Shooter shoot. Plain and simple.
This past weekend Stacy Ann Ferguson took the grand stage of the NBA All Star game as her opportunity to take as shot. More commonly known as the former lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas “Fergie” was tasked with singing the national anthem. Tasked maybe isn’t the word but this song in particular is in my opinion one of the, if not THE, hardest to perform in front of a live audience. Not to mention in front of millions of viewers, the NBA’s biggest stars and a handful of rappers and Celebrities mashed together in some sort of party/sporting event in LA no less.
Now the National Anthem is no joke. It’s before nearly every major sporting event in this great nation. It’s the one moment everyone in attendance is silent for a split second as all attention is focussed on the performer awaiting that opening line. Once started its an immediate weird mix of patriotism and criticism. We all know the words. We all know how its “supposed” to go. Until we don’t. Fergie was one of the many performers over the years who was going to put their own spin on this American staple. Bold move Fergie.
It starts out innocent enough. A little bit of America, mixed with an attempt at a bluesy twang, sprinkled off with a subtle instrumental playing in the background. She successfully navigated “Oh say can you see…” then she threw a like sexy twang into the next few lines channeling a Marilyn Monroe like sound that sends you straight into the live jazz bar. If this were any other song, in a dimly lit bar, serving martinis and with Fergie laid out on a piano we wouldn’t be batting an eye.
This is where TNT destroyed her. While her admittedly “different” take on the anthem was unfolding they began the stereotypical pan over the players. Fine, pretty standard. This is when the wheels start to come off unfortunately. A few players have that look on their face, you know the one, the WTF is going on look. The I’m on camera so act normal look. Then the camera shows a few celebrities. This is where It gets ugly for Fergie. Chance the Rapper visibly laughs, mid anthem. Laughs. Then Steph Curry breaks character and smiles. Then everyone’s favorite Draymond Green sees he’s on TV and notices how stupid his face looks and he breaks down and laughs… Mid anthem…. It was all over then.
Fergie then hits that part of the anthem we all know. I like to call It the Freestyle section of the routine. The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air. You know the part where everyone tries to “make It their own” and throw a spin on It. And boy did she ever. Full on Blues/Jazz action. And se never wavered. holding to her guns as the crowd audibly and nervously applauded and chuckled. And in a flash It was all over, the twitter firestorm was ragging and Fergie was being destroyed on social media. But you know what. Listen to It again. Listen to It 3 more times. And listen to It without the video. Just listen. It’s not terrible. Hell it’s no where near the worst i’ve heard. It’s unique, yes. But it’s not the dumpster fire twitter makes It out to be. She took her shot and she owned It. She knew what she was doing. She was trying to be artistic and that takes balls. She knew she would be risking It going out there. She could have just sang the song and held that last note for an hour and gone home. Nope she went all out. Kudos.
She sang her heart out and what did we do? Destroy her for It. Could we sing It better? I know I damn sure couldn’t. And that’s whats wrong with this world. Something different is immediately thrown on social media and mocked. It’s turned into memes and it’s absorbed with immediate reactions. It’s hated on. I say “you go girl”. Sure It wasn’t the best. Sure you probably shouldn’t have chosen the National Anthem to try out your new sexy flair. But you shot you shot, and I can respect that. Fergie wasn’t afraid to do something different.