Welp, the 30th Olympiad has come to a close. “A Symphony of British Music,” directed by David Arnold and renowned British choreographer Kim Gavin, opened with a booming Big Ben and Emeli Sandé’s beautiful voice. It introduced us to a newspaper-wrapped world of London’s architectural icons, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill and Prince Harry (umm, hello!) with a smashing Kate Middleton.
The Dream of the 90s was definitely alive…in London. Madness sang “Our House” on the back of a flat-bed truck, the Royal Ceremonial Band played “Park Life” by Blur and The Pet Shop Boys arrived by orange geometric bicycles .
One Direction sang their global smash “What Makes You Beautiful” and showed good hair genes, but Stomp brought down the house with their largest cast since 1991 of bang-on-can rhythms that electrified an entire stadium. There was a definite warm and fuzzy moment when the audience started singing John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
The Brits looked terrific as the athletes flooded in but could we stop already with the walking-while-recording-the-world-with-our-iPads? I still squealed like a teenage girl at the opening notes of George Michael’s “Freedom ‘90” but groaned when I saw that belt buckle. When did he start singing like Cher?
Thumbs up to the Kaiser Chiefs’ cover of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard.” David’ Bowie’s “Fashion” ushered in British models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss wearing golden stunners from the UK’s biggest fashion houses. Annie Lennox was the brilliant leader of post-apocalyptic Elizabethans.
The grossest moment of the night goes to Russell Brand and his discordant orgy of awfulness (and to NBC for cutting The Who and Ray Davies) but Fatboy Slim and Monty Python comic genius Eric Idle saved the day. No one, however, could save Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye from his own song.
The Spice Girls reunion was the world’s worst kept secret, especially since it already happened in 2008. Fun fact: Gold medalist Missy Franklin was only 1 when “Wanna Be” topped the charts.
The video sing-a-long with the late Freddie Mercury reminded us that not just anyone can fill his shoes. (I’m talking to you, Jessie J, in your sparkly Flo-Jo suit. Also, who let Brian May wear his Gryffindor track suit in public?)
The Rio presentation included Bootsy Collins samba girls, neon-topped Amazon warriors and a craft closet explosion. Alessandra Ambrosio and Pele were there to distract us all from the mess. I, like McKayla, was not impressed. —Sarah Platanitis
What was your favorite moment from the London 2012 Closing Ceremonies? Sound off in the comments!
- David Arnold
- Timothy Spall