The anticipation for Sunday will be sky-high. Millions of eyes will be focused on televisions all over the world. And a burning question that has burdened so many of us for so long will finally be answered:

Will Beyonce lip-sync during the Super Bowl halftime show?

Of course not.

And if she does, so what?

The issue has come up because apparently Beyonce may or may not have been lip-syncing at the presidential inauguration, creating one of the great nonscandal scandals of the year (She said she was actually singing along to a pre-recorded track, which some people still think is cheating). It's extremely hard to believe that anyone can be upset with Beyonce over this. Did you pay to watch? Do you feel robbed? It wasn't like she used someone else's voice. Beyonce sang the national anthem ... along with a version she sang a day or two before, when there was no chance of the 38-degree winter air causing her to croak a word or two.

Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington on Jan. 21,
Beyonce sings the national anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington on Jan. 21, 2013. (Carolyn Kaster/AP file)

Faking it on cello

Four years before, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman didn't play live at President Barack Obama's first inauguration, because there was a good chance that same frosty air might wreck their instruments. You didn't hear anyone jumping down their throats.

Apparently, it's important to not screw up a historic ceremony during which someone takes the oath of office as the leader of the free world. The people who perform at these ceremonies -- for no compensation -- aren't just professionals, they're among the best at what they do.

So take it easy.


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What's hard to believe is that anyone who remembers the 1970s variety shows could possibly be upset, because so many of the guest acts who appeared on them obviously lip-synced. Even on highly touted shows that featured the hottest pop and R&B stars of the day, such as "American Bandstand," and "Soul Train," performers didn't play live.

Of course, I can relate to the high-profile criticism of Beyonce because, as a fellow performer, I once had to lip-sync, with disastrous results.

It was fourth grade at Palmer School's talent show. My "band" and I were there to "perform" (air band) the Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone."

Not your ... not your

Since private schools don't allow 9-year-olds to have cool rock hair, we had to borrow some of my mom's wigs while using tennis rackets for guitars. Halfway through the song, just when we really had the chicks going, the record skipped and kept repeating one line over and over.

The laughter still haunts me at night.

What's ironic about all the screaming about Beyonce lip-syncing is that, in most cases, she doesn't. I imagine it's difficult to run around doing synchronized dance routines under hot lights for 90 minutes at a time. It sounds like all that exercise could rob a person of their breath. Except, in Beyonce's case, that can't happen because she needs it to sing. That could be why a number of high-profile acts either lip-sync parts of their show or, at the very least, sing to a prerecorded backing track, in case their voices falter.

Even then, I suppose, someone could cry foul, because they're paying a lot of money to see someone "perform."

I've seen Beyonce live, and I can tell you she wasn't lip-syncing, nor was she singing to a backing track. The woman works on stage, which you'll see Sunday. I'd bet my tennis racket on it.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com, at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or at Twitter.com/insertfoot.