Rita Ora, John Legend defend lip-synching at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Rita Ora faces criticism over lip-syncing at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The technical limitations of a parade float do not allow musicians to perform live. Thanks to a broadcast delay, Rita Ora's 2018 performance did not go as planned – Nov 23, 2018

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York on Thursday morning, featuring an ensemble of A-list celebrities and musicians. Among them was English pop singer Rita Ora.

Ora performed her latest single, Let You Love Me, but it quickly became apparent she was lip-synching when her mouth wasn’t moving along to the words. It appeared worse than it actually was, thanks to an audio delay in the broadcast.

An influx of criticism flooded her Twitter feed following the less-than-smooth performance, with many questioning her talent.

That’s when fellow performer and lip-syncher John Legend stepped in and backed her up, explaining that he lip-synched too, along with every other performer, due to the technological restrictions of a moving float.

John Legend attends the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22, 2018 in New York City. Noam Galai / FilmMagic

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A viewer called out both Ora and Legend on their lip-synching. “Why are people surprised?” he asked. “They all do it.”

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Legend was quick to defend the performance and reveal that artists have no choice in the matter. “Fun fact. We all have to lip sync on this parade because the floats don’t have the capacity to handle the sound requirements for a live performance,” he said.

“Hope y’all enjoyed it anyway,” he added. “Know that if you come to my shows, the vocals are 100 per cent live!”

Ora thanked Legend in a later tweet.

“It’s annoying for us,” she added, “my shows are 100 per cent live and always have been.”

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At the same time, apparently Macy’s held a grudge over something Legend’s social media icon wife, Chrissy Teigen, jokingly wrote towards them back in 2014.

“I cannot imagine being bored enough to watch a parade on television,” she wrote.

She wanted nothing to do with the parade and avoided watching it until the department store convinced her to support her husband.

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They took a screenshot of her original tweet and embedded another which advertised Legend’s performance at the 2018 parade. “Throwback Thursday,” they added.

Teigen admitted she still didn’t watch it despite her husband’s performance. “Damn, Macy’s is savage. I still didn’t watch it. I’m sure you did great kiddo,” she wrote.

“Someone had to stay home and cook for out children and family,” she wrote to Legend in her signature sarcastic manner.

The internet swooned and Macy’s soon convinced her to actually watch the parade.

John Legend at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22, 2018 in New York City. Gotham / FilmMagic

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“Fine, fine, fine,” she wrote to Macy’s, adding that parades make her uncomfortable.

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“Dancing, marching, flag twirling, giant animals, streamers, glitter and singing! This is utter chaos,” she concluded.

She did in fact make it through to Legend’s performance. She found it to be humourous more than anything.

His performance was fortunately unaffected by the audio delays.

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Rita Ora attends the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22, 2018 in New York City. Gotham / FilmMagic

Macy’s later issued an apology and wrote, “During today’s broadcast of the Macy’s Parade, several artists experienced technical difficulties that negatively impacted their performance.”

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“We apologize,” they added. “We want fans to know these issues were outside the artists’ control.”

Ora thanked the company for its honesty.

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