Following Brennin Hunt's ankle injury, the producers decided to use the pretaped footage from the dress rehearsal, meaning most of "Rent: Live" wasn't actually live. Vulture's Matt Zoller Seitz wrote that the musical didn't deliver on what should've been a groundbreaking live broadcast.
Rent: Live, a mostly prerecorded telecast cobbled together in the wake of cast member Brennin Hunt’s broken foot, should have been called Rent: Live-ish. I can’t remember the last time a live TV event on a major broadcast network made so many elementally wrongheaded decisions in response to a sudden, behind-the-scenes misfortune. It’s as if they had misremembered the old showbiz maxim as “Give the audience what it doesn’t want.”
According to Vox's Aja Romano, the audience cheered and roared during the pre-taped rehearsal. This means the audience ended up drowning out the under-singing cast. Actors typically save their voices for the main show. Therefore, the cast did not get an opportunity to really sing, dance and perform their hearts out.
But the show had some standouts, like Vanessa Hudgens' performance as Maureen Johnson. Her vocals were on point!
Vanessa Hudgens portrayed performance artist Maureen Johnson in FOX's musical rendition of Rent: Live! on Sunday, and we think it's safe to say that she absolutely nailed it.
Dressed in cow-print pants with a black crop top emblazoned with metallic silver stars, Hudgens (as Maureen) crawled out on stage to sing the quirky "Over the Moon," which was originally performed by Idina Menzel in both the original Broadway production and the 2005 movie version.