Gino DePinto, AOL
Performing 'Brokenhearted' and 'I Told You So,' Karmin mixed bubblegum, rock and hip-hop, proving they're capable of more than just covering Chris Brown tunes. Rapping like Nicki Minaj and moving like Gwen Stefani, Heidemann wowed with a '40s-style ensemble on the first track, looking as if she should be serenading soldiers in the South Pacific.
On 'I Told You So,' she and Noonan went for a '50s look, Heidemann evoking Olivia Newton John in the final scene of 'Grease.' Midway through the song -- a harder-edged number than the first -- the Nebraska native showed her remarkable lung power, unfurling an epic rap that would have left others gasping for air.
While Karmin lightened the evening's mood, the 'SNL' crew didn't let the broadcast end without a subtle tribute to Whitney. Late in the show, they led into a commercial with a shot of the late R&B great back in 1996, when she served as musical guest and appeared in a Mary Katherine Gallagher sketch with Molly Shannon. It, like Karmin's retro-modern pure-pop tunes, was a reminder of happier, simpler times