Donald Trump Inauguration: Jackie Evancho national anthem performance gets mixed response
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Donald Trump Inauguration: Jackie Evancho national anthem performance gets mixed response

She was the first act confirmed for the celebrations.

After rumours of a struggle to book talent, Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old former America's Got Talent contestant, was announced in December as the performer who would sing the national anthem at the inauguration of Donald Trump.

The young opera singer had big shoes to fill. Aretha Franklin was tasked with the performance at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, and Evancho's selection was widely cited as indicative of what the inauguration celebrations would be like: a cobbled together television event created in the context of an entertainment industry overwhelmingly hostile to a Trump presidency.

From the moment she was chosen, Evancho was forced to put up with an onslaught of criticism. With a transgender sister currently pursuing legal action against their Pennsylvania high school for access to the women's bathrooms, some queried why Evancho would support the inauguration of Trump, whose Vice President, Mike Pence, has voiced support for conversion therapy for LGBT people.

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Jackie Evancho sings the US national anthem as Donald Trump looks on.

Jackie Evancho sings the US national anthem as Donald Trump looks on.Credit:Bloomberg

Throughout, the teenager maintained that politics had nothing to do with her decision to accept the invitation to sing.

"I just kind of thought that this is for my country," she told the New York Times last week. "So if people are going to hate on me it's for the wrong reason."

But, did she pull it off? Depends on who you ask.

Evancho sounded slightly shaky during her performance, which occurred at the conclusion of Friday's ceremony, although she was reportedly performing live (when Beyonce took the stage four years ago, she lip synced along to a track).

Mixed reviews: Jackie Evancho.

Mixed reviews: Jackie Evancho.Credit:AP

On social media, reactions from television viewers tended towards the negative.

While some described her as "flat", others said people should accept she was simply nervous.

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She did, however, have one clear fan.

The man of the hour, incoming President Trump, appeared to say the words "great job, Jackie" as the crowd applauded her performance.