Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show: Good for the Eye, Bad for the Ear

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Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show: Good for the Eye, Bad for the Ear
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
The Black Eyed Peas singing to an excited Super Bowl crowd.

Super Bowl XLV was an exciting day for football, but an embarrassing one for music as The Black Eyed Peas displayed an uninspiring performance during halftime—at least they did not forget the words.

The Super Bowl entertainment got off to a shaky start. Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem beautifully, but fumbled the lyrics “O’er the ramparts we watched” by singing, “What so proudly we watched” in its place.

The Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show was worse for the ears, but pleasant to the eyes.

The group descended down from cables to the tune of glittering space show-like laser lights, taking a page right out of Disneyland’s thrilling Space Mountain ride. The crowd of 91,060 roared with excitement, as Cowboys Stadium turned into a cosmic space arena before their very eyes—or maybe because the performers were all under 50.

In a way, the halftime show was a breath of fresh air from the 50-something-year-old classic rockers taking center stage in recent years. The musicians were contemporary, but they were anything but fresh and exciting.

The Black Eyed Peas were pathetic—or mediocre at best—and did little to match the crowd uproar. As they touched down to the ground, the musicians acted more like robots than hip-hop performers singing at America’s highest-rated television event.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images
The glow-in-the-dark dancers were one of the few bright spots on Super Bowl Sunday's halftime show.

The performance began with their hit song, “I Gotta Feeling,” but the title says nothing about the group’s on-stage demeanor. Aside from the dazzling laser-light entrance, the performers did not move much at all, as if they were just going through the motions.

The group sang as if they had somewhere better to be, like the postgame buffet. Fergie sounded lackadaisical at best during her rendition of “The Time of My Life” and absolutely butchered the song with her off-key singing. To the casual music listener, the out-of-tune vocals on just about every song were hardly noticeable, thanks to the rope-lighted dancers taking center stage.

Nearly every major publication agreed that the Black Eyed Peas barfed up a subpar performance. Thomas Conner, of the Chicago-Sun Times, agreed that the performance was uninspiring at best.

“After descending from the arena’s ice-covered ceiling on cables, the four Peas didn’t move much beyond their marks except when the guests arrived; Slash stood still and played ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ while Fergie slithered around him doing her best yowling Axl Rose impression, and Usher leapt over into the splits during ‘OMG’,” Conner wrote in his halftime show review.

The performance scored a touchdown with the impressive visual effects that left millions of viewers in awe. The show started with a bang, as dancers in glow-in-the-dark costumes formed a bright green eye.

What did you like the least about Super Bowl XLV's halftime show?

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As they began to move, it was almost as if Cowboys Stadium became a giant planetarium, with the dancers moving like shooting stars. The choreography was reminiscent to a marching band’s color guard during a college football game, with flag bearers prancing around in a perfect formation, but the light-up costumes added an extra flavor to the show.

Unfortunately for Super Bowl fans and music lovers, the giant lighted letters spelling Usher did not mean someone was escorting Fergie and the gang out of Cowboys Stadium. Instead, fans had to sit through more of the Black Eyed Peas’ lackluster performance, which was worse torture than any 2010 San Francisco Giants game.

This article was featured on the blog Talking Giants Baseball.

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