If you’re like me, you spent the weekend watching non-stop Olympic coverage while pounding Diet Cokes and CruditÃ©s at your favorite local sports bar. And amongst the many inspiring and patriotic ads playing (notably the Visa commercials that give me chills), Nike has been running the following Basketball Just Do It campaign, featuring Marvin Gaye singing the National Anthem as the backdrop to our Redeem Team prepping for The Games.
It might just be one of the best commercials ever. And it also inspired me to scour the internet for some of the best — and worst — National Anthem performances. What follows are my findings. Let’s start with the worst.
THE 5 WORST NATIONAL ANTHEM PERFORMANCES
5. Hillary Clinton and The Secret Microphone. I’m guessing Obama can at least hold a tune, which will really come in handy during those semi-awkward Housing of Urban Development Karaoke Parties.
4. The Police Officer Who Freestyles the Lyrics. Bless those audience members who hold it together.
Still to come: A young, tone-deaf Xtina, The Cactus Cuties, and who will be Number 1?
3. 11-Year-Old Christina Aguilera Butchers American Dream at Hockey Game. She’s got a good voice, alright, but perhaps it took some time to mature. This is like a baby whale blowhole tootin’ out the oldies. (No idea what that means, but it works.)
2. Contipated Preacher. Two solid minutes of hilarity… it’s like Correctol for the soul.
1. The Best 10 Second Rendition Ever… Followed By An Amazing Payoff. A classic video, to be sure. Make sure to watch it til the end, and remember: God is always watching.
Honorable Mention: Roseanne Grabs Crotch and Spits.
THE 5 BEST NATIONAL ANTHEM PERFORMANCES
5. TIED: Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill for the NFL. Sorry Kelly Clarkson. You might be the original AI gangsta and all, but Carrie beats you here. And dare I suggest she’s singing it live? Unheard of these days.
Tied for 5th, is Faith Hill’s equally amazing and equally live Superbowl rendition:
4. The Cactus Cuties, Tiny, Harmonic. Try to hate these little girls. We dare you.
3. Marvin Gaye Sexes the Anthem Up. Here is the full performance.
2. Hand Farted Anthem. You have to admit… IT’S AMAZING.
1. Whitney Houston at The Superbowl. It’s hard to tell if this was pre-recorded or sung live. But no matter which way you slice it, Houston’s Star-Spangled Banner rendition still ranks as my favorite of all time. Go America.
Honorable Mentions: Mariah Carey’s Pre-Recorded Version and Beyonce’s Awesome Superbowl Rendition (Yes, I like Beyonce. Deal.)