Ariana Grande, SNL: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

March 13, 2016

Ariana Grande was host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live, joining the ranks of music stars who have done double duty. A success? The TV critics are weighing in and you can see a roundup of reviews and video highlights right here!

Ariana Grande

As both host and musical guest, the 22-year-old Ariana Grande joined the ranks of very few over the years who have served in the double-duty role. Others include Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Drake, and Lady Gaga among others.

But unlike some, she had years of comedic acting experience behind her as the former Nickelodeon star that she was; may remember her still for her show ‘Sam & Cat’ and are just getting caught up to her rising career as a pop music star, aiming towards superstardom. In that, she’s got the advantage of a powerhouse voice and a multi-octave vocal range that draws comparisons to Mariah Carey.

In fact, she had a chance to showcase her vocal dexterity in a skit which saw her as an intern at Tidal rise to the occasion when the music streaming service was failing and perform musical impressions of Britney Spears, Celine Dion and even Whitney Houston. It was arguably one of the better skits of the night.

Her monologue had some unintended irony as she took to the stage to sing about what kind of ‘Scandal’ she might find herself in as an adult, spoofing her aforementioned child-star roots, only to be heard on a hot mic moment — uttering ‘Oh s–t!’ when she flubbed a line — and of course that’s gone viral.

And yes, not least, SNL did its best to keep up with the increasingly stranger-than-fiction — and certainly more entertaining than SNL — Presidential election. The obligatory political cold open saw Jay Pharoah’s Ben Carson endorsing Darrell Hammond’s Donald Trump with quite a bit more thrown into the mix including Larry Davis returned to reprise his more Bernie-than-Bernie-himnself impression of Sen. Bernie Sanders. He made a plea to his supporters to stop posting so much about him in social media, telling them that he is “not five-posts-a-day great.”

While coincidentally on the other channel, that one that gave Ariana Grande her current fame, the Kids’ Choice Awards were airing, SNL did its on such KCA skit. But, as noted, she’s moved on to recording artist fame, and as such, with Larry David introducing her, she performed her new single, ‘Dangerous Woman,’ the title track of her upcoming third studio album, and later, another track from the album, ‘Be Alright.’

Somehow, as always the show lumbered through its full 90 minutes of broadcast time. Was the double-duty worthy of critical acclaim? Here’s a roundup of what the critics are saying.

“…. Throw in an appearance in the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards sketch and the episode bordered on too-innocuous at times, but Grande certainly carried off her dual chores for the night better than expected. Credit where it’s due. …..” — A.V. Club

“…. Ariana was really strong as a host, and we feel like there’s a lot to like in here. Sure, not all of it probably has replay value, but for a one-off watching experience it delivered. Grade: A-……” — CarterMatt

“….The “Break Free” singer proved so versatile and consistently amusing throughout this week’s telecast, that she’s almost certain to be invited back to Studio 8H — where she’ll face the challenge of fending off a sophomore slump. …..” — TV Line

“….This will be remembered as the “Saturday Night Live” in which Kate McKinnon‘s Hillary Clinton was so eager to please, she morphed into Bernie Sanders — after Larry David turned up again as Bernie Sanders, too. Meanwhile Jay Pharaoh’s Ben Carson took a beating while trying to endorse Donald Trump (Darrell Hammond).

Additionally, host/musical guest Ariana Grande accidentally said “s–t” during a song about what scandal she would someday commit…..” — The Wrap

Yes, another episode has come and gone, to find its second life in viral video perpetuity…or not! Watch highlights below from last night’s SNL with double-duty host and musical guest Ariana Grande!

Pictures: PR Photos

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