If you weren’t born in this century, you may not be aware that Ms. Grande got her start as a teenager on the Nickelodeon show Victorious and its spin-off Sam & Cat. She played a character named “Cat Valentine”. Cat’s thing was being dim-witted, child-like, and speaking in a kind of baby voice. So yeah, totally different from the current, pouty nymphette pop star version of Ariana. Apparently it’s become a thing on TikTok for fans to lip-sync to short clips of dialogue from these kids shows.
But Ariana thinks these impressions are “degrading”, especially when the Cat dialogue is coupled with her current look: perma-ponytail, offensive levels of tanner (um, might that also be considered a degrading impression?), and oversized sweatshirts.
Last week, Jordan Firstman, some male model/actor/filmmaker/LA type posted a video about the phenomenon to Instagram, and I guess it captured Ariana’s feelings on the subject. It’s the third video in this post:
Here’s what Jordan says in the vid, titled “This is my impression of a meme”:
What if we, like, we took a moment, like a small clip from a movie or a TV show — something that, like, an artist really poured their soul into and it, like, it just took them years to make, and it was an uphill battle the entire time — what if we took a moment from that and we kind of, like, recontextualised it? Like, does that make sense? And we put a completely arbitrary meaning onto that thing that the artist loves so much? Kind of, like, degrading its entire value?
Ariana reposted the video to her Instagram story (now deleted, but of course), and wrote:
omg can this please also double as your impression of the pony tail tik tok girls who think doing the cat valentine voice and wearing winged eyeliner and a sweatshirt is going a good impersonation of me … cause this really how it feels …😭 🥺
“degrading it’s entire value” i screamed
How dare these people degrade the artistic sanctity of a Nickelodeon show from ten years ago? Ungrateful philistines! Ariana impersonator, Paige Niemann, is the likeliest target. This is Paige:
I know! Bitch does Ariana better than Ariana. She has almost 6 million followers on her TikTok, where she does the Cat lip-syncing thing. Here’s Ariana responding negatively to one of Paige’s videos in November:
i just wonder whyyyy the cat voice / dialogue. 😭 i am sure she is the sweetest sweet sweetheart forreal !! but it’s definitley bizarre seeing people blend the two worlds lmao.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 24, 2019
Well, Paige the impersonator went on Instagram Live yesterday and said that she’s “used to Ariana shading me, so whatever” and “it’s kind of why I’m not a fan of her anymore, honestly”.
— tiktokroom (@tiktokroom_) April 23, 2020
I guess Ariana doesn’t know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Do you think Queen Cher gets pissed when drag queens impersonate her iconic Bob Mackie looks from the 70s? Or the entire existence of Chad Michaels? Hell no! She says, “Thank you for the attention”, then goes back to her regular routine of threatening to retire.