Madonna’s recent appearance on Ellen had several noteworthy moments, including Ellen’s cool anecdote about how Madonna reached out to her during the “Yep, I’m Gay” era, a dunk tank game with Madonna’s 12-year-old son Rocco, and this provocative clip where Ellen asked Madonna to comment about her fellow pop stars. How’d she do? And more importantly, do we agree? Let’s grade Madonna’s responses on a scale from 1-10.
Hit it, Ellen!
On Britney: “Good kisser. Sorry, I had to say that.”
Score: 7/10. Cheeky enough, and I’m glad she knows referencing that god-awful PR stunt is a little cringe-inducing.
On Katy Perry: “Haven’t kissed her.”
Score: 5/10. Not descriptive at all, but it accidentally alludes to Katy’s first single “I Kissed A Girl,” so I grant Madonna charity points. Couldn’t she have said something related to cupcake bras or that contrived-ass Louise Brooks haircut?
On Beyonce: “Incredible voice.”
Score: 5/10. Sincere and generous. And it’s nice to know Madonna appreciates vocal talent, because I just attended the MDNA tour, and there wasn’t a hell of a lot of vocalizing going on.
On Lady Gaga: “I know everyone’s waiting on the edge of their seat for this. I’m playing this one out… Good voice! She has actually a beautiful quote from Rilke tattooed on her arm, which I like.”
Score: 5/10. Couple of things: One, Lady Gaga actually has an excellent and distinct voice, so “good voice” feels like an understatement. Two, Madonna drew this out and appeared to be perturbed by the question, and I think it’s time for her to put the fabricated Gaga resentment to bed. Maybe “Born This Way” sounds like “Express Yourself,“ but who cares? Lady Gaga is just as self-invented as Madonna, and I’d like to see more appreciation of that obvious connection. I like the Rilke shout-out, though. If you love Madonna, you sometimes enjoy her quasi-intellectual pretension. This is one of those times for me.
On P!nk: “I like her. She’s cool.”
Score: 4/10. Nice enough appraisal, but does anyone else think P!nk’s “adolescent rebel” persona is ridiculous at this point? You can’t be a rocker outcast when you’re singing pop songs about the coolness of getting drunk at 33.
On Rihanna: “I like her too. I feel like I should be saying something more eloquent. I think she’s sexy; I like her.”
Score: 4/10 I don’t demand a treatise about Rihanna’s coolest moments, but I expected a tad more than this.
On Jennifer Lopez: “Nice ass.”
Score: 3/10 Diplomatic, but trite.
On Nicki Minaj: “Nice ass!”
Score: 4/10 Funny, slightly unexpected nothingness.
On Elton John: “Nice ass.”
Score: 6/10 Definitely diplomatic, and a funny, harmless reference to the Madonna-bashing Elton’s zaftig-ness. All right, Madonna. You’re kind of a grownup. Thumbs up.