Because the Super Bowl can’t possibly make do with just one diva, two powerhouse songbirds kicked off this year’s game: Lea Michele and Christina Aguilera. Michele went first to warble out a (rather muzak-ically arranged) rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Dressed in a demure white pea coat and beige trousers, Michele sounded fine to my ears and seemed perfectly poised, her voice betraying little evidence of any nerves she might have been feeling. But let’s face it: Girl was merely the warm-up act for the real diva on hand — even if the camera did cut to ex-prez W and the missus Laura in the stadium during her song.
I suppose by Xtina standards, the “five-time Grammy winner” looked pretty modest as she took the stage to turn our national anthem into her usual melisma-palooza, but come on. Christina doesn’t get out of bed without the promise of at least a little razzle-dazzle. Hence, the bedazzled stilettos that offset her black power suit. To go with her power pipes! And mic stand? She don’t need no stinkin’ mic stand! That would get in the waaa-ahh-aaa-ahh-aaa-yyyyy of all her vocal runs! The lady’s a belter. And belt out the “Star-Spangled Banner” she did.
But… oops! In all her wailing, Aguilera flubbed a line. About 50 seconds in, instead of “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming,” she sang “What so proudly we watched, at the twilight’s last gleaming.” Yikes. Poor Francis Scott Key is turning in his grave. (UPDATE: Aguilera said in a statement following her rendition of the song: “I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”)
So Michele gets points for singing the lyrics correctly. But for pure star, wow-we’re-at-the-Superbowl-let’s-put-on-a-show! power, there’s no denying that Xtina lives for that. She entertained. And she made more football players cry.
Also: She had the better shoes.
What do you think? In the battle of the divas, who takes the glittery Superbowl Songbird Princess crown?