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Steven Tyler, the nicest and cuddliest judge on "American Idol," has a habit of telling almost everyone on "Idol" that they're "beautiful, just beautiful." But I have to wonder how he or his fellow judges, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, would ever react if a prospective contestant walked into the "Idol" audition room and sang a song as pitchy as Steven's rendition of the national anthem at this Sunday's Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots AFC Championship game.
Look, I love me some S.Ty. He's one of rock 'n' roll's greatest legends and finest frontmen, a national treasure in fact--and really, who else could pull off a sequined Patriots scarf with such panache? And in his defense, Steven was singing live at the AFC game, while so many other "Star-Spangled Banner" performers have opted to lip-synch because acoustic conditions in such enormodomes are far from ideal. But that being said...this was not good, dawg. Maybe Steven should have lip-synched. I imagine the only reason he wasn't booed right off the field was the fact that he's a local Boston hero, and he was performing at Massachusetts' Gillette Stadium. Or that, you know, he's Steven Tyler, and people just love the guy no matter what he does.
However, outside Gillette Stadium, in the even vaster Twitterverse, there was a whole lot more jeering than cheering for Steven's um, interesting interpretation of the anthem.
"The Insider" host and former Fox Sports/ESPN anchorman Kevin Frazier tweeted: "Was [Ravens linebacker] Ray Lewis crying during the National Anthem or was Steven Tyler hurting his ears?" Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock posted: "Steven Tyler far more obscene than Janet Jackson's [bared Super Bowl breast]." Sports Business News writer Howard Bloom tweeted: "Is there any chance Ray Lewis can tackle Steven Tyler?" MMA Beatdown chimed in with: "BREAKING NEWS: New England authorities are seeking out Steven Tyler for questioning in relation to a homicide on the National Anthem today." Sports humorist Ashley Burns sardonically pointed out: "Please remember that Steven Tyler's job is criticizing people who sing." And even old-school rappers Naughty By Nature randomly tweeted: "I'm sorry Steven Tyler I can't give u a yellow ticket to move on to LA with that performance....what are ya votes Jennifer & Randy?"
Only former reality singer Aubrey O'Day, of "Making The Band"/Danity Kane infamy, seemed to be feeling the S.Ty love, tweeting: "Love Steven Tyler singing the nat anthem! Werk."
Honestly, I think Steven is a fantastic rock singer--his performance of Aerosmith's "Dream On" was THE highlight of the Season 10 "American Idol" finale last year--but this was absolutely not his best moment. It did not werk. Steven was not in it to win it in this particular AFC game.
Nice scarf, though.