I was watching Celine Dion perform on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting last week, and was shocked to find that her strange mannerisms (once thought to be eccentric) were now getting severely out of control. As Ms. Dion sang her two lip-synched numbers, she raised and lowered her eyebrows, pursed her lips, bulged her eyes in and out, and generally overplayed every facial muscle she had. The result was an oddly entertaining performance that made me wonder if Celine Dion is actually the first documented case of living animation. There simply is no other explanation for the fluidity of movement from one bizarre expression to another.
Perhaps because she was lip-synching her songs rather than actually singing them, she felt the need to do more with her face. Or perhaps she just doesn’t understand the concept of “less is more” when it comes to interpreting the lyrics of a song. For example, you don’t actually have to act like a snowflake when you say the word “snowflake.” Although the word flake probably would apply very well here.
I’m not saying anything about Ms. Dion’s vocal abilities, because they are undeniably exceptional. She has an incredible range. But to watch her actually performing a song has become almost painful. Her over-the-top facial orchestrations are beginning to remind me of a young Norma Desmond. Or an old Dakota Fanning. It just didn’t seem like her expressions were connected to anything going on inside her head. If in fact there was anything going on at all.
Not only was Celine’s contribution to the show lip-synched, but it was probably also taped days earlier. After all, Celine sang LIVE on “Dancing with the Stars” the night before. It’s doubtful she would take a red-eye all the way back to NYC, when she’d already been there the week before. And why she decided to sing dull songs, I don’t know, but they certainly put a damper on the otherwise peppy proceedings. (With the possible exception of Taylor Swift’s uneven deconstruction of “Silent Night.”) Maybe Celine was afraid to lip-synch to a faster song because she couldn’t methodically construct that many expressions in enough time to fill the space.
But that’s just my opinion. What’s your opinion of Celine’s mannerisms?