Worry not Luther Vandross fans. As long as you have a functioning television and some form of a channel package that ranks above the starter package, you will be able to sing along with the soul man Monday.
Turner announced Friday that it will be using two versions of “One Shining Moment” following the NCAA tournament title game. For those watching the main version on TBS, the classic Vandross version will play at the conclusion of the game. For viewers tuning into the Team Stream versions on TNT and truTV, a new version, recorded by Ne-Yo, will be heard.
After it was announced a new version would be played, both the media and those on Twitter speculated and criticized the decision. However, the heat from the initial pushback has since cooled thanks to the continued use of the Vandross version. A Turner executive released the following statement regarding the update, per ESPN:
“Along with our partners at CBS, we wanted to pay special tribute to the iconic ‘One Shining Moment’ anthem this year, as we celebrate its [30th edition],” Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer for Turner Sports, said in a statement. “It also presented the perfect opportunity to re-record this legendary song for our innovative Team Stream coverage.”
There was a vocal online contingency that pushed back against the idea of Turner dumping Vandross’s version of “One Shining Moment,” as it is that version has been played at 12 of the last 13 Final Fours. The song is viewed as a classic by many, and that same contingency did not react well the last time executives attempted to alter the tournament-capping anthem. In 2010, Jennifer Hudson’s performance was largely rejected by viewers and social media, with the criticism being lobbed at the focus on Hudson in the ending montage as well as her performance.
The selection of Ne-Yo seems to be a relatively safe choice, but it is also surprising — he wasn’t even in our bracket, after all.
Still, the singer has worked in the sports world before, performing the national anthem at the 2016 NBA All-Star game and singing at multiple halftime shows. His version will be played on the “Team Streams,” which feature team-specific commentary teams — former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb will join and former North Carolina center Brendan Haywood will both be on their team’s respective broadcasts.
This year marks the first time since 1982 that CBS has not aired a single Final Four contest, according to Syracuse.com.