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Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Christina Aguilera nailed 'Star Spangled Banner' in Super Bowl rehearsal

By Liz Kelly

It turns out Christina Aguilera is perfectly capable of delivering a first-class rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner." And, in fact, she did so in Cowboys Stadium in Texas over the weekend. One problem: Christina nailed the song in her rehearsal on Saturday, one day before her botched performance before millions of viewers.

Thankfully, TMZ has obtained someone's shaky cell phone video clip of Christina's rehearsal.

It isn't quite a do-over, but the footage does lend some credence to fellow Super Bowl performer Fergie's contention that Aguilera was likely the victim of stage fright.

"You know what? It's such a huge venue, your nerves take a hold of you," Fergie said in a radio interview. "I completely understand. She's one of the best singers of our time. Nobody can take that away from you... But you get nervous at these things. We're human."

Related: Christina Aguilera botches national anthem at Super Bowl

In the wake of the Christina Aguilera/national anthem debacle, take our 'Star-Spangled Banner' quiz

Christina Aguilera to open Grammys?

By Liz Kelly  | February 8, 2011; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  | Tags:  Christina Aguilera  
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Comments

At least she didn't lip-sync the performance. It is nice to see that every once in a while our celebrities are human. This constant need for perfection is unrealistic. More on this at my blog http://bit.ly/glniCA

Posted by: brihartwell | February 8, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeah...I tore her up in the blogs yesterday, like everyone else. But, then I recall from personal experiences its the autopilot songs that bands can play in their sleep that can be the most treacherous onstage. Its a concentration (or lack thereof) thing.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 8, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

How about from now on finding someone less interested in showing off their singing style and just singing the song as it was meant to be! Maybe then they could concentrate on the words and not the performance.

Posted by: Herbito | February 8, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey - I sing great in the shower so maybe next year I get a shot.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | February 8, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, sorry, "nailing it" includes retaining a semblance of the melody instead of choking it with melismas. Now, I give Christina props for singing it live, and it's too bad she screwed up the words (everybody's human), but my bigger problem is turning the National Anthem into a pop song. SING the MELODY!!!

Posted by: rentagoodbook | February 8, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You can practice a piece all week. You can practice it the day before and at 3:00 am that night, even that morning, and still mess up. The only things that seems to work is practice just before performance. Go to the side somewhere, ignore everybody and everything, and go though the entire piece. And do it again if you have time.

Posted by: Kafantaris | February 8, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

rentagoodbook wrote:
....retaining a semblance of the melody instead of choking it with melismas.

**********************************
Melismas, tropes, musica ficta....singers have been unwilling to "play it straight" since the middle ages.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 8, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I usually like reading all the crazy postings when we get a BKD but the response to this was just insane. I mean pop stars and other singers have been riffing on the "melody" of the National Anthem for ages. This is not something CA made up. And yes I get giving her a hard time for forgeting the words and I'm sure she's embarrassed.

But darn - the amount of hate, political ranting and racial slurs really went over the edge yesterday! To me THAT is what is the most unpatriotic part of the whole mess - not giving another American citizen respect and forgiveness for making a mistake (granted a big one) without spewing the most small-minded hate-filled speach possible.

Posted by: sjcpeach | February 8, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The crime her isn't a flubbed line, but rather her hubris (and lack of a first rate voice). Clearly, Christina was so wrapped up in impressing us with her vocal acrobatics that she forgot the line. Of course, if she sang it straight without the warbling, we'd hear a voice that is no match for Streisand, Baez, Collins, etc. who have a beautiful clear, clean sound that doesn't require theatrics.

Posted by: LarryBoston | February 8, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Herbito: I agree with you! An interesting thing to note is that Christina sang in the rehearsal a much more "standard" version that she did previous to the beginning of the game(though she didn't sing the anthem all the way through during rehearsal). If she would have stuck with the rehearsal version she probably would have made it through without the mistakes. It seems that she was worried about her vocal gyrations and not the words that she was singing. So much for having a "big star" sing. How about someone you is not so focused upon her "special delivery" and more focused on getting the words right.

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | February 8, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe she should have sung it while showering - she probably got confused with all those clothes on. But, at least she didn't sing "Jose, can you see..."

Posted by: kabuki3 | February 8, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Today is Tuesday. It is two full days since this non-story took place. The only people who care about this are nut-jobs with an ax to grind. Move On !

Posted by: buddecj | February 8, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If you don't want someone to add their personality to a song, then don't ask a personality to perform that song. Yes, Christina made it her own, and I thought it was great (ignoring the botched lyrics anyway). If you want it sung the same way over and over again, then what's the point of inviting different artists to perform it. Have one recording that is used by everyone for every performance. B-O-R-I-N-G

Posted by: Dakota6 | February 8, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The reason people are making a big deal about this is because she's a successful singer whose been around for a decade. There's no excuse to botch it like this. It made Christina look unprofessional and an amatuer. I didn't watch the national anthem part because I don't like her and the next day I read this so I'm glad I didn't look at it but I saw it on YouTube. She made herself look bad so excuse me if we don't sympathize with her. Even I know the words. I'm sure Christina feels bad and is crying in her mansion right now.

Posted by: Carolp23 | February 8, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The reason people are making a big deal about this is because she's a successful singer whose been around for a decade. There's no excuse to botch it like this. It made Christina look unprofessional and an amatuer. I didn't watch the national anthem part because I don't like her and the next day I read this so I'm glad I didn't look at it but I saw it on YouTube. She made herself look bad so excuse me if we don't sympathize with her. Even I know the words. I'm sure Christina feels bad and is crying in her mansion right now.

Posted by: Carolp23 | February 8, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I think people are making too much of a big deal about an innocent mistake. I've been on stage myself many times and forgotten lines that I knew very well. It does not mean that she doesn't love her country. The national anthem is indeed a hard piece to sing. I just wish that people would sing the music as written instead of adding extra notes -- this is much more offensive to me than singing a wrong word now and then.

Posted by: oceandoggie | February 8, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Carolp, you might know the words to the Star-Bungled Banner, but you had trouble with 'amatuer.'

This idea that "she's supposed to be a pro, how could she possibly make an error" is ridiculous.

If that were true, we'd all have enjoyed our 45th consecutive season of interception-, fumble-, and dropped-pass-free NFL football. And Joe Buck would have sounded intelligent on tv for three hours.

And if you think Xtina's the only singer to ever miss a lyric, find yourself a copy of The Beatles "Live At The Hollywood Bowl." John botches a verse of "Help," and he wrote the damn thing. AND HE WAS BIGGER THAN YOU-KNOW-WHO.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 8, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I just can not believe she messed up a line of a poorly written poem set to the tune of a British drinking song. That was just so disrespectful. This is what happens when you let socialism take over your country. We never had this problem before our healthcare system started mandating death panels. I mean just look at the canadians, no one there can ever sing our National Anthem right.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | February 8, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, every one must come to grips with their humanity. I do it by making fun of myself. http://comingtogrips.net

Posted by: PollyScott | February 8, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, i guess the bashing is a bit overdone. She flubbed. That sucks, so be it.

If you don't like her, then that is your problem. She is who she has always been.

I'm no fan, but I can't get mad cause I don't like her style. Somebody asked her to do it. If you don't like her version, then get mad at the people who chose her.

Posted by: gconrads | February 8, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If all the WAPO cares about is hits (hence the changes to our beloved Morning Mix), then the solution is clear. Every post must refer to a celeb's bungling of the Star Spangled Banner.

Posted by: epjd | February 8, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I mean just look at the canadians, no one there can ever sing our National Anthem right.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1

****

That's not fumbling the lyrics; that's revenge for that one time a USMC (I think) Honor [sic] Guard carried our flag upside down.

And the French verse of O Canada - that's on purpose, juste pour déranger M. Duceppe.

But the English verse - now, that, yeah, we're always f****** that one up.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 8, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I mean just look at the canadians, no one there can ever sing our National Anthem right.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1

****

That's not fumbling the lyrics; that's revenge for that one time a USMC (I think) Honor [sic] Guard carried our flag upside down.

And the French verse of O Canada - that's on purpose, juste pour déranger M. Duceppe.

But the English verse - now, that, yeah, we're always f****** that one up.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 8, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Canada.

Posted by: kabuki3 | February 8, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

She's not the first. Aretha Franklin botched the lyrics when she sang at the Democratic National Convention back in the late sixties.
I have my students (college freshmen and sophomores) repeat the words, without melody, in my American history survey course. Not one in 50 can do it flawlessly. Try it. If you succeed, then you're entitled to beat up on Christina.

Posted by: jutland | February 8, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I think the Steelers ran every play perfectly in practice, too. Showtime is showtime!!

Posted by: ericrad1204 | February 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Like approximately 1.5 billion Chinese and 1.2 billion Indians, I don't care what Christina Aguilera sang or did not sing. If she had a wardrobe malfunction, I would have been interested. I don't know whether the Chinese or the Indians would have been interested.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 8, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

These so called 'performances' are an insult to our Anthem, and smears our national image abroad.
Half eaten, half choked, mispronounced, cut up - no melody -whatever. Every time I hear some of these starlets tear into our Anthem, I realize how low we have fallen when it comes to our national pride (and our musical talents).
No other country would do this. Football is a rude game, why pull down our anthem, as well - just to please whom???
As if the USA could not come up with some educated voices who give honor to this very lovely and proud piece of music.

Posted by: kitten1 | February 8, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

kitten - A few things that have in recent history smeared America's national image:
Guantanamo
Extraordinary rendition
Abu Ghraib
the recent and ongoing global financial crisis
the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster
the death penalty

Christina Aguilera's version of the Star Spangled Banner is in more ways than one a fart in a hurricane.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 8, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Who even cares? Most of these 'stars' are not real people as we know people -- they are usually poorly educated, because they went into show business early and believe more in fantasy than reality. If you gave Aguilara a simple quiz, does anyone think she would know who wrote the Banner? Why? Which war it was in? And who were the combatants?

And who cares about these Celibritology yacking magpies and their take on the superfluities of life? Well, I see the piles of comments, just proof there are a helluva lot of silly people in this country......

Posted by: JPMcC | February 8, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure what the practice video was supposed to prove. She only practiced half way through the song and she flubbed the lyrics half way through. Second point, her performance the day of the event was so filled with vocal runs the melody was barely recognizable. It takes a lot for me not to have any emotion at all when the Star Spangled Banner is sung, but Christina Aquilera managed to pull it off. Forgetting the lyrics in a huge crowd is forgiveable. A mediocre, narcissitic, unrecognizable performance is not.

Posted by: thinkitthrooooo | February 9, 2011 2:13 AM | Report abuse

As a Scotsman who is also a music lover I'm more concerned that you good Americans are more annoyed about her forgeting some of the words of your National Anthem rather
than the fact she cannot sing. This diva's caterwhailling, ADDING notes that were never in the original music, completely ruined the Anthem far more than her inability to remember a few words. We Scots would rather some of the words of "God Save The Queen" were deleted as they refer to our race being quashed. So much for National Identity.

Posted by: johnlock4 | February 9, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

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