This year’s comeback performance seems to overcompensate for the 2004 Janet Jackson snafu with a safe snoozefest devoid of exciting material, worthy tributes, or original entertainment.
So the Eagles emerged triumphant over the Patriots, but let’s be honest – most of us (on this side of the world, at least) were paying closer attention to the half-time show at Superbowl LII. And now that it’s over, we can’t help but ask ourselves why we stopped to look at all.
Fresh out of the woods
Justin Timberlake took the stage with perennial favourites Sexyback, Señorita, Cry Me a River, even Rock Your Body – the soundtrack to Janet Jackson’s unforgettable nip-slip back in 2004. These tunes would have made for a nice dance down memory lane if we weren’t so distracted by sub-par audio… and that outfit.
It has been described as what a Bitcoin millionaire buying his way into Westworld would look like, but JT’s weird forest camo is likely a poor reference to his new album Man of the Woods. Now we have to stop and ask… just what happened there? Some country-hip hop hybrid reviving Uncle Kraker? We were fine with Can’t Stop the Feeling being made for a movie called Trolls, but after this stunt, the former NSYNC golden boy is just coming across tired and unimaginative.
All this after Timberlake’s promise that “we’re doing things with this half-time show that they’ve never quite done before,” is rather underwhelming, to say the least.
Purple for Prince
A dewy purple glow was cast over Minnesota in honour of the true Prince of Pop, Prince, after rumours that JT would honour him with a hologram were quashed. Fun fact: Prince was horrified by the mere concept of holograms, calling them ‘demonic’.
Instead, Timberlake sang a bare version of ‘I Would Die 4 U’ with a projection of Prince on a white sheet behind him. We can’t be sure, but this seems to smell of the digital recreation stench the late singer turned his nose up at. Prince delivered the best Superbowl performance back in 2007, and frankly, that’s what we’re watching to wash off Timberlake’s forest fiasco.
Justin Timberlake’s half-time effort has not done his hard-earned reputation justice. Neither has it performed any favours for the musical great that is Prince. At best, this was an excruciatingly safe show that eliminated all possibilities of Nipplegate Pt. 2 (note the absence of any collaborators) – but also, sadly, of any original entertainment. Gaga flew for us, man!