In the last few weeks, there have been two major theater productions on network TV. The first was Fox's Rocky Horror Picture Show, which starred Victoria Justice and Ryan McCartan. And now, there's NBC's Hairspray, starring Dove Cameron, among others.
Since their much publicized split, Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan have been the talk of Hollywood. After dating for years, then getting engaged, the two shocked the world by abruptly ending their relationship and going separate ways. After the split, both have been relatively quiet about their dating lives and have focused on their work.
Ryan did an excellent job in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, where he played Brad Majors. In the production, he sang nearly half a dozen songs, along with his co-stars. While Rocky didn't end up being broadcast live, it had all of the vibe of a live theater show. Nevertheless, it seemed to lack energy, and although Ryan has an excellent voice, the show didn't appear to give him the opportunity to shine.
Rocky was panned by many critics, including Sonia Saraiya of Variety, who said this:
This version of "Rocky Horror" is flat and Disney-fied. Perhaps this is just another stop on the lifecycle of alternative culture, as it makes its way to the mainstream, commodified and cut to pieces along the way. This film feels deracinated, transplanted from the community that cultivated it out of a sense of shared understanding and survival into a sterile, empty soundstage.
In contrast, Hairspray provided Dove Cameron with an excellent opportunity to showcase her beautiful voice. She sang "Mama, I'm a big girl now" amazingly -- so well that many are arguing that she stole the show from Arianna Grande. Here's what E! had to say about Dove's performance:
Don't kill us for saying this, Arianators, but she even managed to out-sing Grande. Listen, Ariana sounded great (and our bodies are literally in no way ready for her outrageous closing duet with Jennifer Hudson), but Dove was the true star of this song. And that's not even taking her late-show number "Cooties" into account.
Other publications had similar thoughts about Dove's work.
So who sang it better? To us, it was clearly Dove Cameron. Although both are good singers, and have done impressive duets together, Dove stood out in Hairspray in a way that Ryan could not.
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