Thursday, December 1, 2011
CBS Rockefeller Plaza Tree Lighting Special...Justin Bieber misses mark as opening act!
Rockefeller Center helpers crouched on the sidelines - at-the-ready - to ignite the tree lights in a blaze of joyous glory, Tony Bennett smiled that slightly macabre plastic smile as he waited to alight on the stage to perform one of his olden golden hits, and the Rockets dazzled the throngs once again with their spirited high kicks!
Amidst a lot of hoopla and fanfare, CBS and Rockefeller Center presented their annual Tree Lighting special - which for the most part - was a crowd-pleaser (and rocked!).
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help light the majestic Christmas tree - a small-town spruce from Pennsylvania - and ring in the festive holiday season with New Yorkers.
The 74-foot-tall Norway spruce was illuminated by 30,000 lights in total (five miles lengthwise) which remain lit until January 7th.
Fans of the "Bieb" - and guests wrestling for perch's at key vantage points in the streets - were disappointed that their popular heart-throb failed to take the stage on person, though - and instead - relied on pre-recorded performances (broadcast on wide state-of-the-art monitors) to wow the holiday revellers shivering in the cold below.
As an opening act - taped or not - Mr. Bieber failed miserably as a performer.
Style, stage presence, punch - and top-notch vocal ability - is always a pre-requisite for such an endeavour (the Canadian musical artist lacked all qualities in spades last night for some inexplicable reason from the get-go).
If anything, the debacle just underscored how difficult it is to pull off a "Classic" Holiday tune without a smidgen of solid formal training or a seasoned body of work under the belt.
Hugging the mic was a big mistake, for starters, Justin.
The pop star's breathing, phrasing, and projection were hit hardest by the amateurish approach.
The segment finally came alive - at long last - when the Pop Star's mentor sauntered into the spotlight to boost his protege up.
The big buzz focused on a video - a World Premiere - featuring a duet by teen sensation Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey.
The upbeat tune was catchy, but not on par with Justin's previous hits.
Both Pop Icons nabbed the golden opportunity to mug for the cameras, act cute, and tease their die-hard fans.
For me it was all too slick, too formula, and - well - too forced!
The "Bieb" demonstrated a comedic flare, however, which I trust will trigger a big-budget feature in the near future (his handlers and God willing).
Michael Bouble - slated to appear, too - has been garnering quite a bit of attention for his own Christmas Album "Silver Bells", too (racking up gargantuan sales); however, I thought he was going to fall asleep on stage any moment last night.
Carole King and Neil Diamond - hit-makers from my generation - creaked into the limelight, too.
For folks in the family hour, the so-so performances probably triggered nostalgic pangs for simpler - more carefree - festive holidays like those which charmed 'em in the past.
Without one protester in sight (or was that due to some judicious editing on the part of CBS suits prior to broadcast?), I speculate there may be a bit of peace on Earth to the 1%, too, come Christmas morning (instead of a lynching, eh?).
Merry Christmas to one and all!