Madonna was on The Late Late Show Wednesday night to do Carpool Karaoke, and she made a solid case for herself as a top-tier practitioner of the genre. Here’s why:
1) She is not afraid to spill the tea
The interview segments of Carpool Karaoke are traditionally a time for friendly, low-stakes chitchat: Michelle Obama misses riding in the front seat of her car; Selena Gomez is into ginger shots. But “Bitch I’m” Madonna has no time for that. If she’s not shocking the world, why did she even get out of bed?
So when James Corden threw her a softball question about what it was like to hang out with Michael Jackson, Madonna paused between their renditions of “Ray of Light” and “Music,” to give him her best sex eyes and purr, “You want me to kiss and tell then, don’t you?”
Rapidly, an astounded Corden established the following: (a) Madonna and Michael Jackson kissed; (b) it was full-on tongue kissing; (c) Madonna has never told the press about this before.
“I mean, baby, I’ve been around,” Madonna said.
2) She pushes the limits of chair dancing
Madonna is not here for your “seat belts” or your “enthusiastically waving your hands around in a safety-conscious manner.” Safety restrictions and cramped vehicles be damned: She’s going to dance.
Halfway through “Vogue” she had her seat belt unbuckled, and by the end of the song she was propping her stilettos on the car ceiling. For “Bitch I’m Madonna” she got up to twerk. For “Music,” she climbed halfway out of the car window. Top that, Lady Gaga.
3) Her hits are road-trip-friendly
The most consistently charming part of Carpool Karaoke is watching celebrities act like normals who are stuck in traffic, and Madonna’s oeuvre is perfect for some good old-fashioned road trip sing-alongs. You want to belt a power ballad? Hit “Papa Don’t Preach” or “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” You want a classic party anthem? “Express Yourself” is waiting for you. And truly, Madonna was all of us as she used her Carpool Karaoke experience to perfect her “Don’t Cry for Me” hand placement and enthusiastically head banged to “Express Yourself.”
Look out, Adele: You’ve got a challenger to your title as the queen of Carpool Karaoke.