Grande, a noted vocal chameleon, pressed the “Random Genre Generator” button and received Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” in a “goth-rock” style, which she interpreted as Evanescence (“like Hot Topic shopping goth”). Later, she closed with a cover more firmly in her wheelhouse: a Nineties “diva” take on Drake’s trap-infused “God’s Plan.”
Fallon opened with a ska version of Ed Sheeran’s tropical-pop hit “Shape of You,” dancing around the stage and barking the lyrics as the Roots’ “Captain” Kirk Douglas laid down a greasy guitar lick. Later on, the host faced a tougher road with a country version of Usher’s Lil Jon-produced, 2004 R&B-crunk smash “Yeah!” After an aborted attempt at an upbeat line dance, he switched gears and asked the Roots to channel Johnny Cash in his Rick Rubin era, via the brooding “Hurt.” “I was out in the club with my homie,” he nearly spoke-sang.
Later in the episode, Grande performed the dramatic television debut of her new single “No Tears Left to Cry.” She opened the song by crooning flat on the ground, but she rose to her feet after the airy, ambient intro, frolicking around an ornate stage set.