Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey’s Duet Is Everything We Hoped For

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
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This week:

Belt That Song With Your Chest, And?

I didn’t expect anyone to find a way to make a new Ariana Grande bop that samples Madonna’s “Vogue,” with a music video that references Paula Abdul, any gayer and/or appeal directly to me. But a remix arrived Friday of “yes, and?” that features Mariah Carey belting lyrics like “say that shit with your chest” alongside Grande. If these two ever perform the track live together, I might have a minor cardiac episode. (I’m exaggerating. But I will be very excited.)

“Mariah Carey sings alongside other powerhouse vocalists” is my favorite genre of pop culture. The original VH1 Divas Live concert is a religious work in this house, and it’s worshiped as such. And while the jaw-dropping finale riff-off with Carey, Aretha Franklin, Céline Dion, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan, and Carole King is rightfully iconic, the true vocal highlight is Carey’s duet of “Chain of Fools” with Franklin.

Naturally, Carey’s Oscar-winning duet with Whitney Houston, “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt, has been brutalized by yours truly countless times, as I squawk and warble it throughout the apartment. I’ve also spent a shameful number of nights chasing down YouTube bootlegs of the pair singing it on The Oprah Winfrey Show, a performance that is as awkward as it is glorious.

Gif of Mariah Carey performing with Ariana Grande

This also isn’t the first time Carey and Grande have collaborated. Grande and Jennifer Hudson joined Carey for a rendition of her holiday hit “Oh Santa” in 2021, a Holy Trinity of vocals that should have catapulted that track to the top of holiday charts each year alongside “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

There’s one more Carey collaboration that I’m clamoring for after watching this year’s Grammy Awards. The lovefest between Miley Cyrus and Carey—two M.C.’s—was so nice to watch, when Carey presented Cyrus with her first Grammy Award. Carey joining a remix of “Flowers” sounds so right to me.

Defying Gravity…and My Cynicism

I still can’t believe the Wicked movie is happening.

Universal Pictures announced the film in 2016, with a release date of Dec. 19, 2020. By the time it hits theaters this Thanksgiving, four years will have passed since then. The lifetimes that have been lived in those four years! The pandemic! The Donald Trump indictments! Eight Taylor Swift albums! All my gray hairs!

Even as casting started to happen for the film—Ariana Grande will play Galinda/Glinda, Cynthia Erivo will play Elphaba, and Jonathan Bailey will play Fiyero—it seemed like those announcements were more fantasy than reality. Even when videos from the set leaked, confirming that Wicked really was filming, it still seemed like a tease, especially once production was shut down again during the Hollywood strikes.

Ariana Grande in her Wicked role as Galinda/Glinda and Cynthia Erivo will play Elphab
Screenshot from Twitter/X

The first trailer for the film premiered during the Super Bowl. I’m still in denial. Yes, there was Grande in her pink Glinda dress. Erivo certainly was green. Bailey, in his one frame of the trailer, was so dreamy-looking, I audibly sighed. The clip even concludes with Erivo’s final “Defying Gravity” riff. All signs, then, point to this being a real thing, that is really coming out. I have visions of showing up for the first press screening and the projector not working in the theater or something. Eight years of skepticism takes a toll on a person!

The Real Housewives of Prison

It has somehow been a full year since Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah went to prison. Time has become completely intangible to me, so I have no idea if that sounds outrageous or absolutely right. Nonetheless, Shah commemorated (?) the occasion with an exclusive People essay, as one is, I guess, wont to do when they’re a celebrity who has spent a year in prison.

There’s some interesting stuff in her piece, which could be viewed as inspiring self-reflection or cynical PR, depending on the reader. You can read it—and see the first official photo taken of Shah since incarceration, while participating in a Barbie-themed hair pageant (?!?!)—here.

Here We Go Again!

Gay marriage was legalized in Greece this week, and a resounding number of the people I follow on social media had the same, urgent thought: Mamma Mia 3. It’s time.

What to see this week:

Young Sheldon: The show, now in its final season, is so much better than it gets credit for. (Thurs. on CBS)

Ghosts: This remains one of the most delightful comedies on TV. (Thurs. on CBS)

Land of Bad: Russell Crowe stars in the bro-iest bro-fest that ever bro’d. (Now in the theaters)

What to skip this week:

One Love: The Bob Marley biopic is such a mess. (Now in theaters)

Madame Web: And speaking of movies that are a huge mess… (Now in theaters)

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