Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lachey serves up anthem


By Janelle Gelfand • • August 10, 2009

The weather didn’t cooperate, but the show went on – sort of – to launch opening night of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open on Monday.

Passing thunderstorms caused tournament officials to scrap a planned opening ceremony in Center Court, which was to have featured pop star and native son Nick Lachey with his prize-winning choir, Team Lachey, as well as musical numbers by the Cincinnati’s Blessid Union of Souls and a show by the Kings Firecrackers, a jump-rope team.

The latter two acts were canceled. Instead, the 2007 winners of NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” gave an impromptu a cappella performance without Lachey in the large tent at the food court, as surprised diners wolfed down their Skyline Chili and La Rosa’s pizza just before the match between Marion Bartoli and Kim Clijsters.

Then, under clear skies, Lachey performed the national anthem as scheduled, with the Honor Guard from Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and came out again for the coin toss to start the match.

Shortly before he sang, Lachey said it was “exciting” to come back and see his team of singers again.

“I haven’t seen those guys in about a year. (Winning) was a great source of pride for myself and for the choir. It was just one of those things; it was a unique moment in time, and as much as we’d like to keep those things going, it’s hard to do,” he said.

The choir, which on Monday sang “What a Wonderful World” and their show-stopping number, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” has recorded a song for his new album, to be released later this year.

Lachey also revealed that MTV will start filming on Wednesday for the second season of the reality series, “Taking the Stage,” featuring the kids of Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts.

“We’ve been picked up for another season and we’re obviously very excited to be back there doing this,” he said. “There are bigger and better things to come.”


Singer Nick Lachey poses with first-round opponents Kim Clijsters (left) and Marion Bartoli before Monday night's center court match in the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

Members of Team Lachey, the choir that won the TV Battle of the Choirs, crowd into a corner of the food court to perform an abbreviated concert before Monday's matches. Rain forced a change in the ceremonies.