As we reported and over 100 million American viewers witnessed last night, Christina Aguilera completely flubbed the fourth lyric of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in her otherwise powerful and melismatic rendition before the Super Bowl kickoff. Apres the flub, a shitstorm of mea culpas, rumors and mean jokes followed:
• Without exactly apologizing, Aguilera explained her error: "I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place."
• Aguilera went straight to the airport and was back in California by midnight, an NFL source told E! News, implying that her quick departure was a change of plans motivated by embarrassment.
• Fergie defended Aguilera on the Dan Patrick Show, according to TMZ, suggesting nerves got to her.
• Other sports-radio talk shows, such as WFAN's Boomer & Carton in the morning, were less forgiving, admitting the rendition was well-done but the lyrical mistake was unforgivable. Carton and New York area callers also (disappointingly but unsurprisingly) commented unflatteringly on Aguilera's weight.
• Joan Rivers also couldn't pass up the opportunity to take shots at Aguilera, according to Rob Shuter at Pop Eater: "Christina must have been thinking about food, that's why she forgot the words," mocked Rivers.
• A former Aguilera staffer told the New York Post's Page Six that the culprit was alcohol abuse, citing an alleged incident from last month as evidence.
• Perez Hilton cited this report, plus one from In Touch, to suggest—lovingly, of course, because Perez is now all about the love—that Aguilera needs rehab.
• Hopefully that's not the case, not only for Aguilera's sake, but also because Aguilera will reportedly join Jennifer Hudson in an Aretha Franklin-tribute opening number. The Grammy appearance will give Aguilera a perfect opportunity to mend her image—or tarnish it further.