Jennifer Hudson Sings 'Big, Blonde & Beautiful' In 'Hairspray Live!' & Perfectly Delivers Its Message Of Confidence
It may come as no great surprise that Jennifer Hudson was the perfect Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray Live! , but that confirmation of her talent on Wednesday night was a pure delight to watch. Hudson came out in fine form during the live performance, channeling all of her natural charisma and power into the iconic role of Motormouth Maybelle. It was Hudson's solo performance of "Big, Blonde, & Beautiful" that sealed the deal, proving that she was not only the right choice to play Motormouth Maybelle, but that her time spent on Broadway (she could recently be found in The Color Purple) was the perfect training ground for Hairspray Live!.
A song about loving the skin you're in, Hudson infused nothing but her big voice and bigger personality into "Big, Blond, & Beautiful." The song itself, wherein Motormouth Maybelle tells Tracy and her mother Edna that they should love and be proud of their bodies, is a powerhouse of a number. Hudson has been given the spotlight to show off her incredible vocal gymnastics before, most notably in Dreamgirls ; watching her sing the pants off of "Big, Blonde, & Beautiful" was just icing on the cake, especially for longtime fans of the singer and actress.
As the song evolves from one about confidence and empowerment into opening up the floodgates to Hairspray's bigger discussion about racism and integrating The Corny Collins Show, "Big, Blonde, & Beautiful" became as absolute showstopper of a first act number. Watching Hudson join forces with Maddie Baillio, aka Tracy, and deliver their message of acceptance not only sent chills down my spine (as a fan of the show, I knew what was about to happen) but also heartened me; this was Hudson's big moment and she did not waste it.
Image: Colleen Hayes/NBC