Re: Mary J. Blige Shrieks the National Anthem
She didn't play to her strengths. She doesn't have a wide range and her voice is very chesty.
Her appeal is in the raw emotion of her performace not her vocal prowess.
If I were arranging this for her, I would have had her sing the entire thing like she did the first part. No sostenuto in the second part (rockets red glare...) until "land of the free" which is to be taken in head voice. She doesn't have the strongest head voice but the 'ee' vowel sound is easiest sound for weaker head voice (along with 'oo').
Fill the rest with well placed runs and she would have been fine.