Jimmy Kimmel Explains His Reaction to Fergie's National Anthem Performance

On Tuesday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! the late-night host spoke about his viral reaction to the singer's performance

By Elyse Dupre Feb 21, 2018 12:52 PMTags

Fergie's performance of the national anthem at Sunday's NBA All-Star Game generated mixed reactions from the audience—including Jimmy Kimmel.

The late-night host spoke about his viral on-camera reaction on Tuesday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

For those who missed the big game, Kimmel was caught on camera smiling and seemingly laughing at the singer's "unusually sultry" performance.

"The reason I was smiling is because I love the national anthem so much," he quipped on Tuesday.

 It wasn't until the host started receiving a series of text messages that he realized his reaction had been televised.

"Then my phone just started buzzing…and I was like ‘Oh, I think I might have been on camera,'" he said.


After receiving backlash for her performance, Fergie said she was "honored and proud to perform the national anthem." And while she considered herself "a risk taker artistically," it was clear "this rendition didn't strike the intended tone."

"Here's the thing about taking risks," Kimmel told the audience about Fergie's response. "When it comes to the national anthem, don't. Don't take risks when you're doing brain surgery, don't take risks when you're driving a school bus or singing the national anthem. Just regular is fine."

In Fergie's defense, Kimmel said Americans don't know how Francis Scott Key wanted "The Star-Spangled Banner" to be sung when he wrote it.

"Maybe he wanted it to be sexy. Same thing with our neighbors up north—maybe their national anthem is supposed to be ‘Oh, Canada!'" he said in a sultry voice.

Watch the video to see Kimmel address the viral moment.

Kimmel wasn't the only celebrity to talk about Fergie's performance. Wendy Williams also spoke about her singing during her talk-show and said the artists "needs auto-tune." Ouch.