Christina Aguilera might have been the star of James Cordens “Carpool Karaoke” segment last night, but Melissa McCarthy wanted to make sure the world knew she could get “Dirrty” too. The comedian crashed her Life of the Partyco-stars jam session during that very song—specifically, to join in during Redmans rap interlude. The segment aired as part of The Late Late Shows prime-time special, which also included a crosswalk musical rendition of The Sound of Music—but naturally Christina was the star of the whole show.
Aguilera and Corden started off their diva lessons with the basics: the singer taught her host how to belt like her. Then came the trip down memory lane: when Corden mentioned her Mickey Mouse Club days with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling, Aguilera revealed that she was pretty sure Gosling had a crush on Spears. “She must be regretting that,” Corden said. Aguilera pointed out that Britney wound up with Timberlake for a while, but Corden was unimpressed: “Right, that worked out wonderfully,” he said. As Aguilera reasoned, at least a lot of hit songs came out of it. Once McCarthy showed up, the focus returned to diva lessons. Aguilera showed her pupils some vocal exercises—which did a great job of showing off her impressive range—and capped the lesson off by singing through a couple more classics: “Genie in a Bottle” and, of course, “Beautiful.”
As for the crosswalk musical, Corden enlisted the help of a ragtag bunch from various CBS casts: Kunal Nayyar, who plays Raj on The Big Bang Theory,Iain Armitage, known to most as Young Sheldon, and, most excitingly, Mom co-stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney. The big twist? Janney showed up ready to play the lead, Maria; as Corden explained, hes traditionally used a fair and democratic audition process that always ends with him in the lead role. “Unfortunately, I agreed to do this before I won the Oscar,” Janney said. “Theres no way I would have said yes now, but if Im doing it, you bet your sweet ass Im playing Maria.” Naturally, the two spent the rest of the afternoon competing to see who could play the role best.
“How do you solve a problem like James Corden and Allison Janney?” Corden joked in the end.
“Ill tell you what you do,” Janney said. “You put them in a musical together and just let the two theater rats sort it out.”
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:My Trailer: Carson Daly Takes Us Behind the Scenes of The VoiceLaura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.