The Super Bowl entertainment started out promising. Leslie Odom Jr. absolutely killed when he performed America the Beautiful. His voice was strong, and the choir singing backup was up to the task of sharing a huge stage with a huge talent. But enjoy that moment and take a deep breath, cuz it was white knuckle driving the rest of the way.
Star Spangled Sickness
Up next was Pink to sing the national anthem. She posted on Saturday that she had a bad case of the flu. Her voice was allegedly so strained from the sickness there was concern she may have to bail on the performance. But the Philly native and Eagles superfan was not going to miss her opportunity to honor her country or support her team.
America’s national anthem is a tough song to sing even in the best of health. But she stepped up to the mic and did a good job. You can tell Pink wasn’t able to put all her usual power behind the lyrics, and not every high not was hit or for as long as Francis Scott Key may have intended. But big ups to the lady for getting up there in sickness.
Now Hear Dis
Then we got set for the big event. No, not the game (Fly Eagles Fly!), the halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake! It looked good, but we would have loved to have been able to hear it! The audio was so low you couldn’t hear the start of his set. We’re told it was something off the new album.
Once they did manage to turn his mic on, we heard JT do a few bars from several of his solo hits, including Rock Your Body. Why? Why would he include that song? It’s the one he was singing when he ripped Janet Jackson’s top off sending middle America into months of self-righteous indignation. Was he trying to poke a stick in the eye of the league? Or his critics? But that will soon be lost in the conversation to another questionable decision: his Prince tribute.
Justin got to another part of the set with just a piano and a huge sheet (the rumor was it was going to be a hologram) with video of Prince projected on it. The two did a duet of I Would Die 4 U. JT dedicated it to Minneapolis (Prince’s home town and where the game was being played). Prince supporters on social media weren’t having it. It seems Prince wasn’t a fan of technology or Timberlake. So from technical issues to editorial choices, this show was a mess.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Pop open a Bud Light and watch Lady Gaga’s Halftime show from last year.