Good morning exclusively to Céline Dion, the woman for whom every day is the Met Gala, the beltress who won a Pulitzer Prize for Living Dramatically, the artist whose picture is the only thing on Tilda Swinton’s vision board. Bonjour also to Céline Dion’s extremely Céline Dion carpool karaoke video, 14 minutes of exuberant vehicular randomness that should both elevate the form and also serve as its closing chapter. Au revoir singing in cars at the top of your lungs; Céline Dion has sent you (and us) to conceptual heaven.
The Late Late Show with James Corden should be commended for continually finding new ways to delight with its deceptively simple segment. The premise is basically: James Corden and a famous musician (or MICHELLE OBAMA) sing along to songs in the car, giving James Corden the opportunity to casually remind people that he has “straight dude in high school who would always get cast as the second lead in the musicals but also did debate and played soccer” energy. There is little that’s more fascinating to watch than James Corden occasionally performing a small vocal flex on a multiple Grammy winner like he’s Deena Jones in Dreamgirls trying to remind Effie White what the score is. And it’s not without merit; he’s got musicality. His harmony on “I Drove All Night”? As they say in Canada, “le chef kiss.” I have decided to stan.
Fortunately for him, and for us, he’s met his scene-stealing match in Céline Dion, a woman who could play all the roles in Dreamgirls like that time Cher did all of West Side Story and I wouldn’t even be mad about it. (Cancel me for that if you must; Céline will break me out of jail.)
The way it usually works on Carpool Karaoke is that James Corden pretends to pick up a celebrity, he asks if they want to listen to some music like this is a high school hookup, and then they start singing along, Glee-style. What happens in this video is Céline Dion is barely buckled in before she starts randomly spouting lyrics like there’s been a glorious glitch in the code of the website Genius.com
“Do you like living in Vegas,” Corden asks.
“I live where my heart is,” Dion answers, which I’m not sure actually means anything but wow is it inspirational. Then, like a television preacher catching the spirit, she raises her hands and starts singing “My Heart Will Go On.” This is the reason I have eyes and ears.
It’s also important to note that Céline is wearing a silver and black houndstooth blazer and an entire bolt of organza tied in a bow around her neck like she’s doing a high drag one-woman production of 1776. WOULD WATCH.
Céline’s attire and stoic demeanour makes her look like she’s on the campaign trail running for president of the universe. Like Elizabeth Warren, she has a plan for everything, but her plan will be extremely sung. If Howard Dean had Céline-belted his scream in 2004, we’d be living in a different world right now.
Corden continues his thought about where she lives, “And here you are.” Céline’s reply? Singing “Look… at… us… now. Two broken hearts on the ground.”
James Corden literally cannot get a word out without Céline spontaneously bursting into song. It is actually unclear if she is even aware that she’s on a TV show segment. He asks if she’s excited, she sings Pointer Sisters; he tests her by mentioning a pipe burst in his bathroom, she pauses and then sings “Work work work work work, I gotta go to work, work, work, work, work.” We, truly, as a species, do not deserve Céline Dion.
Corden, at two minutes in, finally tries to steer the segment to its purpose by asking if they can see what’s on the radio? Céline stares at him with a deep seriousness and then bursts into “On the Radio” by Donna Summer. Perfection.
As you’d expect from all of that preamble, Céline Dion was made for carpool karaoke. Her interpretation of the intro from “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” as some sort of high camp possession is immediately canon. I do not understand the concept and yet I have never loved anything more.
She gives a rendition of “Baby Shark” that is so powerful, I think I… love this song now? I’m baby shark. She casually describes the high tech Cher-from-Clueless closet where she keeps her 10,000 pairs of shoes on shelves covered in crushed diamonds. Normally, I’m like “Oh, we should eat the rich,” but truly, wealthy shoe baron Céline Dion could cover me in hollandaise sauce and serve me for brunch and I’d thank her.
Later in the video, when Corden asks her what it’s like to be as famous as she is, she gives a heart-wrenching anecdote about giving birth to her son and seeing the doctor on television updating the world about the details before she’d even had a chance to hold her child for the first time. It’s an unexpected shift in tone and Corden is clearly as surprised as we are to hear it but Céline, of course, sells it. Your fave is out here giving you high cabaret and heartfelt Barbara Walters interview at the same time. Celine does not care about what genre this TV show segment is. She is here to FEEL and to SING THOSE FEELINGS.
Serious question: why doesn’t Céline Dion have a daily television show where she does literally whatever she wants for 90 minutes? Dear Elizabeth Warren, please let us know your plan for that.
This article first appeared on ELLE.