How a TV flub flattened a career


I can’t imagine why this is a big deal when it happens. I know it screws up the mythology of the Totally Authentic Emotionally Honest Artiste - but does anybody really expect that from a pop star like Simpson? Really? She’s pretty, she’s talented, teenage boys pretend to hate her, isn’t that enough?


It’s one of those things each generation “discovers”, to the amusement of the elders.
Newsy outlets only have a 24 hour memory anyway, so they’re in the same boat.

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Of course the scale of the loss in every flubbed career is being determined by the failed career compared against an imaginary linearly-progressing career. This star may have faded within months anyway…


Or you could just listen when there is an isolated microphone on the singer.
It’s pretty obvious that they can’t sing in tune without technology, overdubbing, and background singers in the foreground, but “artists” like Madonna have been getting away with it for an entire long career.

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What fascinated me about this was not so much the lip syncing as her complete inability to deal with a flub.



For a second there I thought this was about Milli Vanilli. Okay, now I feel really old.


I hardy watch SNL - it’s pretty much sucked balls since the early 80’s - but of the few times I did watch, it just so happens I saw this when it happened (also caught Sinead O’Conner ripping up the pope picture when it happened).

I remember how confused everyone was when she blew the song intro and the band and cameramen were all trying to figure out what to do; then they quick cut to commercial. It was pretty weird and we only figured out what happened afterwards.

Yep - hard to believe

Yes, I am sure it was the SNL debacle, and not the fact that beneath the veneer, she had no substance.


Flattened, or just a really tiny peak that wasn’t going anywhere but down? We’ll never know.

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Tell me you saw the Elvis Costello thing as well. Bingo!

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How such careers are made, especially in context of boy bands.

Depends, really. I think it is kind of unreasonable to expect singers to perform elaborate and athletic dance routines and sing perfectly at the same time. And it is kind of unreasonable to expect them to perform and sound exactly like the highly post-produced studio recordings. But, on a show like Saturday Night Live the singling should be live, too. Some shows, such as the Tonight Show, require live singing. (Or it used to, don’t know if that is still the case.)

So do I - which makes me wonder why they bother with the elaborate and athletic dance routines.

But then again, it’s not really my kind of entertainment, so whatever people want to pay to see is up to them. TBH, I thought everyone knew and accepted that pop singers who dance around all lip sync all the time.

Sometimes bands are forced to lip sync and don’t like it very much.


Kind of hypocritical to accept this as something everyone does and then dub-shame the few flubs that lift the veil by doing it wrong.

Nope. It’s possible to do well, and if that’s your job, you should be able to do it well.

With the exception of some genres that are inherently mostly done in the studio, I’d say every band that’s worth a damn as performers (as opposed to composers) sounds better live than their studio albums do, even if not as produced.

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Thanks for the walk down memory lane: I was watching TOTP the night The Smiths did that song. Loved it then, love it now.

I think that the real issue was that she did it on Saturday Night Live, even though that show does regularly make use of prerecorded material such as the Lonely Island videos; even in the show proper, I remember a sketch in which Phil Hartman played both Reagan and Sinatra. (Phil was talented, but come on.) I don’t know if they still do that on occasion, but regardless, the assumption is that the cast members and musicians are actually singing and playing at the time of broadcast. Likewise with concerts; sometimes it’s obvious that people are playing with or in front of a recording, but usually there’s some presumption that the star(s) is/are doing something live, and I don’t think that Simpson was there for the dancing.

That’s what the target audience is there to see. A pop tart.

‘‘And did we tell you the name of the game, boy, We call it ‘riding the gravy train’’’

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Kurt’s finest performance, although I gather Andrew Eldritch was not happy at having his vocals stolen like that…