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Saturday Night Live report card: Ariana Grande stars in one of the season's best

It was a surprisingly great episode

Well, shit.

Ariana Grande, who took on the difficult task of hosting and performing both musical acts during Saturday Night Live last night, started the show by letting that swear word slip during her opening monologue.

Although the actress turned singer turned pop sensation quickly recovered from the slip, it was a noticeable mistake that plenty of people called attention to online.

Despite starting the show off on the wrong foot, Grande proved to be an asset to the episode, nailing every skit she was included in and delivering powerful musical performances. The most notable of which included her renditions of classic songs from other female vocal powerhouses during a sketch where she has to work for Tidal. From Britney Spears to Christina Aguilera, Grande hit each note with an enthusiasm and energy that hasn't been seen on a sketch like that since Bruno Mars' appearance on the show in 2012.

It's the type of performance that requires a performer to be able to interject moments of comedic acting while focusing most of their attention on hitting the impersonation they're taking on.

Grande managed to get through it with ease, and although it was her defining performance of the evening, it was by no means the only good one she delivered.

Her impression of Jennifer Lawrence was also one of the night's highlights during SNL's fan favorite Celebrity Family Feud.

Although the announcement of Grande's hosting didn't inspire much confidence in SNL fans, she was the takeaway of the night and it was her various performances that made the episode one of the season's most surprising.

Best sketch: Tidal

In the sketch, Grande plays Chloe, an intern for streaming service Tidal who's forced to perform a medley of hits from various pop stars after the company suffers system failures. If it sounds at all familiar, it's essentially the exact same sketch that Bruno Mars performed in 2012, just switch out Tidal for Pandora and female vocalists for male vocalists. Voila!

Despite the extreme similarities, however, Grande knocked the sketch out of the park and brought a refreshing take to the concept.

It was a smart move for the writers to include it, as it plays up the singer's strengths without having to coach her. Grande has proven before —€” during appearances on late night shows like the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon —€” that she can do these kinds of impersonations and do them well. This was just another example of how easy it is for her to take on the tone of another singer.

Come for her take on Britney, but stay for her killer performance as Christina Aguilera.

Runner up: Celebrity Family Feud

Most of the time, hosts are required to try and do an impression of another actor or musician, but they tend to fall a little flat.

Grande was tasked with impersonating Jennifer Lawrence, and not only did she carry off the, "I'm too cool" demeanor that Lawrence has come to be famous for, but she also manages to sound exactly like the actress.

Although the writing for the sketch wasn't up to par with what it could have been, Grande was a strong presence. As was Jay Pharoah, whose impression of Idris Elba was one of the night's funniest. He didn't have much material to work with, as has been the issue this entire season, but his performance was spot on.

Most surprising: This Is Not a Feminist Song

This digital short could have gone two different ways: it was either going to be a biting take that brought attention to feminist issues or it was going to fall flat and come off as insulting. Luckily, the short fell into the former category.

The ladies of SNL have been doing these musical digital shorts for a little while now, and each one seems to be better than the last.

Aidy Bryant, one of the most underused comedians on SNL, was the best part of the short, and it's something I'd like to see the show explore even more than they already have.

Worst sketch: Mermaids

Mermaids, one of the weirdest sketches of the night, would have been much better suited at the end of the episode instead of the beginning.

It's the type of sketch that can get away with being weird if it's tucked away, but it was placed higher up and I still don't quite understand why.

Mermaids uses antiquated jokes that aren't funny anymore, and even worse, are performed by comedians who obviously don't believe in the lines they're delivering. It was stale and failed to evoke much laughter out of the audience when it was on. Not quite sure how this one made it past dress rehearsal.

Saturday Night Live returns April 2 with Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage hosting. He'll be joined by Gwen Stefani as the musical guest.

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