Rascal Flatts Lip Sync Incident

Even though the Academy of Country Music Awards were over a week ago, something about them has still been bothering me, and that’s Rascal Flatts’ performance.

Rascal Flatts made their music debut in 2000, which means they’ve been a part of the country music world for 14 years. Obviously this is a long time, but I haven’t yet come to terms with the facts that they may have reached the peak in their fame and their career and may be on the downward slope to nothingness.

photo from Flicker user tncountryfan

photo from Flicker user tncountryfan

I’ve loved this group through the ups and downs. I think their second and third studio albums, Melt and Feels Like Today, are their musical sweet spot. I still can listen to those entire albums and get chills. Their following albums, while good, just don’t impress me quite like the two I mentioned. Overall, Rascal Flatts’ musical style has seemed to change over the years, and while I understand sometimes that’s what groups have to do to keep up with the changing music game, I think they’ve lost what made them special.

Speed back up to the ACM Awards. Since Rascal Flatts’ last album, Changed, was released over two years ago, on April 3, 2012, the boys have not been a major attraction at awards shows, because they don’t have a lot of new music. I was excited to see they were set to perform at this year’s ACMs.

As I watched the show, I waited for them to come on. And waited. Finally, I gave up hope and thought I got it wrong that they were supposed to perform. In the last ten minutes of the show, right before they announced Entertainer of the Year, here come Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney to center stage.

Immediately, the goofy grin I always get when watching my favorite band perform was plastered on my face. I was excited to see my boys again. After the few opening lines of their latest single “Rewind” though, I knew something was off. I had heard the recorded version enough times to know this sounded way too similar, which could only mean one thing: lip syncing.

I was so disappointed in them, and this incident made me lose a little bit of respect for the band I’ve loved so much for so many years. The next day, the band released the following statement:

“After having performed several shows earlier in the week, Gary lost his voice. So, instead of canceling our commitment to do the show, we made a last minute decision to lip-sync. We’ve never done it before, and we’re obviously not very good at it. We look forward to singing live again in the very near future!”

I can’t say I don’t understand why they did it, but I just think that’s embarrassing for them, especially after Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan made a comment in their monologue about the audience hearing live, not lip synced music during this show. If their fan base isn’t dwindling yet, I’m sure this situation helped. I’m still a fan despite what happened, but I just hope it doesn’t happen again.


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