Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Halftime show review: Madonna failed to ignite Super Bowl sparks
First Published Feb 05 2012 09:18 pm • Last Updated Feb 06 2012 09:59 am

In the run-up to her Super Bowl Halftime Show, Madonna talked of being uncharacteristically nervous about her performance.

After seeing it, that makes sense. Her 12-minute extravaganza felt uncharacteristically tentative for a superstar known for breaking down barriers to get her way.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Oh, sure, it was a spectacle. There were gladiators pulling her onto the field on a massive gold throne for "Vogue." There were cheerleaders galore—including Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., who each rapped half a verse—for Madonna’s new single "Give Me All Your Luvin’." And there was a huge choir, as well as Cee Lo Green, to help her deliver "Like a Prayer."

It was all sufficiently big and flashy and entertaining. It just lacked the element of surprise that we’ve come to expect from Madonna. It also lacked any sort of emotional connection. (Sorry, ending the show with a hologram of "World Peace" doesn’t really count.)

Ever since the notorious Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction," NFL officials have sought out halftime acts that were more family friendly. In trying to fit into that role, it seems Madonna lopped off some of the best bits of her performances. The only whiff of controversy came from M.I.A., who punctuated her rap in "Give Me All Your Luvin’ " by flipping off the camera for a split second.

Far more upsetting was the way Madonna shoehorned LMFAO into her set, having them do snippets of "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It" while she pranced around them. The Material Girl-era Madonna wouldn’t dream of sharing the stage that way.

Another problem was Green’s attempt to deliver the gospel howl of "Like a Prayer," which fell a bit short of the original.

Pulling off a great Super Bowl halftime show is a tall order, though her ‘80s superstar contemporaries Prince and Bruce Springsteen managed it in recent years. Madonna succeeded in building a massive display, but it felt a bit hollow. It’s not a good sign that Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler commercial packed more of an emotional punch.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.