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Madonna: Super Bowl letdown?

By Alex Jabre
On February 7, 2012

If you were ever hoping to see a brightly colored, sexy version of Gladiator, Sunday night was your night.

Madonna headlined the halftime show for Super Bowl XLVI

and the whole experience could be best described as someone gobbling down pieces of cake while shoving ice cream down their throat and snorting Twizzlers all at

once. It was loud, it was colorful, it was bright, and it was overwhelming enough to make you sick. As George Harrison once sang, "it's all too much." Madonna did look great, though. Making superstar poses like a dreamy teenage girl and lipsyncing to the extreme (why does she need a microphone?), it's kind of interesting to see such a huge cultural icon still running around the stage in a pharaoh-like outfit and thigh-high boots. She's 53 years old. Think about that. But the show itself was nothing if not one huge ego extravaganza. The roar of the crowd consistently

cheered as Madonna made her way through a medley of her most popular hits: "Express Yourself," "Music," "Vogue" and her new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'." The gospel-like finale "Like a Prayer" was easily the best moment

of the night, and the image of silhouettes walking towards a

glowing light was awe-inspiring. Personally, I've never been a huge fan of Madonna. Although I did fall under the spell of her song "Beautiful Stranger" at a young age, I didn't grow up listening to her music and don't find it incredibly appealing. Although the show's choreography was very impressive and the visual effects were beautifully done, I particularly liked the multiple Vogue magazines appearing

around the stage and the football field as it folded up like a play curtain. But I've always wondered why the shows of pop superstars always have to be so grotesquely elaborate. Money, perhaps? The cameos by artists M.I.A.,

LMFAO, Cee-Lo Green, and Nicki Minaj for the most part

added nothing. LMFAO was embarrassing to watch and were shameless to watch as they made crude gestures while dressed up in Roman costumes that would make

Elton John cringe. A crazed-looking Nicky Minaj sang frighteningly fast, Cee-Lo Green looked like a sparkly preacher and M.I.A. managed to haphazardly flip the bird

to the camera. I also didn't care for the lustrously dressed cheerleaders, golden pom-poms in hand, chanting, "L-U-V, MADONNA!" Come on, folks.According to Entertainment

Weekly, the Parents Television Council raised a major stink about the performance and made a statement claiming, "The NFL lied... Last week [they] told the PTC – and the American public – that the Super Bowl halftime show would be ‘appropriate.'" But look at who we're talking about here. One of M.I.A.'s songs features lyrics such as: "All I wanna do is [gun shots] and take your money!" Cee-Lo Green's most popular song is titled none other then "F--- You!" As for LMFAO, well, their name alone should be an indication

that they're not a squeaky-clean bunch. This was never going to be a good, clean show. In my eyes, the best Super

Bowl halftime show is one with a great artist who draws

the least amount of attention to themselves. Remember Paul

McCartney? The Who? Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers? Their

sets probably cost less than half of Madonna's wardrobe, yet they were infinitely better than she was. I thought even The Black Eyed Peas did a terrific job last year, despite being heavily criticized for their performance. These artists

didn't need anything stylized or ostentatious to help them; they'regreat enough to prove their abilities with their amazing music. That's all you really need. I think it's important not to take these shows too seriously. Ultimately, the halftime show is just a 12-minute interlude before the second half of the game. I guess what I'm really trying to say

here is Madonna didn't have to be so over-the-top and beat us over the head with her sheer vanity. It just wasn't necessary. Better luck next year, I guess.


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