Criticism for NBC’s Olympic coverage was rampant on social media over the weekend, instigating an #NBCFail hashtag and parody accounts on Twitter. Friday evening’s delayed airing of the opening ceremonies caused an uproar, along with the commentary which was riddled with inaccuracies.
Another gap in NBC’s coverage was a performance by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé, who sang “Abide By Me” during the opening ceremonies. She was handpicked by director Danny Boyle, the architect behind the opening ceremonies, to perform a tribute to “mortality” that was interpreted by many to be in honor of the 7/7 London terror victims. The official Olympic ceremony program, according to the BBC, described the tribute as, “the struggle between life and death using such powerful images of mortality as dust and the setting sun.”
However, sources in the Olympic stadium report that the segment was introduced as being more directly in honor of the 7/7 attacks.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please pause silent for our memorial wall for friends and family who can’t be here tonight. The excitement of that moment in Singapore seven years ago when England won the games was tempered the next day with sorrow from the events of July 7th that year. A wall of remembrance for those no longer here to share in this event.”
Buzzfeed have a full video of the tribute Americans didn’t get to see.
NBC instead aired an interview of swimmer Michael Phelps by Ryan Seacrest. The network addressed their omission in a statement from spokesman Greg Hughes, who said, “our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It’s a tribute to Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.”
Sandé was the only female vocalist in the Olympics opening ceremony. The music press have favorably compared her to Brit sensation Adele. Her appearance was kept a secret until the 11th hour, along with many details about the ceremony, to maintain a sense of expectation. During her performance, photos of dead relatives of British attendees of the XXX Olympic opening ceremonies were shown including producer Boyle’s father, who reportedly inspired the tribute. The public were invited to send their photos in advance.
Sandé also created a “torch songs” playlist on YouTube in honor of the Olympic games.
— Emeli Sandé (@emelisande) July 26, 2012
NBC isn’t completely shunning Sandé. She will perform on the Today show, live from London, on August 10. After that she returns to her dates opening for Coldplay, listed below.
07/29 Boston, MA TD Garden
07/30 Boston, MA TD Garden
08/01 Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
08/03 E. Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
08/04 E. Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local