Poor Alexis Normand. Prior to a Memorial Cup game between the Halifax Mooseheads and Portland Winterhawks on Saturday in Saskatoon, the Canadian singer delivered one of the worst renditions of The Star-Spangled Banner we have ever heard.
Normand got off to a nice start with the song, but her first error came when she got the “twilight’s last gleaming” part wrong. She continued along but began to trail off when she couldn’t remember how to close the next line. Normand then paused for several seconds to regroup, but she began mixing the lines all over the place, leading to groans from the crowd. Some of the players on the bench could even be seen trying to contain their laughter.
Normand continued to jumble the lyrics and re-sing parts of the song she had already sung.
As Normand started to end the song, the crowd tried to pick her up by singing some of the words to get her back on track. Mercifully, the performance finally came to an end after a painful minute and a half. It was like watching the answering machine scene from “Swingers” — you have your hands on your head in frustration just hoping it will finally stop.
As bad as the performance was, it’s possible that Normand wasn’t really at fault. According to TVA Sports reporter L.A. Lariviere, Normand has a pretty solid excuse for her poor performance:
Alexis Normand claims she was told only a few hours before the Mooseheads – Winterhawks game to learn Star-Spangled Banner. #MemorialCup
— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) May 18, 2013
Normand also tweeted an apology:
I’m embarrassed and deeply sorry. I wish I’d had more time to learn the American anthem. Thanks so much for the crowd’s help! #memorialcup
— Alexis Normand (@Alex6Normand) May 19, 2013
Normand probably only prepared to sing “O Canada,” which is the Canadian national anthem, and didn’t realize she would also have to sing The Star-Spangled Banner because a team from Oregon was playing.
Here’s hoping they bring her back for Portland’s next game on Monday so that she gets a shot at redemption.
And why do the anthem screw-ups generally involve a Canadian and American team?
Here’s Alexis’ website if you want to learn more about her.