Ariana Grande Performs During ‘SNL’ Season 40 Premiere Episode

Ariana Grande got a plum performance spot on television Saturday night, as the musical guest for the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. The long-running sketch comedy series is in its 40th year on the air, so anticipation was heightened for both the music and the comedy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ratings for this year’s debut were down from the premiere of Season 39, although the final numbers are not yet in. The same publication noted Ariana’s appearance in an early sketch in the program, where a boy’s super hero toys come to life. One of those heroes was She-Ra, ably portrayed by a sword-swinging Grande.

As for the night’s musical highlights — including Grande and host Chris Pratt, who showed his chops on guitar and rapped in one sketch — Billboard writer Erin Strecker praised Grande’s unique version of her hit song “Break Free.”

“She started the number sitting on a piano, wearing cat ears (duh) and a bedazzled ear piece singing a gorgeous ballad version of the song. About 90 seconds in, she got up and moved to another stage — where she then performed the hit complete with dancing and a back-up crew.”

Strecker also noted Grande’s second number, during which “Grande’s pipers were on display as she ‘oh-oh-ohhh’ her way through the steamy track.”

People framed her performance as Grande bringing her “mini-Mariah vocal chops” and “occasionally questionable enunciation.” On that last point, writer Alex Heigl referred to a Gawker piece from this summer that highlighted Grande’s sometimes unclear lyrical pronunciation.

Hitfix had guarded praise for the stripped-down version of Break Free, but noted Grande was giving both a physical performance and a vocal one.

“Honestly, this was not Grande’s best live performance of the song (that major belt went a bit sour). Perhaps too much choreography distracted her? In any case, there are very few modern day divas who can come close to the level of dancing and singing at the same time. So, she’ll always get bonus points for that.”

As for Ariana, she remained positive about the experience. She tweeted her excitement at being on the show and her gratitude for the opportunity.

You can watch a video below of the second performance of Grande’s. It was a version of “Love Me Harder,” featuring The Weeknd.

Ariana Grande recently performed at the VMAs, demonstrating her status as a major pop star.

[Ariana Grande Image: Google]

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