April 6, 2010

Did CBS ruin One Shining Moment?

Beginning in 1994, CBS has concluded its men's NCAA basketball championship with a montage entitled "One Shining Moment."  Over the years, the tradition has become somewhat of a fan favorite - combining slow motion, announcer calls, and inspiring lyrics.  It has to be one of the most popular sports montages.  For goodness sake, it has its own web site!

There's a "One Shining Moment" book.  
I know what you're saying, no "OSM" flame thrower?

Written expressly for the tournament, CBS used a Teddy Pendergrass performance from 1994-1999, then took a brief hiatus from the song/montage, only to return with a Luther Vandross in 2003.  The Vandross recording was especially noteworthy since it was his last before suffering a stroke in 2003 (Vandross passed away in 2005).  His version of the song, in my opinion, is masterful - and any recording from 2003-2009 is, thereby, a classic.  The 2006 version is below, but I could have chosen any of the recent tournaments as evidence (for fun, here's 2009, 2008, 2007).

For whatever reason, CBS decided to retire the goosebumps-inducing performance from Vandross and replace him with former American Idol finalist and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (the musical backing is the same).  And let's just say that the new version was  not very well-received, as more than a few sources took notice.

But I'll let you be the judge.  Above, you heard Luther and here is Hudson:

Um, yeah.  Considering this was one of the best men's tournaments of all-time, I was underwhelmed.  Some of the detractors above talked about how the montage lacked a number of great moments from the tournament, but I'll just say that musically, I think she missed it.  And why show us shots of her in the studio when we could be watching more tournament highlights?

Perhaps another session in the recording booth, come at it a little bit differently...ah, what am I saying?  Do the right thing, CBS, and bring back the Vandross recording.

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