How Bad was Steven Tyler's Rendition of the National Anthem?

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Singer Steven Tyler horrified viewers with his pitchy performance of the national anthem.
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Singer Steven Tyler horrified viewers with his pitchy performance of the national anthem.

Yikes. Steven Tyler is the front man for one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. No one could argue with the prowess of his pipes. He's even sung in front of large football crowds at the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl. Surely singing the national anthem before Sunday's playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens would be a walk in the park right? Not so much, as it turns out.

To Steven's credit it looked to be really, really cold out there in Boston over the weekend. The steam coming from the "American Idol" judge's mouth as he belted out the tune was apparent. It can't be easy to sing perfectly in those conditions. That being said, Tyler's rendition will definitely end up on a lot of "Worst Versions of the National Anthem" lists.

What trips up most celebrities when it comes to singing the national anthem before a sporting even is the lyrical content of the song. The prose of the verses was written almost 200 years ago, so perhaps it's the way in which the words are phrased, but for whatever reason the words get mangled more than anything. In Steven's defense, he was pretty much spot on, with exception of a garbled "o'er" once in a while.

No, what made this performance so surprisingly awful was Tyler's intonation, phasing and pitch problems. It sounded like the notes were not coming easily, and the high register notes that he made an attempt at were particularly hair-raising...and not in a good way. When he began to ramp up for the pivotal line, the line on which every singer wants to make their mark with this patriotic hymn, "O'er the land of the free," we all knew he was in trouble. He ended up having to over-compensate at the end of the phrase, tossing in a signature "scream" to cover for his faltering.

In defense of the rock icon, he was nowhere near as off-key and embarrassing as Rosanne Barr was when she gave perhaps the worst rendition ever. Probably what offended everyone most was that just a few hours after this very forgettable performance, the nation tuned in and saw Steven Tyler acting as judge in a singing competition, on Fox's "American Idol." He'd better be careful in the upcoming season to not be too harsh with his criticisms. After all, it's not hard to imagine a wounded young singer shooting back at him about this monstrosity of performance.

How would you rate Steven Tyler's singing of the national anthem this past Sunday? Drop a comment and let us know!

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