By Allan Muir
Well, this is an anthem we won’t soon forget. Alexis Normand, a Saskatoon-based jazz singer who performs primarily in French, was on hand to deliver the Star Spangled Banner prior to tonight’s Memorial Cup round-robin game between the Halifax Mooseheads and Portland Winterhawks.
And unless she was trying out her Frank Drebin impression, it did not go well.
Normand made it through the first few lines of the American national anthem, but started wobbling when “twilight’s last gleaming” became “twilight’s first gleaming.” Not a huge flub in and of itself, but you can see the panic setting in at that point. Next thing you know: utter chaos.
The crowd was amused (and judging by the reaction shots, so were the Winterhawks) as Normand’s brain went into word-soup scramble, mixing in random phrases, mumbles and hums in an attempt to fill in the blanks. Eventually, they stepped up and bailed Normand out long enough for her to find her way back on track for the big finish…but not before she worked herself into the conversation alongside Roseanne Barr and Carl Lewis for the most memorable national anthem performance of all-time.