…and, There They Went.

London Closing. What might one say?

As Olympic Ceremonies go, that was a pretty darn great … Rock Concert.

As a show, it was fairly seamless; keeping the acts rolling on and off the many stages on, in and around various platforms and vehicles kept the transitions smooth and fast. Most everyone saw their favorite performers, and the disparate collection of artists was extensive and encompassing.

A cacophony of concert cliché; produced to within an inch of its life. Colorful, sparkly and fast-paced.

Logistically; that show moved, smoothly and well.

Big Win: Annie Lenox’ Goth-o-Rama.

Epic Fail: Children’s Choir singing “Imagine” and forming the visage of John Lennon. That one’s been done to death.

Biggest WTF: “Supermodels” being trucked-in to Walk and Pose.

Favorite Anachronistic “Moment”: The Umbrella-clad vocalist floating up, onto the stage, past the protagonists, continuing offstage left…

Most Impressive: That the Spice Girls could get through their entire performance without once looking at one another.

What was missing: Dance Rehearsals, among other things. The choreography was a sloppy mess. Again, far too much dependence on video support to read what was taking place on the field.

There’s really not much more to say. There was no narrative, no heart-in-the-throat-ness, no Ceremony to speak of; never materialized or coalesced into something with moving message, something Olympian.

It was – as touted – a great, big party. I’m sure the athletes had fun, and well they should.

I worry what this portends for Rio. Given the absence of form and substance in both Ceremonies, I wonder at this precedent and how it will affect the concept and execution in 2016 and beyond.

On to other, more productive conversations.


(BTW, would y’all consider subscribing to this, over there on the right? You’ll receive an ever so much prettier presentation than you’ll receive than my current email-with-link… Just sayin’. I’d like to see the hundreds of hits these are getting reflected in the subscription count! Thanks!

6 thoughts on “…and, There They Went.

  1. I think the opening sequences of the closing were totally chaotic, ridiculous and uneccessary. The British own John Lennon and they are allowed to crow about it relentlessly. Annie Lennox was fabulous as were Madness, Queen and the Pet Shop Boys. The Spice Girls are not among my favorites. The BIG question – where was Sir Elton?
    In my humble opinion the Opening Ceremony was poignent and told a nice story of England and its diversity and storied history. Hey Jude! How better can it get?
    Cheers. Brian Webb

  2. Kile — as always you are so keen. However, you forgot one big factor that doesn’t allow us to properly judge fairly from the tube. The critique actually goes to NBC rather than the event organizers. The ceremonies had the famous prima ballerina Darcy Bussell flying above the Phoenix with the Royal Ballet in a stunning fire-bird ballet. We’ll never know if it worked because NBC did not air it but instead went to “Animal Practice”! Ugh. My friends in the stand claimed it was magnificent. This is just another reason to be IN RIO for the 2016 Olympic Games! http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Darcey+Bussell

  3. No tears, no gasping, no wonder. I had hoped for performances to tie us to the Olympics…as in Sports…rather than to a rock concert, although they were entertaining. NBC could have cut to a commercial when the supermodels sashayed in. Not impressed…place McKayla Maroney’s picture here.

  4. Fortunately the Paywall of the TV networks is being undone by the internet.
    From Australia I was able to watch all 24 channels of BBC coverage live and then downloaded the HD video of the closing ceremony to watch at leisure. No ads. No annoying commentary. No talking heads.
    Give it 4 years and this will be even more widespread and easier to do – the cork is out of the bottle.

    • I should also add that as an ad for the attractions of Britain, I think the “concert” was a good idea. The supermodels were an attempt to showcase British fashion since their dresses were all by local designers. Of course you may not have got this if your commentators weren’t able to follow the running sheet.

      • Thanks, Paulo…and a nice, supportive thought. To me, though, if it has to be “explained” by a commentator, it has no business being a part of such a (in this case, nonexistent) ceremony. The story should tell itself, on the field, with neither narration nor explanation. In this case, though, as there was no “story”… 😉

        Since posting, I have discovered that there was a beautiful, “phoenix” segment that American audiences did not see; as NBC had some promotions they wanted to share with the us…

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