Whether you chalk it up to nerves, last-minute scheduling or the fact that she’s a Canadian, it’s safe to say Alexis Normand will not make the same mistake twice.
Next time Normand, a jazz singer from Canada, agrees to sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ before an arena full of fans and a worldwide audience, she will make sure she knows the words, all of them, by heart.
“I’m embarrassed and deeply sorry. I wish I’d had more time to learn the American anthem,” Normand tweeted Sunday, one day after she made her way into the annals of bad renditions of America’s national anthem as the special guest singer at a Memorial Cup hockey game in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Normand, who did not reply to requests for comment placed by ABCNews.com, drew laughs, shocked looks and jeers from the crowd – and even a few smiles from the hockey players on the ice – when she managed to forget the song’s words only a few lines in.
After giving a quick smile and composing herself, Normand continued on, only to garble the words once again, before finally giving up and just singing what she knew of the song. In the end, it was the crowd of hockey fans, Canadian and American alike, who came to her aid in finishing the song.
“Thanks so much for the crowd’s help! #memorialcup,” Normand tweeted.
Off the ice, Normand’s bad day quickly made its way to the Internet, resulting in a barrage of criticism for the singer who, according to her website, studied music and education at the University of Ottawa, graduating in 2007.
“No doubt it’s been a rough 24 hrs! Thanks to everyone who has sent supportive messages! I also empathize with victims of cyber-bullying,” she tweeted late Sunday night.
Normand told the Toronto Star she blamed her performance on nerves and a last-minute scheduling request.
“I was asked [Saturday] morning and I agreed,” she told the newspaper. “I’m usually a quick study and I’ve been learning songs for a long time. I had learned all the lyrics, but nerves just got the best of me and I got really nervous and it all unwound from there.”