During her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon on Saturday night, Alexis Normand forgets the words around 15 seconds in. That’s OK. We’ve all seen this happen at a sporting event.
It’s what follows that makes this, perhaps, the biggest train-wreck version of the anthem ever heard at a hockey game:
The Saskatoon singer, who performs folk and jazz music, started falteringly in front of the large crowd and a Portland team which is not only based in the United States, but also has 10 Americans in its lineup. The rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner seemed to unravel once Normand got to the third line. Then the "whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight" was bowdlerized into "those broad stripes and bright stars... at the dawn's early light." The Credit Union Centre crowd seemed amused initially. Eventually, thousands of Canadians came to the rescue and completed the lyrics.
At one point, Normand appears to just be making noises that sound like words, like when you forget a lyric while singing in your car. It’s the first version of the anthem we’ve ever heard that would have benefited from the singer faking a cough, like Bruce Campbell reading from the Necronomicon in “Army of Darkness.” The only thing missing was her turning to the camera at the end and bellowing "AND HELLO ALL YOU PEOPLE ON YOUTUBE!" before winking.
To her credit, Normand quickly tweeted an apology after the anthem:
I'm embarrassed and deeply sorry. I wish I'd had more time to learn the American anthem. Thanks so much for the crowd's help! #memorialcup
— Alexis Normand (@Alex6Normand) May 19, 2013
Hey, it happens. Although not always that spectacularly. The look on No. 13 Kegan Iverson’s face says it all: