Why Wasn't The National Anthem Sung At The GOP Debate? Trump Wasn't The Only Thing MIA

With the Iowa caucus kicking off Monday, seven Republican presidential candidates were so fired up for a Donald Trump-free debate Thursday evening that Fox News Network skipped the national anthem prior to the seventh GOP debate at the Iowa Event Center in Des Moines. Despite a few lackluster performances from largely unknown singers at earlier Republican debates this election cycle, the national anthem has often been sarcastically proclaimed the highlight of the night by viewers on Twitter.

Previous debates have seen multiple blunders from organizers that left viewers taking to Twitter en mass to ask, "Who was that?" as the final notes of the national anthem faded away. Fox Business News goofed when they hosted their first Republican debate on Nov. 10, 2015, by failing to announce exactly who was singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Milwaukee Center. Perhaps they kept quiet because the singer turned out to be Fox News reporter Brooke Singman? The network again opted not to introduce the woman who sang the national anthem ahead of the sixth Republican presidential debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 14. Some Twitter users were quick to argue the unnamed singer looked suspiciously like a Monica Lewinsky doppelganger.

In September, Broadway actress and singer Natalie Hill sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the Republican undercard debate hosted by CNN. Hill's resume includes Broadway performances of "Grease," "Wonderland," and "Bye Bye Birdie."

The most well-known singer to grace the stage before Republican presidential candidates stepped up to their podiums has been Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's daughter Ayla, who had the patriotic honor at the fifth Republican debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas, Nevada, in December. Brown is a former "American Idol" contestant and sang the national anthem ahead of the primetime event and "God Bless America" ahead of the undercard debate.

Fox News Network did not reveal why they decided to forgo a performance of the national anthem, which has traditionally kicked off the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates.