Melinda Doolittle

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh, say can you....

I've seen all kind of comments today about Christina Aguilera's National Anthem last night at the Super Bowl. Some of them were forgiving, most of them were not. Some were people I knew, some weren't. After reading all these comments, I thought I would let you in on my perspective.

The National Anthem is my favorite and least favorite song to sing. :-)
I love honoring our country, backing my favorite team (Go Titans!), hearing the crowd singing's all really exciting and I feel so amazing when I get asked to sing it!
However, the range on the song is starting in the right key is very important. Plus, I almost always second guess myself on the lyrics...even though I've been singing it for years. The "what so proudly we hailed" and "o'er the ramparts we watched" lines are the ones that get jumbled in my head sometimes. I can be all the way to "the land of the free" and still be wondering if I did it right. 

So...that being said, I have all the sympathy in the world for Christina Aguilera. We all know the girl can saaaang! She's so talented and I've heard her do awesome versions of the anthem.  I was impressed that she and Leah Michelle sang live. But not only did Christina sing live, she did it acapella. Normally, singers at the Super Bowl have some huge orchestral accompaniment that gives them an extra boost, but she just laid it all out there. Yes, she mixed up the lyrics, but it happens! It's just sad that it had to happen in front of all of us. 

My last week on Idol, I sang two songs chosen by the executive producers and the judges, and then I sang I song I had already sung on the show...I'm a Woman. That was the only song I actually knew and I royally jacked up the lyrics! I can't even tell you what I sang...just jumbled up syllables. I was horrified. I couldn't believe I did that on a song I knew well with 30 million people watching. I cried when I got back to my apartment...

Then I think of the fact that Christina did that in front of 111 million! And you know that she immediately knew everyone was going to be talking about her. So, let me be one of the people that says, these things happen and I'm more impressed that she powered through it and didn't even let it show on her face that she messed up. That is a true professional.

For those that talked about all the runs she did....ummm...she's Christina Aguilera...what exactly were you expecting? Yes, she probably added a few more in the end, but it is human nature to try to compensate for a mistake and end big. My close friends know that when I mess up on a song, the first thing I do is belt out a big 'ol note to try to make the audience forget that ever happened. LOL! ;-)

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for letting me do that! 
Love y'all and would love to hear what you think!


Blogger Jenny B. Jones said...

Totally agree. It's funny how conveniently possessive people get of the anthem. People who have never made a mistake? Singing the nat'l anthem is stressful and mistakes happen. Especially with millions watching. The lack of mercy is disappointing.

February 7, 2011 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Spunky said...

I agree... can you imagine the pressure she was under.... Even the BEP were tweeting before they sang at half time, and they were saying how nervous they were... but she sang our National Anthem-- I felt so sorry for her...... Those who are without error... cast the first stone.....

February 7, 2011 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Melinda, you are so right in your assessment. Christina is a powerful singer and she does a lot of runs. That's what's made her popular all these years. I feel sorry about her getting all this backlash. I could happen to anyone and I'm sure she was a bundle of nerves.

February 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

You are so right. Those critical of her mistake should try singing it themselves w/o backup in front of any group of people. Most would refuse. I'm 56 years old, and I cannot always remember the words. Give her a break!

February 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Deloris Mansfield said...

Totally agree. I was just impressed that she sang live in that cavern. That so rarely happens any more. She was great at the NBA Finals last year (twice) so I'm giving her a pass on the Super Bowl. Pun intended...

February 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Fauzan said...

A lot of singers messed up the anthem, most notably Michael Bolton. We all know Christina is the best singer in her generation, so trust me, this hype will be over in 2 days. Plus, I think it's better to juggle some words than couldn't reach your notes..

February 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger James 1:27 Family said...

This world needs more grace and more forgiveness. We are quick to criticize and slow to compliment. We watch shows and news reports about hurting people and making fun of people a million times more often than shows that are about taking care of each other.

Thanks for backing her up. Even if it's one positive drop in an ocean of criticism, I'm thankful you wrote this.

February 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admire anyone who would willingly stand up in front of a crowd and do anything, whether it's singing, speaking, playing sports, or dancing. I wouldn't do it, and I believe that if you wouldn't do a thing yourself, you shouldn't criticize others when they make an effort. Your blog represents the path we should all take when we judge anything, compassion first, criticism second.
But when something is as close to the heart as our national anthem, it's difficult not to react negatively to a perceived affront. Everyone knows Christina Aguilera can sing, and I would have had so much respect for her, if she had addressed it immediately and said something like, "I've been singing this song for years, my nerves just got the best of me." When a mistake is that obvious, I don't think it does much good to try and pretend it didn't happen.
However, I think I know where the public's frustration and criticism comes from, concerning celebrities and patriotism. Some entertainers have a flippant attitude when it comes to paying homage to the country that gave them the oppoortunity to have all that they have. The media plays up such disgraces as Rosanne Barr's butchery of the Star Spangled Banner, the Dixie Chicks poorly timed criticism of George W. Bush, etc., while it often ignores the efforts of other entertainers who love and honor their country. So when a celebrity makes a mistake with anything patriotic, it's immediately credited to "lack of patriotism." The media allows no room for distinction between mistakes made from nerves or those made due to purposeful lack of preparation. At least, this is my explanation for such a strong negative reaction to yesterday's performance.
Maybe it's important to just try to pause before judging someone, and remember that we're all human, we all make mistakes, we've all flubbed a line at some time or other and wished we could have it back, and to give Christina credit for her willingness to sing for a hundred and eleven million judges.

February 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger elcondado said...

Your ability to be loving and non judgemental, in the face of so many who criticize freely, is so beautiful. Your blog can teach us all, myself included, to follow your example. What a wonderful world we would have if we all sought to support and compliment each other with the same intensity that we do the opposite. After all, the only perfect One has already ascended...the rest of us need to remember how human we are..mistakes and imperfections included. I will strive to remember your kindness the next time my impulse is to stray from the supportive. You are such a great role model...even for old folks like myself :-). Thank you for being so loving and thought provoking.

February 7, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger sexy007lady87 said...

Like U said, that can happen to anybody...I myself, once, fogot to sing the whole line, cuz I was nervous... But, anyway... I was watchig some perofmances at the Super Bowl, and I noticed that eveybody was or lipsiginig, or had a bigggg orchestra behind them! But Christina did it acapella, and she did a great job!!!!

February 8, 2011 at 2:56 AM  
Blogger little apple tally said...

I love to harmonize the SSB... notably because of the horrid range,,, as well as the beautiful chords. As to the lyrics, the backup singer can hopefully take her cue from the lead. As to the use of trills and runs, this song is one where less is usually more....
Would love to hear you sing it sometime, Melinda.

February 8, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger ©[ Pale † Angel ] said...

I cant believe people compare her to Rossane! idiots! she mess up lyrics! but she sang great! and her voice was amazing...there wasent anything wrong!

February 8, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Ya know, M, thanks for addressing this. For me, Xtina can do no wrong, and for some people Xtina can do no right. Due to a certain negative people in the media she's got many haters. These are the people who are writing these comments. They just were waiting for a mis-step so they could jump all over her and say she's "less of an artist" or "un-American" than others. This type of fallacy is called Straw Man, politicians do it all the time. What happened is nothing to do with her as a person, an American, or as an artist. It has to do with making her as HUMAN as the rest of us. Anyone who is a true fan, or any type of realist knows is no big deal. She didn't a make it obvious, stall, or start over, which is commendable, she kept it going so if you weren't saying the words with her you would have never known. After all the flawless live performances she has performed over the last 11 years, she gets a free pass. Everyone needs to get over it and worry about things that matter.

February 8, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Biblesleuth said...

Excellant perspective, and well said. We need to remember everyone makes misstakes. I think it is said people are quick to criticize.

February 9, 2011 at 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To err is human,to forgive divine

Truth be told, I was singing along with her and thought I flubbed that line because she kept right on singing!!! The Grammy's she has and our ears prove that she can sing. That is a fact without challenge. She made a mistake. Who hasn't?

I hope she can "get over" the embarrasment quickly and bask in the successes of the past, present, and future.

February 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger vroooooom said...

Melinda is so spot-on in her take on this. Nerves will make your brain do funny things sometimes--whilst singing is a bad time for that to happen. Yikes! It makes me cringe just thinking of what might come out of my mouth in that situation.
I know it's been reported that Christina has been having some ups and downs lately, and I know some will jump on the bandwagon to railroad her for the rumors.
I really try to always put myself in another's position, and try to think of how it would feel. I sure think our world could use many, many more people trying to be understanding of how others sometimes make mistakes and mess up. On many different levels. Thanks to Melinda for having the kindness and grace to be a voice of reason. I always knew there was so much more than just her voice that I loved about her. Reading this made me better understand why that might be. (*;@

March 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM  

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