The Olympics always end far too quickly and this year was no exception. Thankfully, London 2012's closing ceremony packed a slew of surprises despite the seemingly endless parade of "spoilers" that leaked over the past two weeks. Shocking no one, clear-cut highlights included The Who's night-capping set and the sheer joy of the Spice Girls reunion ("Wannabe" and "Spice Up Your Life" are welcome additions to any party). But there were several left-field surprises which made the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony a no-bollocks British blast.
5. Annie Lennox's Goth Pirate Ship
Following an unnecessary fashion show starring Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell (set to David Bowie's "Fashion," obviously), Annie Lennox injected the closing ceremony with a much-needed dose of weirdness by sailing in on a skeletal pirate ship and performing "Little Bird" while dressed like a Goth/Gothic Victorian pirate bride. There's a reason her first album after the Eurythmics split was called Diva.
4. A Children's Choir Singing "Imagine There's No Countries" to Nearly Every Country On Earth
Of course John Lennon HAD to be included in a musical summation of Great Britain, but you'd be hard-pressed to find lyrics less appropriate to the competitive nationalism of the Olympics than those from "Imagine." Which, to be honest, is awesome, whether it was intended as a subversive counterpoint or just a complete oversight.
3. Jessie J, Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah Covering Bee Gees
Sure, Jessie J joining Queen shredder Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor for "We Will Rock You" was cool, but she sounded incredible singing Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing" alongside "Break Your Heart" singer Taio Cruz (yep, he's British). And then Tinie Tempah took it to the next level by throwing in an Olympics-themed rap verse.
2. Wish You Were Here Album Cover Recreated on a Tightrope
While Ed Sheeran (in a hoodie! Wasn't there a dress code?) sang "Wish You Were Here" backed by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, a tightrope walker did his thing high above the athletes celebrating below. That itself was a bit of a WTF moment, but it was WTF + awesome when the dude reached the end of his rope (literally) and shook the hand of a man who promptly went up in flames. It was nice to see the classic Wish You Were Here album cover somewhere other than a dorm room wall.
1. Fatboy Slim's Inflatable Neon Octopus
If you were nonplussed by Russell Brand dressed like Willy Wonka performing "I Am the Walrus" atop a Magical Mystery Tour-styled bus, you were probably relieved when Big Beat British DJ Fatboy Slim enveloped Brand's bus in a gigantic inflatable octopus. Norman Cook spun "The Rockafeller Skank" from atop the octopus' transparent neon head and he let it stay out for the next few performances, because it's always hard to convince an octopus to leave the party early.
What was your favorite part of the closing ceremony? Let us know, and also check out Dan Brown's video round-up of the evening's event.