It takes guts to confront the realities of doing live TV dramas, once common before the advent of videotape. In the case of a live televised musical, much more can go wrong. Maybe that's why this was the first time anyone attempted it in 50 years. Was it up to Broadway standards? I doubt it. Should any one have expected that? I doubt it.
She was not strong on acting but she never claimed to be. It would be unfair to expect her to suddenly turn into Julie Andrews.
My biggest issue is not with her performance but with media perception and descriptions. I cannot believe she's still categorized as as a "country" singer. To me, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, Kellie Pickler...those are country singers. She simply cannot measure up to any of them in the country field.
Underwood, in fact, never struck my ear as "country" when she first surfaced on American Idol and that view hasn't changed. I think her strengths have always been in the pop field. Her performance last night proves that.
Conveniently dropping the overused and abused term "country" in front of her name does not make it so. That was true long before the gutsy performance she turned in last night.