Three cheers for Saskatoon singer, Alexis Normand

While I was born and raised in Canada, I will let you in on a little secret: I hate hockey. So, that might fly in the face of Canada’s image around the world: that all Canadians love our hockey. But the news story of Saskatoon-based jazz singer, Alexis Normand, botching the U.S. anthem at the Memorial Cup has caught my interest.

A few lines into the Star-Spangled Banner, Normand began to fumble her words. Sure, it might not be what one would expect of a singer delivering a national anthem. And yes, although I wasn’t there, I can understand why some would find themselves sniggering. While watching her well-publicized performance on video, I felt a swelling of embarrassment for her, not because she was stumbling, but I was embarrassed about the crowd “booing” her performance (even though the crowd came to her rescue).

Surely any educated human being would quickly understand that this must an ill-intended mistake and a serious case of nervousness.

To Alexis Normand: I have never met you, but I wanted to congratulate you on being brave enough to: a) stand up in front of a crowd and sing; b) finish the song in light of the poorly behaved crowd, and; c) share your honest feelings with the world after the fact.