Breaking: Kelly Clarkson Doesn’t Mess Up National Anthem at Super Bowl

All Clarkson had to do was get the words right. That's how low our expectations are for Super Bowl singers.

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After frequent flubs and falters on the national stage, it takes us loyal Americans by complete surprise when a singer belts out the Star-Spangled Banner without a hitch. There have been so many noteworthy bunglings of the national anthem that TIME was inspired to create a list of the ten worst renditions. (Naturally, we keep it updated when a new flub pops up.)

Frankly, the stakes weren’t very high for Kelly Clarkson at this year’s Super Bowl. She merely had to get the words right, after Christina Aguilera’s flub heard ‘round the world at the 2011 game. Aguilera found herself dropping a line and instead repeating words from earlier in the song. But Clarkson belted it out without a hitch, delivering a simple yet inspiring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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Perhaps it was the help of her backup singers: she was flanked by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and kept on beat by a drumline to her right. But Clarkson, the original American Idol, kept her cool – and kept her words in check. Despite the pressure of millions of onlookers, both in the stands and behind television sets, she surmounted the odds and kept to the lyrics. She even kept her vocal embellishment to a minimum, except for a few soaring notes at the end.

And her flawless performance made some gamblers very happy. One sports gambling website put the odds of her flubbing the anthem at 5/2. Maybe Kelly was emboldened to perform by the threat of a potential Indiana state law.

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