Queen Latifah stole the show as Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid Live!'

She may have played the villain, but Queen Latifah was the hero of the small-screen musical.
JODI BENSON, SHAGGY, AULI'I CRAVALHO, QUEEN LATIFAH, JOHN STAMOS, GRAHAM PHILLIPS
"The Little Mermaid Live!" left fans divided, but they united when it came to raves for Queen Latifah's showstopping take on Ursula.Eric McCandless / ABC

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

The highly anticipated television production of “The Little Mermaid Live!” aired Tuesday night and earned mixed reviews from devoted fans of the story.

Some appreciated the new take on the tale, while others felt the show floundered compared to the 1989 animated feature they know and love.

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But there was one element of the musical that united them all: Queen Latifah’s portrayal of baddie Ursula was, without a doubt, the best part.

In particular, it was the multitalented star’s performance of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” that stole the show.

The song marks the moment in the story when the sea witch convinces mermaid Ariel (Auli’i Cravalho) that her voice is a fine price to pay for a pair of legs.

Ariel makes a deal with a sea witch devil in "The Little Mermaid Live!"Eric McCandless / ABC

While Queen Latifah’s Ursula added a few new lyrics to the beloved tune — and skipped over some of the original track’s most disturbing lines (including the classic, “It’s she who holds her tongue that gets a man”) — she sold the villainy of the song all the same.

And this Ursula delivered it with powerful pipes and mesmerizing moves, working her many tentacles like a sea of feather boas.

Queen Latifah stole the show as Ursula in "The Little Mermaid Live!" Mitch Haaseth / ABC

Just see how it compares to classic version, sung by stage and screen star Pat Carroll.

And fans of Disney’s mermaid tale will get see yet another version of Ursula belt out that song soon. A live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” is currently in the works for the big screen.