Let’s Grade Maya Rudolph’s Nicki/Rihanna/Gwen Impressions, Shall We?

maya-ellen-impersonation
Posted on 04/12/2012 at 3:44 PM

Related To: Videos

The Popdust Files: ellen degeneres, gwen stefani, maya rudolph, nicki minaj, rihanna

Let’s take some time out of this fine afternoon to pluck some fluff from the talk-show cushions, shall we? Here’s SNL comedian and generally awesome Maya Rudolph on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, playing to her strengths by impersonating people. Specifically, she’s impersonating pop artists and their voices, while Ellen tries to guess who they are–which is completely pointless given that she’s holding up photos of their face, but let’s just play along. The video’s below, and the impressions start about a minute in:

Ellen did pretty well! But did Maya? Having watched the thing, we can’t exactly guess who they are. We can, however, critique! Let’s do it.

NICKI MINAJ: Helium-addled voice, guttural voice, vaguely British voice. That’s maybe a sliver of Nicki’s repertoire, but it’s a pretty big sliver. A-

RIHANNA: Not quite a match for Rihanna; Maya’s a little perkier, a little less sullen. Basically, she’s Rita Ora. Eh. B-

GWEN STEFANI: …Generic vocal quirks? This could be Gwen, but it could just as easily Hayley Williams or Marina Diamandis as Gwen Stefani (who’s got a fairly varied vocal repertoire herself.) If this were charades, it’d be like performing, say, Rick Ross as “sounds like albatross” and flapping your wings a lot. C-

OVERALL: Not bad. Leaves us wanting a certain something, though. Could we get Nicki Minaj on the show to do this next? She’s already got a dead-on Angela Lansbury.

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