Idina Menzel Defends Imperfect, Live New Year's Rockin' Eve Performance

Idina Menzel Critics Frozen

Idina Menzel’s message to those who took issue with her live performance during Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest: Let it go.

Thanks to the highly critical nature of the Internet, Menzel’s performance of the aforementioned Frozen anthem brought out the armchair Idol judges, seeing as she missed some notes whilst belting the tune — live, outdoors in 30-degree Times Square, versus lip-synching to a flawless track (as most anyone else would do).

In response to the negative nellies, Menzel posted to Twitter a copy of an interview she recently gave Southwest Magazine:

Defining success for the magazine, the Tony Award winner said, “There are about 
3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time 
to realize that if I’m hitting 75 percent of them, 
I’m succeeding. Performing isn’t only about
 the acrobatics and the high notes: It’s staying in the moment, connecting with the audience 
in an authentic way, and making yourself 
real to them through the music.”

“I am more than the notes I hit, and that’s how I try to approach my life. You can’t get it all right all the time, but 
you can try your best. If you’ve done that, all 
that’s left is to accept your shortcomings and have 
the courage to try to overcome them.”

What did you think of Menzel’s live New Year’s Eve performance?

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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65 Comments
  1. RUCookie says:

    you know she sings live … it was freezing and she typicaly takes a bit to get warmed up on BIG performances. She is still great to watch!

  2. The cold kind of bothers her :D

  3. Uhhh says:

    I’d weigh in on how she sounded, but that would require hitting “play” on that video, and listening to that godawful song again. It’s officially 2015. ENOUGH. NO MORE. Let it Go.

    • Jack says:

      Well, you did let it go by not hitting play. Just keep doing that, and you will be just fine. Bam, problem solved.

  4. cszudzik says:

    The glory note was rough, but overall she did a good job in very challenging surroundings. Certainly better than I could ever sing in the best concert hall in the world!

  5. Lynne says:

    Thats the sign of a professional right there. Admit your mistakes and move on. She is still amazing nonetheless.

  6. Tara Pearce says:

    Seriously? That’s what everyone is up in arms about? I still maintain this was not the song for her voice, but even with saying that – it was live, outside, in sub freezing temps. All in all, ONE flubbed note (at the end, the rest weren’t even close to “that bad”) is pretty damn awesome. I did catch some of Taylor Swift’s performance, she had some flubs too. Is anyone criticizing her this badly?

    • dan says:

      I think Taylor was signing “live” but using a backing track with pre-recorded vocals. Her back-up singers looked out of sync during some of the performance yet that didn’t come through in the vocals heard on ABC. Singing outside is tough. Singing outside in sub-freezing temperatures is very tough. And Idina did it live without a backing track. Cut her some slack and Let It Go!

      • LADY_in_MD says:

        Watch out if you say something bad about Taylor she may get you fired from your job!

        • dan says:

          LOL, thanks for the warning! I think Taylor was singing live during her performance, but it sounded too “perfect” without any background noise or wind coming through so that’s why I think she used a backing track. Nothing wrong with that for outside performances. I’m not a Taylor hater!

    • Ginger says:

      Exacly and well said

  7. Heather says:

    She sang Let It Go via satellite for a Japanese show that morning and did an amazing job. Here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-zsOKgugVPc (Skip to 3:30)

  8. Kay L says:

    I respect her even more for it. Perfection is non-existent, and unattainable. I love that she can recognize that and just do the best she can. I hope she realizes how much her fans respect and look up to her no matter how “well” she performs, but I don’t think she even needs that validation. I’ve always found her to be really grounded in who she is and what she wants- a true professional.

  9. Kelly Deeny says:

    And this is a perfect example of why Idina is such a class act! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform on stage in WICKED and in concert a few years ago. It’s not only her vocal ability that impresses me but her sense of humor and elegance.

  10. Tran says:

    Wasn’t Idina Menzel the same woman who appear in the Chris Young (the country singer) music video “Gettin’ You Home”?

  11. Anon says:

    Should’ve lip-synched.

  12. Dean says:

    True professionalism. Defending your performance despite its flaws to a handful of whiny pissy douchebags. Kudos Ms. Menzel.

  13. Lyn says:

    Has John Travolta weighed in?

  14. CJ says:

    She shouldn’t have to defend herself. It is very difficult to sing in the cold, and that song is difficult enough to sing even when properly warmed up. She sang live which most people wouldn’t do. Still think she’s incredible.

  15. Kris says:

    Have you ever tried belting out a song like this in those temperatures? No amount of warming up will help, your voice WILL be strained by the end of the song. I prefer real performances to fake lip-synched ones.

    • Ron says:

      Exactly!!! It amazes me how people with no actually knowledge of the technicalities of singing are weighing in with their uninformed opinions on her performance (yay America). Yet, if she had lip-synched the song, she also would’ve been torn down. Lose-lose. That’s why I love her response.

      • Temperance says:

        Exactly. The performance was pretty awesome, actually. If you notice, she was doing it on a catwalk many stories up – where it was SNOWING. Seriously, people are going to gripe about a that of all things?

      • B says:

        THIS. Her song is MUCH more vocally challenging/demanding than the ones other performers did, and its not like theirs was perfect but somehow Idina is the only one getting called out? Obviously she’s infinitely more talented than the pop stars that usually perform at these events but you can’t hold her to such a high standard when you have no technical knowledge of how the voice works. I’d rather have a live singer flub a note that watch someone try and pass off a lip synched performance as ‘live’

  16. You have got to be kidding me. People are giving her crap for that performance. She was fantastic. You try to sing in freezing cold weather and still sound as good as Idina did. People just like to complain and find fault in everything. Jealous much!!!

  17. Roughrider says:

    Next time anyone complains about someone lip-synching, just show them this article. This is why people do it.

    • Larc says:

      Some also do it because they can’t carry a tune and need the digital fakery of such devices as Auto-Tune to sound good.

  18. Kristina says:

    She sounds fantastic. What is the deal with people criticizing someone doing something they could never do? Do they have any idea how HARD it is to sing a song like this in freezing weather, LIVE, with any kind of quality? Jeez. Sorry to sound like such a fangirl, but in my opinion getting to hear her sing live is a treat people shouldn’t complain about, since I’ll probably never be lucky enough to experience it in person.

  19. Larc says:

    Idina, if you can’t sing well outside when it’s cold, don’t commit to doing it. I think being able to hit all the notes is a prime requirement for a pro singer. All the other performance “goodies” don’t even merit consideration without that, IMO.

    • W says:

      Thank god professional singer “Larc” was here to weigh in. I hope you’ve never been less than 100% at anything, ever, because you shouldn’t commit to doing anything then..

    • murley says:

      It isn’t that she struggles singing in freezing temperatures, it is that everyone does. The cold literally physically affects the vocal chords and they can’t stretch the way they normally can. So she sounded a little strained on the power note. Honestly that didn’t bother me at all. The sound quality of the recording wasn’t great but Idina’s amazing talent shone through. Some peoe have nothing better to do than tear others down (that comment is not aimed at you, Larc, but at the internet haters)

    • ScottJ says:

      Larc has pretty much dissed every “pro singer” that performs live. Did it even bother reading Menzel’s note? You’re doing well if you get 75% right.

    • skhbdhks says:

      i completely agree. she can’t blame people because she can’t sing. ”i am more then the notes i hit”. yea, she is also an immature.(she didn’t mention that in her lyrics lol) just look at the way she responds to criticism. totally unnecessary of her.

  20. kb23 says:

    Idina Menzel is an infinitely better singer than Taylor Swift with her 4 note range and yet no one complains about Taylor’s many, many, many missed notes. Could it be that we hold real talent to a higher standard?

  21. lolo says:

    This women had been my idol since middle school, and 6 years later I got the privileg of seeing her current Broadway show if/then. And some of the song in that are WAY more intense (check out “always starting over”) and she sings more frequent then let it go and she was amazing, and hit all the big notes. Her comfort zone like many are indoor stages in the warmth, not in fridged temps. Especially for a singer. And she proved she was live which wasn’t something I could say for a lot of performers that evening. And good for her for being so genuine about it. And E!online needs to quit with “botches note” in article titles, especially if the performance was over all enjoyably and the last note could have been way worse than it was.

    • Tracy says:

      I saw Idina in If/Then also and she was incredible! Her vocals were perfect and she is in virtually every scene! Love “Always Starting Over” and “Here I Go”! “You Learn To Live Without” never fails to make me cry – such an incredible song! The whole show was great!

  22. Stan says:

    I don’t think it is her voice, it is the equipment. The sound is horrible, not her fault!

  23. CMG says:

    Yes, she pretty badly missed on the last note. That’s a killer note though, perhaps harder to hit than the E-flat in “Defying Gravity,” because the “Let it Go” note has to be held, while the “Defying Gravity” note is it then backed off of right away. I didn’t fault her for missing on the note given a live appearance in the cold, with limited ability to get her voice “warmed up.” I figured that she’d play it safe and avoid going for it altogether, and in retrospect, probably should have.

    Other than the note, she sounded fine.

  24. dsrbroadway says:

    Aside from the last note, it was a good performance, without qualification. It’s a live performance. If you want note-perfect, rev up your iTunes or watch to that friggin’ movie for the 400th time this month.

  25. Carla Krae says:

    Well, if she wasn’t over-singing all the time, she’d have an easier time hitting said notes. My voice teacher would’ve been all over me just for the recording of that song if I sung it like she did.

  26. Ginger says:

    If you are a singer…you know anything can make a performance not quite right. She does a WONDERFUL job. That note has always been hard….for ANYONE! BACK OFF unless you think you can do better! Then shut up and get out there and do it! Good Grief. I think she did GREAT! WTG IDINA!!! You are my hero!

  27. fiberlicious says:

    It used to be that in order to call yourself a singer, you had to be able to – at the very least – carry a tune. I can’t stand to watch any live performance any more, but none of today’s “singers” could carry a tune in a paper bag.

  28. Bobby says:

    She’s right. People need to STFU!!

  29. Netty says:

    This Adele Dazeem woman needs to just Let it go, and enough with that god-awful song and BS movie. I pride myself in never having watched that movie and I never will!!

  30. AngieD says:

    Not her best performance, but probably better than the performance that 99% of the haters could accomplish in a studio… It was freaking cold out, between trying not to shiver and the cold air, I’d be surprised if she had been able to hit the high notes at all. I really didn’t think it was bad, it just wasn’t as great as people expected.

  31. Wandering Oaken says:

    She was fine. i don’t get the haters on this one. The only real problem was the last big note (which is hard to do in perfect conditions much less extreme cold) I’m sick of this song like everyone else though. Time for a new ear-worm for 2015.

  32. P. M. says:

    This was one Performance that should have been lip synced!!! The cold weather can and obviously did have a significant impact on her vocal chords. Given the hit that her song has been and her outstanding performances on Broadway, she should be shown a little respect.

  33. Tracy says:

    Idina was live, freezing and without auto tune – I think she did great! Much better than most performers in this day and age!

  34. Laura says:

    Clearly her critics have never done any performing! Her voice cracks two thirds in and then fails altogether on the last note. That’s not missing the note that’s vocal strain or a cold hitting her. She probably shouldn’t have gone on but didn’t want to disappoint fans

  35. Leave her alone! She’s fantastic. Can you do that? It was good. When I saw the headlines that she’d flubbed the song, I clicked on it. When I listened to it, I couldn’t understand what the mistake even was. Big deal.

  36. Oh Please! says:

    You have to love a critique. They have to gripe about something to keep their meal ticket. Un fortunately they they don’t critique about some of the real garbage and rotten singers out there. This was a very good live performance for below freezing.

  37. nerd says:

    More face-saving for the Jewess NWO member. It would be nice to have real talent instead of hacks that are only famous for their associations.

  38. cyclone says:

    A- She sung live which is more than I can say for some pop artist who are so auto-tuned they barely sound right.
    B- On a bad day she still sings better than most of us. I would love to see all these haters try to hit that high note.

  39. NO EXPLAINATION necessary!!!…..

  40. lubica z says:

    i should sing that good on my worst day, omg it was only one flat not at the end

  41. Brigid says:

    This is why I love people who sing live. If I go to a concert and the singer sings live and loses a note, that’s what I like. I want to hear real singing. I didn’t pay $40 or more to listen to some loser lip sync their record to me, I have that rendition. That is why I respect Kelly Clarkson and Idina Menzel, because of the flaws, and why I can’t stand Brittany Spears and Janet Jackson. There is no talent in my opinion in lip syncing, anyone can do it. Be real

  42. Luis says:

    Thank you Idina . . . bunch of buttheads