Just as Sir Elton couldn’t have been more wrong with his salty golden globe prediction, so to must the throngs of Madonna-bashers, and understandably cynical Super Bowl halftime show viewers be eating their words. Well, either that or they’re probably still hating on Madonna for being, of all things, old. How dare she!
Madonna Delivered the goods
By no means am I a lifelong Madonna fan. In fact, other than her infamous onstage kiss with the two Tease Queens of the moment back in 2003, I’d be hard pressed to name another thing she’s done since “Ray of Light”. I’m just not a huge pop music fan in general though. It’s nothing personal Madge. However, last night’s entertaining Super Bowl halftime performance got me thinking about how I had a thing for the Material Girl back in the late ’90s. “Human Nature”, “Secrets”, those sensual Versace ads. Good lord!
Call it eroticism. Call it allure. She’s undeniably captivating at times. While at 53 years of age it may not be lustful desires that do the trick anymore, the
girl woman still knows how to get your attention. Last night’s show was a perfect example. Aside from a few missteps, it was a fantastic, theatrical performance. Dare I say it? It was probably one of the most enjoyable Super Bowl halftime performances ever.
If you’re happy, and you know it…
I know, I know. She likely lip-synched the whole thing. And in a perfect world it would be nice to know that the connection between audience and singer isn’t, in a sense, pre-fabricated. Yet, if we managed to give Whitney a pass back in 1991, can’t we do the same here? That rendition of the American national anthem still stands as the benchmark of excellence in the eyes of many, and it was intended to be just that – a vocal masterpiece. I hardly think Madonna had that goal in mind for her performance on Sunday. From the outstanding choreography of the dancers and their brilliant costumes, to the seamless transitions from one song to the next, it was a smooth, professional performance full of excitement. If you’re measuring halftime performances by the standard of how happy they make you feel, Sunday’s performance was certainly a success. People sincerely got into the performance, and by the looks on the faces of all the performers on stage, they clearly sensed it.
What’s wrong with a little bit of pageantry?
There was a fair amount of cynicism leading up to this performance, and that was understandable considering the many debacles from years past. In fact, there have been so many it would be tough to single out just one as the worst (*clears throat* Black Eyed Peas!). Yet, perhaps some have been so disgusted that they’ve convinced themselves that anything at all theatrical at a sporting event just isn’t appropriate. That’s a shame. I guess they must be ecstatic the NFL did away with all those silly end zone celebrations then, eh?
Why’d they choose her? She’s so…old.
And then there’s the large, and implacable contingency of Madonna haters. No matter what she does, in their minds, she’s still just a narcissistic old cow with gross, muscular arms. I won’t pretend I don’t find some of the things Madonna says and does a bit, how shall I say, affected? The whole British accent thing still gets me. Yet, I wonder. Do these Madonna haters ever allow themselves to be pleasantly surprised? Try it once in a while guys. It really is a spice to life.
Shocked and chagrined!
Lastly, there’s been a ridiculous, but inevitable, focus on M.I.A.’s “rebellious” middle finger salute. In fact, as this AP article predicts,
“For all the pomp and excess of Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime extravaganza a single extended middle finger by guest singer M.I.A. is likely to be the most remembered piece of the show.”
Really! Is that what we’ll all choose to remember? Was it really that shocking? As one commentator on twitter suggested,
Who cares if MIA flipped the bird? Tell your kids she was learning #s. Or that she wasn’t. Just stop the sanctimony & report #realnews.
Yeah, it was cheeky, but if you think a girl sticking up her middle finger is wild, and controversial, you need to get out more often. Or, perhaps you should just go buy a rocking chair, some Haggar pants with a stretch waist band, and wrap your grandchildren up in bubble wrap. The world isn’t safe for you and your loved ones. Hide now! We’ll call you when the coast is clear.
It could have been worse. Much, much, worse.
You might think I’m way off on all this. Perhaps, like my brother, you still think the 2012 Super Bowl halftime performance was “a pile of sh*te.” Well, to each their own, right? There’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on though. Last year’s Super Bowl halftime train wreck is in no danger of being surpassed as the worst of all time. I think we can all find some love for Madonna in that.
*UPDATE: Madonna’s halftime performance garnered quite a lot of attention indeed. The average viewer ratings were even better than those for the game itself. She wasn’t a bad choice in the end then, was she?