'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Is it fair to criticize Christina Aguilera?
February 7th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Is it fair to criticize Christina Aguilera?

Christina Aguilera is getting a lot of flak today after she botched some of the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XLV. The singer says in her defense that she lost her place and got “caught up in the moment.”

I know performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl is perhaps one of the toughest live performing gigs out there. Even for the most seasoned pro, it’s an immense amount of pressure. While no one wants to see the anthem messed up, I think people need to give Christina a break. I’m sure she’s beating herself up pretty good today about it.

But what do you think? It’s our "Showbiz" Flashpoint: Is it fair to criticize Christina? Post your thoughts below.

Other big stories I’m fired up about today...

Simon Cowell’s got a $5 million challenge to “American Idol," and is Mike "The Situation” Sorrentino leaving “Jersey Shore” to star in movies?

I’ll see you live at 5 p.m. ET on "Showbiz Tonight" and again at 11 p.m. ET/PT today on HLN.

Watch Showbiz Tonight Weekdays Exclusively at 11PM ET on HLN.

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Defendor of Freedom

    i think that christina aguilera deserves the flag that she is getting. as a member of the armed forces, i feel that the national anthem is the most important song know to man-kind. to screw it up is like saying you dont care for the United states or the american soldiers dying to pretect the freedom that the anthem portrays. just imagine if she botched it at an overseas tour in front of hundreds of military members. she would sure as hell be feeling worse than she does now.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mary Allen

    To sing the National Anthem any way other than how is was intended is a disgrace. There was much preparation
    done for the Super Bowl, the half time show was practiced many times I'm sure and all she had to
    do was know HER National Anthem words and melody. If she didn't have time to prepare she should have declined the opportunity and privilege. I feel there was no excuse for what happened. Saying she was
    singing before a large crowd is not an excuse.

    February 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Diane

    Leave the girl alone. This is getting blown out of proportion at the extreme. We are all humans, we make mistake. I don't get why we Americans love to find a weakness in an individual and then tear that individual down. It's really sad.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |

    First of all what kind of person is this that she can't even put her personal needs aside to sing for all the people who have given and are giving their lives to this country. She is selfish and should be criticized from head to toe. If you decide to take on such a song for the better of this country you better do a good job. She bombed and bombed big–lets face it she is part of the Mickey Mouse group where talent is not needed. Can you imagine Britney singing this song!! That was the worst performance I have ever seen at least Rosanne Barr mocked herself–she tried to hide it. Now she needs to hide herself!!

    February 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Victor

    Considering she's sung it quite a few times before, yeah I'd say it's fair to be critical.

    How many other artists have messed it up on Superbowl night? Anyone know?

    February 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cindyg

    If singers would sing it as it was written and with the emotion that it should stir within them, no one would forget the words. It should mean more to us then "it's just a song".

    February 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bsbracefan

    ye who has not missed a line n tha national anthem may ye cast tha first note! I know i 've screwed up a line a two.

    February 8, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cowboys Fan

    My favorite person to sing the national athem was Whitney Houston

    February 8, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Justin

    Who booked Christina? Trump said "You're fired!"

    February 8, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rachel

    Christina Aguilar is washed up. The only talent she has (had) is sounding like a screaming banchee. She ruins songs and she killed this one. What a horrible thing to witness.

    This girl really needs to get out of the career she is in, and focus on her unhealthy ego to correct it. Just because she may have some cash in the bank, she has always represented a sleezy chick who thinks she can tear up any song on earth to make herself more popular.

    I will never be a fan of hers. What for?!? I don't like banchees and never did.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jake

    Personally, I don't feel her version was so bad. When compared to the ear splitting Jimi Hendrix guitar version(God rest his soul) and Roseanne's raunchy crotch grabbing spitting rendition, I don't see what all the fussing is about. She's an artist and she did It her way. Every Super Bowl creates some sort of controversy. How many years did everyone yap about the dreaded wardrobe malfunction with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson? The Super Bowl is over folks. Lets all move on now.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    Super bowl producers: Next year invite Reba to sing the anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Karen

    Jeff in CA hit the nail on the head.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff in CA

    Personally I found her performance abysmal and self-serving. I think she got lost in her own self-adoration and not lost in the moment. Overall, the committee seems unable to reconcile the mostly wealthy, mostly older live audience against the demands of the target demographic of 18-34 males. Hence the ridiculous piped-in "roars" from the crowd. At least we were spared the mercenary, falsely overwrought "fans" all dancing "spontaneously" in the same lame manner in front of the stage.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JD

    Tracy: a lot of people expect a more traditional rendition from days gone by. They don't like to see the singer transform the song, make it their own so to speak. Most singers do that when they cover a song but some people feel some songs are off limits.

    On another note I remember the days when the flag was ripped up and se on fire. And I agree with you, it was disrespectful. Those protesters not only ripped up the flag but also spit on soldiers and called them horrible names. My husband never wore his uniform off base.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. tracy

    I think everyone has their own rendition of the National Anthem. I just tried to sing it and had to stop because my dogs started howling. What I don't understand is why some people think the way she sang it was so horrible or disrespectful. I listened to it on YouTube and it was beautiful. Back in the sixties and early seventies, hippies and bikers(because they were upset with the government over the Vietnam War) would sew the American Flag in the crotch of their jeans. Now that is disrespecting your country and your flag!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  17. JD

    Bill has a good suggestion.

    Christina is not the first entertainer to forget the lyrics or sing it in their own style. Some liked it some didn't. At least it wasn't the Roseanne rendition.
    I understand why so many found it offensive however.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  18. DFM

    She embellished the wrong notes and ended up making a simple yet stirring song sounding like it was a high-school hip-hop audition. Constructive criticism totally warranted: nice look, nice voice, lousy execution.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      She is a sleaze and always has been. Can't stand her. She looks like a fake plastic doll.

      But, if you're into dolls......... have at it.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Chris

    Please tell me she did not get paid to do this? As a military veteran, that has put his life on the line for this country. I am outraged, that she could mess up singing the National Anthem. If anything, she should have gotten fined for messing up the National Anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Be

    It was a mistake. Let it go. There's more important issues in the world than Christina missing a line in our National Anthem. People keep talking about how EVERYONE should know the lyrics when I'm pretty sure that at one point or another, you've missed a line. Professionalism? She was professional in not stopping, she was professional in making it still flow without stumbling. Let's move on.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Del

    Black Eye Peas performance was'nt much better, maybe just lousy sound system?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. charlie35

    I can forgive her for flubbing the lyrics but the mayhem she committed on the melody was inexcusable!

    February 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Del

    She performs in front of large crowds all the time. No excuse Christine, it was pathetic. I blame the NFL for not getting a country star, was'nt in Dallas? Another blunder by the NFL.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Danko Ramone

    She deserves EVERY BIT of criticism. She's supposed to be a professional, and is certainly paid like one. She had one small thing to do, as a part of doing her job...sing, and sing the proper lyrics. How hard is that?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Antisocialite

    Hey! It's Enrico Palazzo!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  26. rob

    i think its pretty pathetic that she did not know the national anthem first and formost! As a veteran and purple heart recipient it was a spit in the face to screw up those lyrics on a nationally televised game when there is such a thing as practicing!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Martin


    February 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Angela

    Yes, it is fair to criticize her. This is our NATIONAL ANTHEM! Every American SHOULD know this song by heart! I don't care if you can't carry a tune when you sing it, but you should darn well know the words! I also think (along with other commenters) that 'artists' should not remake their own version of the song...sing it the way is was meant to be sung! It is not their song to change.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Iam-Sure

    I came over to America when I was a seven year old immigrant from Asia. It was the utmost important thing for me to learn & memorized the "STARS SPANGLED BANNER"! When you become an American Citizen & sing those words, you are free because the soldiers whom helped you were "brave:! God bless the USA! That's what the song means to me & should be to all.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lisa

    Damn. I wrote "luckily" twice too. Argh.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Lisa

    She's a professional and the song is the national anthem, something Americans are often expect know, revere and always sing correctly, especially at the culmination of what's widely considered our national sport. But she's just human(!), capable of accidental mistakes like anyone else. Being paid more or doing it professional doesn't make her perfect at it, just (arguably) better. Luckily for most of us, our mistakes will luckily never be seen or scrutinized by millions and millions of people.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  32. B=Dog

    Anyone else remember back in the day when she only had one a** ?

    February 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Barry

    I knew something wasn't right but ya go to enough games (regardless of what game) and it happens (ALOT). I think she had a lot of dignity to apoligize and I agree with her humbled response "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through." It did Ms. Aguilera! ROCK ON!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Greg Styles

    Jason, I agree! there is no excuse for a professional to mess up our National Anthem. And the other singer didn't even sing it in the correct time signature. Am I the only one who gets insulted when singers butcher our National Anthem or sing it incorrectly. It's in 3/4 time not 4/4. I consider both these performances insulting to our country.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  35. MM McAllister

    Yes, she does deserve to be criticized. She messed up the most sacred song of America. Not only did she flub her lines but she did not even have the decency to sing it as is is supposed to be sung. Next time, use a military band or someone who is not trying to make it personal for themselves. She is horrible!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Bill

    Here's a suggestion (one made by several other people on different forums): From now on have a band from one of the service academies or one of the services play the national anthem at the Super Bowl and let the people in the stands sing along if they choose to. There's no need to hire a celebrity to sing it for us. But as far as Ms. Aguilera making mistakes; oh well, she's a human being. Mistakes happen. Heck, her mistakes were nothing compared to Groupon's – who the heck signed off on those things? 🙂

    February 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. k8

    despite the mistake, i think she did great considering she didnt let it stop her. we all make mistakes and im sure it was embarassing for her. shake it off christina, u will laugh about it from now on.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Jason

    honestly, what is so 'difficult' about singing the national anthem? i've been singing it in public since i was a kid.. it's only difficult when you try to out-do yourself, scream at the top of your lungs and try to add too much embellishment. it is fair to criticize her: she is a professional. a VERY highly paid professional. it's a disgrace that she got so lost in the music that she lost her place (or whatever her lame ass excuse is). were she focused, it wouldn't have happened. were she a 10 year old or something, i could forgive her. but she grand-standed the entire piece and made it about her 'interpretation' and not about honoring our country...which, btw, is how they worded it in her intro. she should be ashamed.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  39. American

    As an american you should know the words to our American Star Spangled Banner.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Cheeks

    Yes, she can be criticized but people are being downright hateful towards her for the flub. She didn't do it on purpose, she has sung it successfully at other sporting events, and she sang it well. She messed up some words and of course that is to be talked about – it is the national anthem at one of the biggest national sporting events – but she still performed it well and has a wonderful voice. Criticism comes with the territory, we all get "judged" at our jobs, one of hers just happened to be singing the national anthem in front of the nation...pressure yes, but still her job in which people will critic her job performance. She did everything well except she messed up a line...not the end of the world, but also not a perfect performance. It is what she is hired to do...she messed up...sucks.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  41. El Jefe

    No, it is unfair to criticize her because she looks good. If she were fat and ugly, yes, by all means let her have it...

    February 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Matt

    Christina is a professional singer. She gets paid to sing; in stadiums, concert halls, award shows, and arenas. Most likely, she was paid tens of thousands of dollars (appearance fee) to sing the national anthem which should never be longer than three minutes.

    Three minutes; and she couldn't do it. I don't buy being nervous on a big stage; especially when your job is performing on the big stage. Also, the backlash may also stem from the fact that millions of Americans work jobs to the best of their ability and here comes Christina Aguilera who makes more than any of us ever will, and she can't even fulfill a 3 minute performance of her job. It's time to stop pitying and making excuses for her.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scavengergirl

      Wow. I hope you never make mistakes at work.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Apple

      Exactly, she is a professional and should know the words to the song she has been hired to sing. We all should know the Star Spangle Banner–we're Americans, right? Is the song challenging-sure-but that's why you practice, practice, practice.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diego

      IT'S NOT FAIR!

      February 8, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  43. myforeignear

    Christina brought me to tears because she sings so beautiful. Did she mix up the words? Yes, she's human. Big deal. As far as I know forgetting the words of the National Anthem is not a crime. Try singing the ABC in front of millions, I bet you'll skip a letter or two! Give the girl a break!

    February 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Alex

    Do a YouTube search for "star spangled banner" and "roseanne" if you want something to really get upset about. I've heard professional singers call the song virtually unsingable, certainly difficult, and frankly I think there are far more important things to complain about. At least she didn't have a wardrobe malfunction...

    February 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  45. meme

    I love Christina... but I think it was done for Publicity!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  46. stace

    it's not fair. she's a human being. if anyone who wants to criticize her takes their most embarrassing mistake, then puts it out there for millions to see, you'd be humiliated and would hope that people wouldn't criticize you for a simple mistake. yes, it's the national anthem, but haven't we all got caught up in the moment? don't hate on her. it wasn't intentional. i feel for her. it's a major faux pas. but again, not intentional. it's her national anthem too.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Either she's a professional singer or she isn't. If she is, then she needs to deliver a professional performance, which she didn't. She deserves the criticism.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scavengergirl

      I agree 100%

      February 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Bibasir

    I turned it off when she started singing, because I believe that the National Anthem is a tribute to our country, not the opportunity for a personal exhibition.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • stace

      not to be combative, i mean no disrespect, but someone has to sing it, why not one of our country's best singers? if it was an unknown artist singing it, would you have turned if off? that's still personal exhibition. can't sing the anthem without a signer.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      i agree...

      February 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stance

      Does Christina own a brush? She needed one for her hair at The Super Bowl. Perhaps the Super Bowl Committee can chose a "singer" in the future who can sing the National Anthem as it is really supposed to be sung. The woman obviously foiled her own personal belching rendition. Christina along with Janet Jackson made a mockery of themselves at The Super Bowl. Albeit Janet Jackson favors worse odds as she took her moral responsibility and her role modeling in front of children very lighly and mocked our nation's children along with herself as per her nudity display. Christina, please do yourself a favor and chose a lip stick shade other than blood-curdling red.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Sorry, but in answer to the other replies, she is not one of our country's best singers if she can't figure out that the Star Spangled Banner is a difficult at best song to sing and her over the top style did both her and the song a disservice. She's a pop singer trying to sing what is a difficult song for an opera singer. She was a choice of someone trying to get someone popular to sing it, not the choice of someone who wanted the choice to sing it properly.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Way to go Bibasir. Stace is still out of touch.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Superhiro

    Cut her some slack. It's just a song.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      It is not "just a song", too many people have died defending what it represents for it to be just a song. Maybe if she treated it as just a song, she wouldn't have botched the words or done it such a disservice with her manner of singing. Sometimes simple is best and The Star Spangled Banner is one of those songs that going simple is best (unless you're Jimi Hendrix who is a far better musician that Christine Aguilera).

      February 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      It looks like that Superhiro shows just as much intelligence as Christina did. The National Anthem is way more than just "a song" and if you finished school, you would have found that out. She did not "get lost in the moment" she screwed up in her concentrating on how to over-personalize this national musical treasure of our country. If every performer would render (excuse me superhiro, render means sing) the song as it was originally written without adding their own sorry personal touches, they would receive positive reviews and there would not be any of this online. The National Anthem is a big part of what gives us the freedom to debate issues like this in the first place. So Superhiro, it's way more that just a song.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Al

    Certainly is fair to be critical of her. 1) it's the national anthem, 2) she has no issue memorizing all her songs for her concerts...how many a night is that??, 3) she's got access to an earpiece, 4) the words are on the big screen, 5) you're a professional.....act like it.

    February 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sad truth

      Fact of the matter is, not everyone knows the national anthem. Do you know?

      February 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheefsfury



      February 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Looks like cheefsfury doesn't know it. Either that or his poor grammar threw me off guard completely.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony2816

      If I had to sing it in any where in public, never mind the Superbowl, I sure would know the words.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linna

      cut her some slack.....she is a great singer and it was so exciting. She is human and excitement does get to starts also.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |

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