What started out as just marching bands to keep the crowd entertained during downtimes of playing, the Super Bowl Half-Time show has turned into an American expectation for a fabulous performance from some of the world’s biggest celebrities. But, just because the expectation is there, it doesn’t mean it’s always great (though the worst ones are honestly the most entertaining). So, without further ado, here is the list of the three best and three worst Superbowl Half-Time Performances coming from someone who only ever watches sports activities for the drama. Oh… and I was born in 2000… so I’m only including the ones I remember watching. Sorry to all the Prince fans!

Three Worst:

  1. The Black Eyed Peas (2011)

This is notoriously the worst halftime show performance, but even in today’s world, where I’d argue 2011 is peak camp, it’s horrible. They just don’t sound like seasoned performers. They descend from the sky in light-up outfits and then proceed to sound just a half-step better than me at karaoke. But, I’ll give it to them, this is an elite group of songs to sing. But, middle school was traumatic for me, so they’re at the bottom of my list. 

2. The Weeknd: 

Okay, I’m going to be honest. Not a big fan of The Weeknd, but even so, I just wouldn’t say this was much of a performance. If you didn’t know his music, you’d be kind of sunk. It’s just a weird choir of people standing behind him punching the air. Then there’s the memed section of the performance where he runs through a hall of mirrors with a really close-up camera. Just didn’t think it was that good … kind of “mid,” to be honest. 

3. Maroon 5/Travis Scott/Big Boi: 

This show was just bad- generally, quite awful. This was the year that everyone wanted SpongeBob to do a little performance, so Maroon 5 had it play on a screen. Everyone was also surprised that Travis Scott didn’t perform with autotune and the comments on the YouTube video prove that this was the wrong choice. Further, there was a lot of controversy surrounding their decision to be a part of the show after artists like Rihanna turned down the gig to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. So, just generally not a fan of Maroon 5 and this performance… shirtless Adam Levine, you know? 

Three Best:

  1. Lady Gaga: 

She’s a star and with 18 minutes of knockout energy: this was a performance. She opens with the National Anthem as drones fly across the sky and then jumps off the building. She played all her greatest hits, there were fireworks, glitter, flames and amazing background dancers. It wasn’t like everyone who played a few songs with some backup dancers, it was just a true concert experience. She had an unbelievable amount of energy and it was just incredible. Lady Gaga is straight to the top!

2. Coldplay/Beyonce/Bruno Mars: 

I don’t care what anyone has to say about it, this was iconic. I love Coldplay and they played some of my favorite songs in such a high-energy, multicolored fashion, that it felt like Summer 2014 … if you know what I mean? Like when all the kids came out with instruments onto the stage and then the audience started singing the chorus, it felt so warm and fun. Then … Bruno Mars pops out! He sings “Uptown Funk ” with a whole collection of dancers in all leather. And then … through an explosion of fireworks, steps out Beyonce in all her glory. They all do their thing and it’s just incredible! 

3. Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Eminem/Mary J. Blige/Kendrick Lamar/50 Cent: 

I’m sure this isn’t at the top of everyone’s list, but I think this was a phenomenal show and a step in the right direction of Super Bowl performances. Though Lady Gaga smashed it out of the park, I think having multiple artists perform their greatest hits is always the best move. The only tricky thing about this performance was that these artists, other than Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, didn’t play their ultimate hits. This is just me not knowing popular music, but I feel like Kenrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige were out-performed by the other guys. So, although this was a fantastic performance, it’s definitely not my top choice!

All in all, the best part of the Super Bowl is always the halftime show. So even if the show was particularly bad, it was still better than football could ever be!


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