Kelly Clarkson's National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI: How Did She Do?

Things might get a little awkward on the set of The Voice come Monday morning — especially if Kelly Clarkson bumps into Christina Aguilera at the craft services table.

Clarkson — inaugural American Idol champ, current pop superstar, and recently announced adviser to Voice judge Blake Shelton — just finished killing it delivering the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Voice mentor Aguilera, meanwhile, pretty much murdered “The Star Spangled Banner” (and not in a good way) with a botched lyric and a histrionic delivery a year ago (at Super Bowl XLV).

But hey…let’s not dwell on the tawdry past. (Xtina, after all, gave us “Beautiful,” “Dirrty,” “Ain’t No Other Man,” and Beverly McClellan — all of which we are thankful for.)

Clarkson, dressed in a simple black boat-neck dress (and rocking some dark and stylish bangs), proved a sublime choice to deliver the National Anthem at the start of the New York Giants-New England Patriots showdown. Backed by a chorus of adorable grade-schoolers, Clarkson showed blessed restraint, took just a few interesting liberties with the melody, and delivered a performance that was heartfelt, respectful, and chock full of power. (Wish they’d shown just a little more of her, though, no?)

What did you think of Clarkson’s “Star Spangled Banner”? Take our poll below, share your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned to all night long for coverage of Super Bowl ads, halftime show, and more!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lee Ann says:

    I thought Kelly did an amazing job! She didn’t change it up too much and just really nailed it!! Loved it!!

  2. T says:

    <3 me some Kelly… thought she did *extremely* well. She sang our nation's song beautifully, with a respect and classiness that's often lacking in today's pop stars. Proud to be a fan of Kelly. Way to go, KC!

  3. Annabelle says:

    SHE WAS NOT LIP SYNCING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you!!! She has never lip synced in her career so why start now… ppl are just being haters

      • Billy says:

        I wouldn’t bet even small change that Madonna wasn’t lip syncing, though.

        • Mike says:

          I won’t even pretend to know how difficult it is to sing in a loud statium during the Super Bowl while factoring in echos and all that fun stuff, but I would think it would be easier to sing the National Anthem live than to put on the giant 12 minute half-time production with live singing. I think Madonna mixed it up depending on if it was a “dance number” or “vocal number”…i.e. pretty sure she sang “Like a Prayer”.
          And yes, Kelly was phenomenal!

  4. Kenny says:

    Brilliant. She didn’t add too much melisma or runs or any of that crap. She just sang it, and she sang it well.

  5. Evan says:

    Well, she’s no Whitney Houston, but frankly, who is?

    • cg says:

      Well Simon Cowell put her in the same league as Whitney when she was on Idol and the man knows his stuff. :)

    • Mike says:

      Well, technically, Whitney isn’t even Whitney anymore either. :-)

      • Evan says:

        Haha- I almost thought about saying that very thing. :)
        But I mean that it’ll be hard to ever top Whitney’s version of the song and the circumstances surrounding that performance.

        • shelly says:

          Whitney has beautiful tone, Kelly’s is even nicer. I give it to Kelly. Wonderful performance last night. Loved the childrens choir and the drummers as well.

  6. KSM says:

    So good. Second only to Whitney, which is the gold standard.

  7. Michelle says:

    Kelly is my favorite artist!!! She is so amazing! And she proved to the world tonight why! She sang the song beautifully and it is by far the best I have heard at the Super Bowl in a VERY LONG TIME!!!

  8. Yelly clarkson says:

    The obese bigot stunk. She is vile.

    • John Grose says:

      I’m constantly amazed how, when given the opportunity to communicate and participate in a greater whole, humanity chooses to respond… – John

    • musicfan says:

      1. Kelly is not obese, far from it. She looked great last night.
      2. She is not a bigot, that is not who Kelly is.
      3. She did not stink, she rocked it, getting praises from everyone.
      4. She is not vile
      5. Going by your name Kelly does not yell. When she “yells” it’s called power and range.
      6. You don’t know what real raw talent is.

  9. John Grose says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ms. Clarkson and Super Bowl producers, for just singing the damn song. It is beautiful and inspiring in its own right – we don’t need people adding their own “special touch” to it. That’s where artists start to screw up. You want to knock our socks off? Just sing the damn song. – John

  10. John says:

    Can we, just once, have someone sing that beautiful song without ruining it with a bunch of “runs”, or whatever they are called?

    • Mike says:

      Yes, we can. You just heard it last night. She didn’t do a “BUNCH” of runs. She may have slipped a couple in but they weren’t obnoxious and didn’t detract from the song. (I’m right with you on people who butcher the anthem with the obnoxious runs. Kelly’s didn’t even compare to that.) She performed a very classy and beautiful rendition of our country’s anthem.

  11. Trista says:

    Kelly was amazing! As usual she is a class act – totally respectful and spot on!!!!

  12. Becky says:

    Beautifully done. In the last several years, Kelly and another Idol powerhouse, Jordin Sparks, gave the anthem its due – respectful, powerful, and most importantly, recognizable!

  13. Mikael says:

    Kelly is such a great singer. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since Idol. She did a great job with the anthem, it’s just too bad her new album is a giant BORE and is nowhere near the quality of her previous albums.

  14. Amy says:

    THAT’S the way to get the National Anthem done.
    That girl can sang circles around many who’ve tried. Love Kelly; great job.