The light is coming, and the wait is over — Ariana Grande‘s Dangerous Woman Diaries finally hit YouTube Premium today (November 29). The four-part docu-series, directed by Alfredo Flores, is an intimate adventure that revolves around the singer’s 2017 tour, all the way up to the release of this year’s Sweetener. Live performances of every Dangerous Woman track are accounted for, and Grande appears alongside her friends and choreographers Scott and Brian Nicholson in enlightening interviews throughout.
While certain aspects of Grande’s life are purposely left out of the project (if you’re only here for dirt about her love life, move along), the doc does give fans a revealing look at her life on the road and in the studio. Below, check out 11 of the best moments from all four episodes, in chronological order.
Ari being her own Sweetener hypewoman.
The first episode begins with a scene you’ve probably only dreamed of: Ariana skipping around the room, asking everyone in sight to listen to her then-unreleased Sweetener track “R.E.M.” “I’m forcing everyone to hear it… and asking them to like it,” she said to the camera. “I’m so annoying, they all want me to leave the room.” Have you ever felt FOMO so strong?!
Seeing her record “Get Well Soon.”
Witnessing Ariana and Pharrell in the studio together proves they were a match made in musical heaven. While recording “Get Well Soon,” they shared a deep convo about how the intensely personal Sweetener closer is meant to make people “feel rainbow clouds,” and Ari explained how much that song and “R.E.M.” mean to her.
“These two, I feel like, sound like my DNA. They’re how I wish I felt, how I’m striving to feel,” she said, later adding, “This feels like the most ‘me’ an album has ever felt. A lot of people were like, ‘How does it feel stepping out of your comfort zone?’ And I’m like nah, I don’t feel like I stepped out of my comfort zone, I feel like I found it.”
The deliriousness of “The Light is Coming.”
This video really did a number on Ariana, apparently. In one behind-the-scenes moment from the shoot, she admitted that being awake so late was sending her mind into “the deep, deep, deep, deep trenches” — and then she proceeded to “roast” herself like a rotisserie chicken in front of a portable heater. And even after that late-night commitment of dancing in a dark, musty forest, the concept of the video was still anyone’s guess. “I have no idea. I thought it was one thing and now I don’t think it’s that thing,” she dead-panned. Hey, at least it looked cool!
Nonna’s star-making turn at the VMAs.
The doc offers a glimpse at the weeks-long rehearsals for Ariana’s heavenly “God is a Woman” performance at the 2018 VMAs, culminating in the beautiful moment she shared with mom Joan, grandma Nonna, and cousin Lani before stepping onstage. Though admitting she was “so nervous” for her big moment, Nonna was more than ready for the job. “Nonna’s reaction was like, ‘It’s about time ya asked me. When were ya gonna ask me to join you?'” Ari recalled, perfectly mimicking her grandma’s accent.
The Ariana/Arianators bond.
This doc is jam-packed with adorable moments Ari shared with her fans on tour — from the intimate Q&A sessions during soundcheck, to the photo-friendly meet-and-greets backstage. Ariana summed up that connection best by explaining, “My goal in this relationship with them is to make them feel like they can be exactly who they are, who they wanna be. And that’s the most beautiful thing in the whole world, because I feel like that’s what they do for me, time and time again.”
That stunning “Intro” interlude.
If you were lucky enough to see the DWT, you’ll surely remember “Intro,” the unreleased song that was intended to be the first track off the Dangerous Woman album. It was eventually used as an interlude on the tour, and quickly became a fan-favorite moment — and, thankfully, it’s captured in the new doc in an amazing way. As the angelic song plays for the crowd, Ari and her crew of dancers lip-sync it backstage, twirling around and mugging for the camera. Aah, the love for “Intro” will truly never end.
Her wonderfully weird passport pic.
During a scene where she gets primped backstage (“my nerves and my scalp are just like, ‘whatever!'” she said while getting her sky-high pony in place), Ari turns her attention to a stack of work visa documents. “That’s called the truth. Yikes,” she says while the camera zooms in on her old passport photo. Her new one, hilariously enough, is a pic from the 2015 Grammys red carpet with a blouse edited onto her. “They Photoshopped suits on all my dancers,” she added.
Toulouse gets his shine.
It should come as no surprise that Ari’s beloved pup Toulouse got plenty of screen time. “He’s kind of like, king of the fucking tour,” she said, explaining that her furry friend loves wandering leash-free around her concert venues. “Where I am, Toulouse is,” she said. “There is not a time when that boy is not by my side. He’s my shadow, he’s my best friend, he’s my companion.”
A personal written tribute for Manchester.
One of the biggest questions going into this docu-series was how Flores and Grande would choose to address the tragic Manchester attack: a terrorist bombing at the end of her concert in Manchester, England that killed 22 people. They went in a stark, affecting direction, cutting to black while Ari’s written words appeared onscreen. She wrote about how the attack impacted her, and encouraged fans to “not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible and to appreciate every moment. The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity. ‘Like a handprint on my heart’… I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”
Her tearful “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “One Last Time” performances.
Following Ariana’s written message about Manchester, the doc cut to footage of her choking up while singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” onstage — her gorgeous cover became part of the DWT setlist after the tour resumed. That was followed up by a performance of “One Last Time,” which was interspliced with scenes of fan memorials, pink balloons, and footage from the One Love Manchester benefit concert.
The emotional final show.
At the tour’s final stop in Hong Kong, Ariana was understandably overcome with emotion. “I’m sad because it’s meant so many things to all of us,” she said during the soundcheck. “When things were bad and everyone was heartbroken and tired and sad, we wished it to go faster. And now that it’s here, it’s horrible.” Thankfully, the company she keeps wouldn’t let her be sad for too long, and after she lamented that she wouldn’t “be able to sing a goddamn note” that night, her dancer Kris Terry made her laugh by grabbing the mic and singing “One Last Time” himself. He’s definitely no Ari… but then again, who is?!