Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Grace Space: The Best and Worst Super Bowl Performances of the 2000s

    In preparation for this upcoming Sunday, Super Bowl XLVIII, I thought that it would be appropriate to give you all a list of what I believe to be the best and worst halftime performances of the football event’s history. While I do enjoy some of Bruno Mars’s songs, I don’t know exactly how he will do on Sunday, and am both excited and trepid about how his performance will end up being. So, let’s go back and see what exactly the 5’5’’ singer is stacking himself up against.

    Janet Jackson, Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)

    Janet, you’re fantastic. But the fact that the main reason this performance is remembered is because of your nipple popping out on national television for more than 88 million viewers, we need to look back at the entire performance. Did you remember that P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock were also present during this halftime? Exactly—everything except for Janet’s nipple and Justin Timberlake’s face in response was forgettable…and that’s pretty terrible.

    The Black Eyed Peas, Super Bowl XLV (2011)

    First off, NFL, why would you choose The Black Eyed Peas to perform at one of the most celebrated and viewed television events of the year? Sure, when I was younger, I thought they were cool, but that was back in about 2003. With the auto tune and Fergie’s voice, the performance was a complete hot mess—even though Slash and Usher were there, even those wonders could not help this old and overrated “band.”

    Madonna, Super Bowl XLVI (2012)

    Oh God. I know this may get me a lot of flack from some readers, but please hear me out. During her 2012 halftime performance, Madonna was 53 years old—and it really showed. Not only was she moving like she used to, but with accompaniment by LMFAO, that weird guy bouncing on the tightrope, and the NFL having a field day over M.I.A. giving the middle finger, the show was an overzealous, expensive nightmare.

    Paul McCartney, Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)

    Sir Paul is definitely one of my favorite live performers of all time: he’s super enthusiastic, lively, and obviously loves what he’s doing. Even though he was 63 at the time of this performance, you couldn’t even truthfully tell; he still seems and acts like that young Beatle that we still love and admire. The same fact was true when I saw him at Outside Lands this past year, and I was honestly so grateful to see his mastery in person—and I think it’s fantastic that the NFL decided on Paul to perform at the halftime so literally millions of people could see this legend do his thing.

    Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Super Bowl XLIII (2009)

    The Boss is the man, and he proves that with each and every performance. With the 60-year-old bouncing around the stage and yelling at the audience and viewers at home to get ready for the performance, the crowd around the world got so pumped up for the legendary performer and his amazing songs. With performances of songs like “Born to Run” and “Glory Days” within the 12-minute set time, Bruce and the E Street Band proved that they were meant to bring the house down—and they certainly did.

    Beyoncé, Super Bowl XLVII (2013)

    You should have known this was coming. The Queen will always be the champion of the Super Bowl halftime performance, based on the fact that she can do no wrong, and proved exactly that. With a reunion of Destiny’s Child and an astonishing nine songs performed within the set time, Beyoncé has left a lot of expectation for Bruno, as well as other performers to come. But, in all honesty, no matter what Bruno may do this year, Beyoncé will still be the topic of conversation in regard to Super Bowl halftime performances for hopefully the rest of time. She had an astonishing 108 million viewers; never doubt the woman who brought us “Single Ladies.”

    Let’s all be glued to our screens during the halftime performance this Sunday to see which category Bruno falls into—stay tuned!

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    Grace Stetson, Author

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