I have been trying to keep my mouth shut about Christina Aquilera’s Star Spangled performance at the “Big Game.”
Friends on Facebook are complaining. They don’t like her added notes, she skipped an entire verse, a professional would know all of the words all of the time.
Here is the real problem.
When Aquilera blew it, she didn’t run. We need her to be a coward to truly vilify her, to run off when things don’t go exactly as planned.
But she didn’t. Even in her apology she stated that she hoped people would feel the patriotic spirit that she felt as she performed. With true American spirit, she kept going despite her mistakes. Isn’t that part of what makes America great?
Yes, Aquilera messed up. Lots of performers mess up that un-singable song. You need to have at least two octaves of singing range to get it right. Perhaps you need to be like Freddie Mercury who had a reported four-octave voice to truly do it justice. I hear bad versions of the National Anthem on The Boers and Bernstein Show on WSCR in Chicago all of the time. Her screw up was minimal at best.
Instead of running off, as we have seen other performers do, Aquilera kept going with gusto. She hit the final notes just as the flyover happened. And she did it ‘a capella,’ meaning there was no accompaniment. That was all her, right there, in front of a huge crowd and an bigger TV audience. She didn’t have a taped version backing her up as other singers (Whitney) have in the past.
When she sang “What so proudly we watched” instead of “O’er the ramparts we watched” it was a goof. But a goof that she almost instantly corrected and powered through.
I hear people saying she shortened the song and still made it to the alloted 1 minute, 54 seconds. I read the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner as she sang the song. From what I can see, she started the second line again and quickly got back on track to the fourth line. Her syllable count was the same, there was no shortening of the song to make room for the runs she added.
I loved her version but perhaps it was that I was caught up in the moment. After Michele Lea’s nice but staid version of God Bless America, I was ready for something more. Considering it was the “Big Game” staged in Dallas, Texas where bigger is better and that stage is meant for BIG stars with vocal power, what did people think was going to happen when Aquilera was announced for this role?
I enjoyed Aquilera in Burlesque. While I am not always interested in her skanky persona, I do love her voice and how her talent has grown over the years.
So am I going to give Xtina grief for her goof? Nope, because I am not sure I would not have made the same mistake and came back as strong as she did. Do you sing this song every day? I don’t. But it might be fun to see people take videos of themself singing the anthem in one shot without accompaniment.
Wonder if that is going to happen on YouTube any time soon?