Hairspray Live!: Grade Maddie Baillio's Opening Salute to Baltimore

Talk about starting on a high note!

Wednesday’s appropriately hyped telecast of NBC’s Hairspray Live! kicked off with newcomer Maddie Baillio — as curvy crooner Tracy Turnblad — belting her heart out on the streets of Universal Studios Baltimore, setting the tone for (what we hope and expect will be) a night of must-DVR performances.

Following a sweeping overture, during which viewers were given an intimate tour of the show’s massive set, the camera landed on Baillio, and the magic began. (Well, it continued.) Taking a cue from the original Broadway musical, Baillio began “sleeping” upright (visual trickery!), but it didn’t take long for her bedroom to open up into the city streets.

As many viewers noted on Twitter, there were a few audio snafus during the song, but I wouldn’t say they detracted from the high-energy performance.

A little background on Baillio: The 20-year-old actress, currently enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College, competed with more than 1,000 other young woman to land the role of Tracy in Hairspray Live!, a process which NBC partially documented on YouTube.

Watch Baillio’s performance above, then grade it below and drop a comment with your first impressions of the overall production.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mary says:

    Maddie divgreat but did she forget a line during the opening? Also the sound to some people is awful.

  2. Ariana Grande is very disappointing. No energy. I’m so dissapointed. J Hud is KILLING it! Dove Cameron – AMAZING! So far, really good. The sound was messed up during Good Morning, Baltimore.

  3. Jakay says:

    She sounded good but either the sound was off, the timing is off or she was lip syncing because there were definitely moments when her mouth didn’t match the words. After that… you can tell who the stage pros are. The others aren’t enunciating very well and they’re mushing their lyrics big time. Martin Short and Harvey Fierstein are great, though. I saw Harvey do the role on Broadway. Totally timeless.

  4. Lola says:

    My sound had been really hit or miss. It had to be the worst on Runteldat. That’s one of my fave Hairspray songs so imagine my disappointment.

  5. Too bad the lips weren’t moving with the words. The sound just wasn’t right. Couldn’t watch it to the end. GAVE UP AFTER AN HOUR.

  6. Jacqi says:

    I enjoyed the whole show but it I found it difficult to hear them talk and sing. They needed to turn up the actors mics so you could actually hear the songs. Hope they fix it for the dvd version.