(It's the Sing Off!)
Yesterday's Inauguration was great. Not as freezing cold and not quite as historic as the first time we went through it with Obama, but even if we didn't have Yo Yo Ma and Aretha's Amazing Hat this go round, we did have two other mega-stars - Kelly Clarkson AND Beyonce! Neither singer disappointed, and while they didn't necessarily TRY to one-up each other, it was interesting to see who would have the most memorable Inaugural Moment.
First up to bat was our girl Kelly. She was on hand to sing "My Country Tis Of Thee." She had a tough act to follow, singing right after the President's speech, but she was up to the challenge. She NAILED the song in rousing fashion, bringing compliments from the President and a simple final comment from Inauguration Emcee Chuck Schumer, "Wow." Kelly was set to be the talk of the town!
But THEN, right before the President left the stage, out came Beyonce! She was batting clean up singing that ever-so-tricky tune, The National Anthem. She was having a moment, ripping the monitor out of her mid-song without missing a beat, and finishing in grand fashion. Looking out on to the masses of people below like our very own version of Eva Peron. The First Family swooned over her. Beyonce had taken the day!
Or had she? You see, not long after the Inauguration ended and the Parade through DC began a picture surfaced on the internet once again putting Kelly back in the spotlight. It seems that as she was taking the stage, President Clinton craned his head to make sure he got a glance of K.Cla and nodded is approval. The resulting effect was that Clinton seemingly photo-bombed Kelly's moment. The internet was a'buzz! Kelly was back on top.
But then -THEN! - just as the focus seemed to be off her, Beyonce was back front and center. It seems that her performance was actually a lip-sync! SCANDAL! Or not really. This is not uncommon for live performances, where weather can be a mitigating factor. Yo Yo Ma, who I mentioned early, even played to a tape last Inauguration. It happens. Shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, it IS her voice! But of course everything with Beyonce is a Big Effing Deal. So she was back on top! The fact that Kelly sang live only added fire to some people's indignation over the Beyonce lip-sync. She cannot be topped!
So who fared better? It's not a competition, but IF IT WAS Beyonce wins in terms of pure spotlight, while Kelly ultimately comes off looking better. The part that I find disappointing with the Beyonce lip-sync thing is not the lip-sync itself but the way she took off the monitor from her ear. To me, it felt like a calculated move instead of the spontaneous need to get rid of her ear piece so that she could perform better, we initially assumed it was. It seemed to the viewing audience to be a risky move, thus making her subsequent flawless performance seem that much more amazing. Knowing that the ear piece had no effect on the vocals we were hearing cheapens the drama of it. I believe she knew what she was doing the whole time and it felt to me unnecessarily manipulative. That's what irks me.
Still love my Beyonce. Love my Kelly Clarkson even more. Love my President O and Michelle Obama the BEST!