The hoop-tastic USMNT was in fine form during its 5-1 demolition of Scotland, but one American at Jacksonville's Everbank Field was notable for a disappointing performance. Singer Victoria Zarlenga is no stranger to vocal patriotism, but she made Carl Lewis sound like a euphonious chorus of angels with her unique take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" before kickoff.
It may have been nerves, it may have been that her monitor wasn't working properly, but the singer — who has now locked up her Twitter account and is presumably hiding under a pile of coats until this all blows over — clearly didn't have a good day at the office.
UPDATE: Victoria Zarlenga has emailed DT to tell us what happened. See below for her response (hint: I totally nailed it with the in-ear monitor speculation)...
I totally hear you, this was not a good performance and I take full responsibility for it! I did not realize I would need ear buds as monitors and to block out the stadium sound delay, lack of knowledge on my part. Therefore, I had to borrow a pair from the sound crew that were too large for my ears and were popping out. Watching the video you can see that I was trying to hold the left ear bud in with my hand.
That said, I was unable to hear myself and was only hearing the few seconds delay of my voice in the stadium. To add to the challenge, the fans were singing in sync with my few seconds delay. I kept hearing myself and the fans singing what I knew I had just sung a few seconds prior through the whole song. That was an incredible challenge just to get through the song, trying to concentrate on finishing, let alone pitch, time, etc.
I heard from a few fans that said the view on the Jumbotron was not in sync with what they were hearing. Apparently the TV recording and stadium sound were two separate systems - you had to be present at the stadium to see and hear the delay. I was very disoriented with all these variables!