Last night, millions of viewers tuned in to watch the 86th annual Academy Awards show. Without getting into the details, the night had exactly the type of boring drivel that the yearly ceremony is known for. And as usual, many of the viewers tuning in were simply there to catch a few glimpses of celebrities in their best dresses, and to hear some of last years most important film music.
The four nominees for best original score included "Happy" by Pharell Williams, "The Moon Song" from Karen O, U2's "Ordinary Love", and the winner "Let it go" from Idina Menzel. For the last moment of the Oscars, Idina Menzel performed the Disney smash "Let it go" to close out the ceremony. Unfortunately for myself and everyone else that was watching, Idina's performance was terrible, and a real disappointment.
Credit: http://s.wsj.net/Let me begin by saying that I enjoy the song quite a bit. "Let it Go" appears on the Disney movie "Frozen", and is written by Bobby Lopez. The song is a huge hit, and won the Oscar for best original score, earning the songwriter the much coveted (and very rare) EGOT. In addition, Idina Menzel is an amazing singer in her own right. Her performance on the studio version of "let it go" is fantastic, and could not be done unless she possessed the ability to pull it off in the first place. No, the issue here is not the writing, or even Idina Menzel herself, but the performance that occurred last night.
From the start, it was clear that Idina was nervous. How could you blame her, with so many people watching expectantly, the pressure would be unbearable. But, as with nervousness, the performance began to suffer. Her pitch was wavering, her tone was off, and she had a lot of difficulty hitting that last and all-so-important high note. It was clear by her expression at the end that she knew it wasn't her best work. But alas, when performing live, these things happens. Her nerves, combined with (what I assume) was a poor monitoring system making it difficult to hear herself, caused Idina to give a lacklustre live performance. In other words, she choked.
The fact that Idina did not sing well is important for many reasons. For one, it points to the fact that no one on the internet knows what they are talking about. A quick online search of the ceremony will bring hundreds of news headlines about how Idina brought down the house with a dazzling and powerful performance. Idina did look Dazzling, and the song is indeed powerful, but her singing was neither of the two.
Credit: http://media.salon.com/Secondly, and most importantly, this performance revealed to the world what can happen with real, LIVE, music. Live singing is not about Autotune, or lip-syncing, but using your talents to the best of your ability on the spot. With so much recent controversy over the Red Hot Chilli Peppers performing to a backing track at the Superbowl, or Beyoncé Lip-singing for Barack Obama's inauguration, this was refreshing to see.
The fact that this performance was truly live is a testament to the bravery of Idina Menzel. Given the opportunity, I doubt many vocalists would have done much better. Performing is not an easy task, and it showed last night. Idina is a wonderful singer, but the Academy Awards was just not her night. I respect and admire her for going out and giving it her best shot. Besides, I'm sure the rehearsal was pretty solid.