2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Closing Ceremony Performers: Most Surprising Moments from London Show

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  A general view during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Joe GoldmanCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

With England’s eccentric musicians and wacky humor in the spotlight on Sunday night, viewers expected an unconventional closing ceremony chock-full of surprises.

The closing ceremony certainly did not disappoint this year, delivering surprise after surprise throughout the night.

First, let's start with the absences. The Rolling Stones, arguably the most popular British band of all-time, were most noticeably missing. The Stones can still put on incredible concerts, and their nonappearance was one of the night's biggest letdowns. The Huffington Post says they were "out of practice."

David Bowie was another major absentee. The multi-platinum British rocker was honored with a short montage, but rock fans missed out on hearing him in person. Elton John was absent as well.  

Now, on to the performances that we actually did get to see.

Boy band One Direction made a surprise performance at the ceremony. The band more appeals to British schoolgirls than international sports fans, but nonetheless deserve some credit. Even though their hit song "What Makes You Beautiful" was playing on backtrack throughout the stadium, the boys can actually sing. With all the auto-tuned music produced today, this came as a pleasant surprise.

Maybe I’m just out of the loop on this one, but I’m sure more than a few viewers were surprised when hip-hop star Taio Cruz took the stage. Yes, he’s British, who knew? Not me, apparently.

The weirdest act of the night definitely goes to the Pet Shop Boys. Both members (pictured) dressed like a cone-headed version of Batman and rode around in orange chariot tricycles. The performance felt like a scene out of A Clockwork Orange rather than the Olympics Closing Ceremony. 

The low-point of the night and biggest surprise occurred when NBC stopped its footage of the closing ceremony to air its new television show called “Animal Practice,” according to CNN.

National viewers were absolutely outraged. #NBCfail was trending on Twitter throughout the night, and it’s still not clear why NBC had to do this when it had most of the day to edit its footage.

At least we didn’t miss anyone famous. Muse, The Who, Ray Davies and Kate Bush…who are those people anyways?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Music fans are distraught. Looking on the bright side, however, Rio de Janeiro is only an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. This means we may even see some live events in 2016. Even the fifth season of “Animal Practice” should not get in the way.

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