For those expecting a sequel to Danny Boyle’s quirky overture, the crowd-pleasing London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony delivered just that. “Eccentric, bewildering and shameless good fun,” The Independent raved. "What an incredible night! Closing ceremonies were unbelievable," U.S. four-time gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin wrote on Twitter.

The closing ceremony, which featured performances by iconic British bands as diverse as One Direction, The Who and The Spice Girls, has received overall positive reviews by the media, which called it “a kaleidoscopic spectacle” (The Guardian) and "a pop culture smorgasbord that had touches of brilliance, beauty and bewilderment" (New Zealand Herald). The ceremony’s brief but star-studded fashion segment saw U.K.’s Naomi Campbell, Lily Cole, Lily Donaldson, David Gandy, Karen Elson, Jourdan Dunn, Georgia May Jagger and Stella Tennant strut to the pre-recorded tune of David Bowie's "Fashion" wearing threads by Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood's Gold Label, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Burberry and Christopher Kane.

Many also applauded the extraordinary efforts of some of the participants who came together for the occasion despite challenging personal circumstances, such as George Michael, who nearly died of pneumonia last year, and Take That’s Gary Barlow, who suffered the loss of his stillborn baby daughter just last week. Their efforts were not in vain. Almost 23 million viewers reportedly tuned in for the ceremony, topping the opening’s 22.4 million, and peaking at 26 million with the athletes’ entrance into the Olympic Stadium, according to BBC.

But the nearly four-hour long ceremony also had its critics, who accused it of verging into hot mess territory and dragging on too long. Some reviewers criticized comedian Russell Brand’s tuneless contribution, teens One Direction, Emeli Sande’s underwhelming “Read All About It,” and Ray Davies’ croaky "Waterloo Sunset," while others bemoaned the notable absences of bigwigs The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Kate Bush. For their own part, American viewers took to social media outlets to slam NBC, which has already come under fire for its botchy coverage of the Olympics, for cutting away from the closing ceremonies before The Who’s performance to show a commercial-free airing of new show Animal Hospital.

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