knife 

As Jocelyn and Tedros were flirting, drinking and listening to her new song, Tedros told her she was not singing like she “knows how to f—k,” and offered to help her out. Tedros then covered Jocelyn’s face with red fabric from her robe and tied the waistband around her neck, leading her facial features to protrude from beneath the fabric. Tedros then whipped out a knife and told Jocelyn to open her mouth from under the fabric, making a sliver opening so she could breath through her mouth. “Now you can sing,” he said before the episode ended.

Bonus: Jocelyn Was Compared to Simone Biles

While the HBO series owns up to its references to Britney Spears, this is one we couldn’t have expected. After explaining that Jocelyn’s team pushed her tour and refunded tickets amid her breakdown, her team likened her to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles for prioritizing her mental health to prepare for her next professional chapter.

“The Idol” Episode 1 is now streaming on Max.