Image: Muppet Studios

After a pretty nasty controversy, Kermit the Frog got a new voice performer in the form of Matt Vogel. We’ve heard what Vogel sounds like, but now we can check out the real test: how well can Vogel sing?

Vogel replaces Steve Whitmire, who succeeded Jim Henson as the voice of the Kermit when Henson died in 1990. A couple months ago, Whitmire was ousted from the job under murky circumstances.

Even so, Vogel has big shoes to fill in the minds of fans, myself included. For just about my entire life, Whitmire has been Kermit, and there’s a lot of sentimentality and emotion tied to that performance. Hearing someone else take on the role is uncanny. But I’m comforted after hearing Vogel sing in this live recording, courtesy of YouTuber Synthetik Films. The recording, of Kermit and a few friends singing “The Rainbow Connection,” comes from the September 8th performance of the Muppets at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Vogel’s performance of the song, which appeared in The Muppet Movie (1979) and netted an Oscar nom for its writer, Paul Williams, is spot on. You can watch the video below. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

[YouTube via Nerdist]