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Super Bowl 2011: Lea Michele versus Christina Aguilera [poll]

Christina Aguilera sings the national anthem at the 2011 Super Bowl This post has been corrected. Please see the note at the bottom.

We won't know who won the 2011 Super Bowl for a few hours — so until then, can we decide whether Lea Michele or Christina Aguilera won the pregame singing contest?

Wearing a cream-colored car-length coat and tan slacks, Michele knocked out "America the Beautiful," right before Aguilera took the field in a little black Dolce & Gabbana suit to rock (some of the words to) "The Star Spangled Banner."

Which diva did the better job, or was it a tie? No fair giving Aguilera an advantage just because she got the flyover as a finale.


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For the record, 4:24 p.m.: This post originally said Lea Michele sang "God Bless America"; the "Glee" star actually sang "America the Beautiful," and we sang it right along with her and still typed the other song title. Thanks to commenters @lynebg, @Sheilah and @Mini for flagging the gaffe. Those who'd like to hear "God Bless America" will have to settle for Tony Bennett's World Series version.

— Christie D'Zurilla

Lea Michele sings God Bless America at the 2011 Super Bowl

Top photo: Christina Aguilera sings the national anthem before the Super Bowl XLV game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Charlie Krupa / Associated Press.

Bottom photo: Lea Michele sings "America the Beautiful" before Super Bowl XLV. Credit: Nelson Chenault / US Presswire.

Comments () | Archives (86)

Christina has bigger B*lls that most, to get up in front of over 100 million people watching and to sing acepella. This wasn't an audience of 100 viewers...it is big. I am not even a fan of her, well all make mistakes and it could have happened to anyone. Again, she was solo, NO MUSIC. has to be very stressful and I don't care WHO you are !!!

I am amazed at the hypocrisy of critics of any performer of the National Anthem since I rarely meet anyone who even makes an attempt at learning any other verses. I am sure they are the same people who sit in their empty little rooms waxing prolifically on what the Pittsburg quarter back did wrong, while wrecking their own bodies, never having enough guts to try to actually accomplish anything in their own lives.
I don't think most people really realize what that song is trying to convey unless you do go past the first verse. It is an impossible song to sing. It almost demands some improvisation and takes incredible concentration. My hat is off to anyone who stands in front of thousands and tries it. I have played it for years and have never found a arrangement I like of it. To each and every critic, you try to do that song in front of people. The fact she blew the words, means she was taking the music seriously.
I would love to hear someone come out and sing every verse of the song, including Oliver Wendel Holmes verse. Just leave out the first one. Then maybe all these armchair dilettante pseudo patriots will learn something about our country.
I bow to Christina, even if I am not a fan of hers in any way shape or form. She knows something her critics don't know.
This country takes effort and in spite of work, which she obviously put into it, it does not always come out as planned. As a matter of fact, in spite of the propaganda rewrite, we lost that war. Won the last battle in New Orleans, but for the most part in spite of the bravery we barely survived it. Christina may have represented that conflict better than the smoothest Wayne Metzger interpretation. Who, does it better than anyone. He happens to be gifted, as are all Americans, his just happens to be with the Defense of Fort McHenry.

I noticed the messed up lyrics immediately. I hope she blew it because of the enormous stage, people all over the world watching. I hope!

I'm not sure what was worse. Christina's version, or Rosanne Barr's at a baseball game where she grabbed her crotch afterwards. I hope Christina's was unintentional, unlike Rosanne's! Huge stage, hundreds of millions watching, I hope she just choked and actually knows the words.

What on earth makes people think that Aguilera's overdone screamed warbling is good singing? She can't stay on a note and she couldn't reach the final high notes of the song. Do you all think that she sounds powerful? Do you think that's what singing is about? What a shame we don't teach music and the arts in this country. Chrisitina, Fergie, Celine, Cher...all would be out of a job.

At least Lea Michele knew the words to the song she was singing. I didn't think Christina Aguilera could possibly butcher the song any worse than using her usual over singing.. but to not even remember the lyrics to your own national anthem. What a loser.

Lea michele was good but at christina showed everyone who had the better vocal skills

Hey Christina! How about you learn the words to the National Anthem BEFORE you sing it in front of millions of people? And regarding all the runs and stylization? All I can say is that I hope they never invite you to do it again. Not good.

Honestly, in my opinion both singers sucked. Lea Michelle wasn't anything special to me and Christina---does she have to sing out every word for a mile? Atleast sing the right ones for christ sakes. I'm just wondering if America has what it takes to actually feature...I dunno...I REAL performer, not just someone who is constantly raped by the public eye.

she sucked big time!!!! what a disgrace!!!

@jlc Couldn't have said it better myself

People need to get over it - is this just a way to generate an article for your gossip/press sites? One damn line and Christina gets hated. She's human for goodness sake. Seems like everything the game preached isn't being applied to Xtina because she missed a line.

Still, Christina is still a legend. Four octave and five time Grammy winner? Let's see you try and pull that off.

How can Americans keep tolerating these so-called "singers" and "stars" that get out there and scream and play around with the melody line as written. Since when do we make the "version" a personal statement. Next year, I hope the Super Bowl committee at least gets someone that HAS a voice in the first place. Thomas Hampson, Renee Fleming, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell are a few that come to mind. I have travelled the world extensively and know the national anthems of at least seven or eight countries besides ours, no one in these countries would dare to deviate as badly as had been displayed tonight and by other such "singers" of recent years. This is a national symbol that does not need their embelishment to make their personal statement. Sing it straight or get off the stage!!

People are being way too hard on Christina. i thought it was great. she missed one word. big deal. still sounded superb!

Lea did much better then Christina. Christina overdid the song and the Anthem is one song that should not be "adjusted." It almost did not even sound like the anthem at times when she was singing...not to mention the lyrics she messed up. I feel bad for Christina, but a seasoned performer should know better. It's not like she's never sang live to many many people before, right?

i was immediately jarred as soon as christina went off-track on the national anthem lyrics. i couldn't believe it. i really was surprised; i realize that it has got to be incredible pressure, but she is a professional that performs in front of large crowds all the time. there's no excuse for that.

in addition, she didn't look very good. it made me wonder what is going on with her in general. i'm not saying she isn't a good vocalist; obviously, she must be. however, she was not tonight. it makes me wonder what is going on with her to not look her best and to not get our national anthem correct, when she's done it multiple times before successfully.

it saddened me.

I was really disappointed by Christina's singing of the National Anthem. I've long defended her as being one of the rare pop artists with actual vocal talent, but her performance tonight was much less than I expected. I respect an artist's right to interpret music, but this song is supposed to be an upbeat march conveying national pride, not a drawn out over dramatized event. It's bigger than any one singer and shouldn't be turned into a venue to showcase one's ability to do vocal runs. She had one song to sing, and she didn't just forget lyrics (which is completely ridiculous for a professional with one song to perform), she misinterpreted the entire meaning of the song.

In contrast, Lea Michele didn't indulge in over embellished vocals, she let the song be what it was intended to be. Her singing was lovely and understated. She allowed the music to shine without making it about her, but also proved that she is a talented young vocalist. I respect the fact that she has the confidence in her voice to perform the song as written, instead of turning it into something it was never intended to be. I can see how she became one of Broadway's brightest stars.

I only wish Christina would have found a way to be proud of her performance without making the song more about her than the message she was supposed to convey.

She didn't mean to goof the lines of the National Anthem. We love you Christina !!! You are beautful and very talented. Everyone makes mistakes.

Christina Aguilera gets the lyrics of our national anthem wrong, the LA Times gets the name of the song wrong, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY?????

I didn't like how either song was sung. Christina can sing but she butchered the National Anthem, even if you don't count her messing up the lyrics. With her voice it could have been one of the best versions of the song ever performed on national television. The arrangement was terrible.

Amen and Amen to what FaithLynette said in her comment. I thought Christina Aguilera and Lea Michele both did a terrible singing job to our patriotic songs.

Lea Michele was simply great. Christina Aguilera was horrible in all respects. The Black Eyed Peas were embarrassingly hilarious, though the thousand dancers were impressive. The game was good. At least poor Slash got a check for enduring his role.

AMERICA! HELL YEA! Christina Aguilera....eh...yay. Lea Michele....never even heard of her....but AMERICA!

Lea Michele, always the professional. She will not only prove to be the voice of a lifetime for her vocal ability and unique timbre, but for the things she speaks of off the stage. Lea is a human and animal rights activist, even though she seeks the spotlight, she always tries to do what she can to help others.

I'm guessing Christina tried to use her credentials to overshadow the dominating Glee star Lea Michelle, so maybe she got nerves at the thought that she had to go live when Lea didn't. I find it disheartening that anyone can mess up a song that almost everyone knows. I'd rather the singers had been switched - I'm sure Lea would've kept it nice and simple, because it's not about the game or the performers or even the players: it's about tradition and patriotism.
p.s. 'Glee' was awesome afterwards.
p.s.s Packers were good - tho I hate to admit it - but I'll die a Steeler fan.

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