Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Video: Frisco girl’s national anthem rendition draws wrath of internet
Harper Gruzins' performance is being derided for being off-key and overwrought.
Deadspin.com called it the worst national anthem performance ever. I don’t know about "ever," but Harper Gruzins of Coppell certainly didn’t do the national anthem justice at last weekend’s soccer game in Frisco at FC Dallas Stadium. But was an off-key performance worth public humiliation? Yes, says Timothy Burke at Deadspin.com, “Normally, we wouldn’t post something that made fun of a little kid, but this particular child publicly refers to herself as a 'singer-songwriter' and any kid who has that much pretension at age 11 deserves to be knocked down a few notches.”
Others, including Nancy Churnin at The Dallas Morning News, came to her defense and Churnin included a YouTube video of one of Harper’s previous performances at a Dallas Stars game. Harper sang well at that performance, which was quite different in an enclosed arena, not an open park. But the video of Harper’s Frisco performance has gone viral and has drawn ugly comments.
Harper Gruzins ‘worst National Anthem ever’ at MLS game
“What I feel like doing is just unplug her, take her out of everything and just protect her. Hide her. Keep her from people hurting her,” Harper’s father, Karlis Gruzins, told ABC News. I don’t know if that’s a bad idea. How many 11-year-olds do you know have their own professional websites? And seem fast-tracked for “superstardom” as her website says? As a parent, it’s hard not to support your child, but when, perhaps, their “dreams are so often greater than their abilities,” as Churnin writes, I’m not sure it’s a bad idea to take a break. Re-evaluate. Re-train.
I don’t know if it was fair to pick on Harper but it has to be expected. A child (or adult) who puts themselves in the public limelight cannot expect the public to love them unconditionally. I know as a parent, it’s hard to see anyone pick on your kid, but if Harper wants to be a singer/songwriter, she needs thick skin and so do her parents. Thankfully, no one at the game outright booed her. Professional singers are often booed, their CDs are panned, their labels drop them. It’s part of the business. And many, many have butchered the national anthem.
Unfortunately for Harper, rejection and criticism at such a young age can be hurtful and traumatic perhaps even to the point of causing a young person to give up on their dream. Thankfully, she did acknowledge that she was off-key and (if she’s a true artist) will use this painful experience as a lesson and work to improve her vocal skills.
Pegasus News Content partner - Chick Talk Dallas
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