Totally Torched!

8.13.2012

By Jerry Portwood

Spice Girls, George Michael, Jessie J, and more pop stars close out London Olympic Games

They were out in force for the Closing Ceremonies of the London Olympic Games for a jukebox singalong. If you thought the pop-tacular opening ceremonies were crazy, what about the fact that Fatboy Slim, Jessie J, and George Michael all took to the stage for the explosive close? Then the Spice Girls (who do have a jukebox musical in the works), arrived atop individual bedazzled black cabs. Yeah, that was Monty Python's own Eric Idle who led the crowd in a version of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” while surrounded by skating nuns (he did star in the 1990 Brit flick Nuns on the Run, if you forgot). And, after a number of speeches and dance numbers to hand off the Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro, which hosts in 2016. The Who closed the evening with “My Generation.

As David Segal wrote at the New York Times, "It felt as if the Games had suddenly been programmed by England’s version of the Chamber of Commerce, which decided to take advantage of this final moment in the international spotlight to produce one long and kinetic ad for the country’s pop culture."

But who's complaining? 

As the BBC reports, the closing spectacle was watched by 10,000 athletes and 80,000 spectators in the stadium along with 26 million TV viewers. Now that the flame has been extinguished in "dramatic fashion," each nation will receive one of the cauldron's 204 petals.

Whether you're perplexed by who is the "Greatest Athlete in the World," which seems to be a title that several people are trying to claim, or troubled by the jingoism that these games seem to perpetuate, it's undeniable that the Brits put on one helluva show.

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