What is it with the National Anthem that throws singers off? Lauren Alaina became the latest star to flub the song, but to be fair, she didn’t actually mess up the lyrics so much as she took a pause partway through the song. It got people’s attention though. Watch the video ahead.
The 17-year-old Season 10 American Idol runner-up helped kick off the big game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers today by singing the National Anthem. As you’ll see in the video below (shared by E! Online), the singer pauses right around the :35 second mark before continuing. It’s barely an error, but it did seem like she lost her place for a second. She resumed after that and finished without any issues.
Alaina isn’t the first singer to have trouble with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Earlier this year, Christina Aguilera mixed up the words to the song at the Super Bowl.
I have a couple of theories about how this sort of thing might happen:
Nerves - Whether it’s a Super Bowl, the Thanksgiving game, or some other big event, even the most famous of stars might get nervous performing such a huge and important number in front of a massive audience.
They think they know it already - Any American capable of hearing has likely heard and/or sang the song plenty of times. It’d be understandable for a singer to work on their vocals and neglect to actually practice singing the words without the lyrics in front of them.
They’re singing too slow - Perhaps their attempt to belt out every note perfectly results in them getting so wrapped up in the sound that they lose their place within the lyrics.
The Words - The Star-Spangled Banner isn’t exactly a long song. In fact, we only seem to acknowledge the first verse of the song. However, words like “O’er,” “Ramparts,” and even “Spangled” aren’t exactly a part of our vernacular. As eloquently written as the song is, it might not be so easy to follow it line for line, which means straight-up memorization is required. This takes us back to how slow singers tend to sing it.
My suspicion is that Alaina fell victim to a brief, “Um... where was I?” moment. Kudos to her for not losing the song entirely and finishing it like a champ.