Buzzing The Net

2013 Memorial Cup: Performer Alexis Normand will return after botched U.S. anthem, but only to sing O Canada

Buzzing The Net

View photo


Performer Alexis Normand sings at the Memorial Cup on Saturday (Sportsnet)

SASKATOON, Sask. — Saturday, Alexis Normand went from regionally known fransaskoise jazz/folk performer with a niche following to breaking the Internet after staking a place aside Carl Lewis and Roseanne Barr for the all-time worst performances of The Star-Spangled Banner prior to a sports event.

There was an instant awareness among the media at the Memorial Cup that they had just witnessed a debacle destined to be replayed more years. Part of being a performer, though, is knowing not everything will go perfectly. It turns out Normand will be an anthem singer again on Tuesday, although she will only need to perform O Canada since it's a Halifax Mooseheads-London Knights game an the Portland Winterhawks are idle.

From Kevin Mitchell:

“I was swearing at myself,” she recalls, "and trying to decide — do I leave, do I stay? I’m like ‘no — you can’t leave now, it would be worse to leave and come back and do it again.’ By the time I was trying to decide what to do and swearing at myself, the crowd started encouraging me, singing along and helping me get through it. I felt supported. I was like, okay, this is embarrassing, but suck it up, buttercup — chug along. Also, there was another anthem after this one. This is just the beginning.” (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

As for as getting another shot at the U.S. national anthem, Normand told Mitchell she isn't sure when that would happen. Perhaps that's a Tosh 2.0 web redemption waiting to happen. Another way to even it up would be, if Normand is game, perform The Star-Spangled Banner at a Winterhawks home game next season, or before another Portland team's game. People have the capacity to forgive and would no doubt be welcoming, since Normand has shown genuine contrition for what happened.

When I’m singing the national anthem, in some ways, I’m an ambassador for Saskatoon and Saskatchewan and Canada,” she said. “I know I let a lot of people down, and I’m very sorry.”

It says here the buck doesn't stop with Nornand entirely. There was apparently a lot of reverberation when she performed and that might have rattled her. Also, the event staff at Credit Union Centre might have helped out by displaying the anthem lyrics on the videoboard, as some sports teams do. Hindsight is 20/20, though, so Alexis Normand has to own it.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to

View Comments