I decided to remember celebrities that failed or caused controversy on the halftime show stage. If you ever fail miserably at something, remember this ranking. At least, you didn’t fail in front of millions of people unlike these celebrities.
Red Hot Chilly Slackers
Back in 2014, the headliner of the halftime show, Bruno Mars got mostly positive feedback from both professional critics and the audience, unlike the Red Hot Chili Peppers who also performed that year. The reason for the fans outrage was the fact that during the band’s performance, their instruments were unplugged and the musicians seemed so energetic and diligent playing them. No wonder the audience was unimpressed. However, the band’s bassist, flea explained the whole situation after the show.
According to him, NFL made them record the bass, drums, and guitar before Super Bowl halftime show. In order to avoid possible technical problems during the performance, it was a request Red Hot Chili Peppers could not decline, especially, considering the time limits and the scale of the event. “The NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound period” wrote flee on their official website. Sounds like a valid explanation but some of the fans remain dissatisfied anyways.
New Kids on the Block
Before 1991, Superbowl halftime shows didn’t feature contemporary pop music artists. The new kids on the block, a popular boy band at the time was the first band to perform at such a show and ABC News preferred to show a report on the Gulf War instead of their performance. Of course, the band wasn’t completely removed, the audience could watch them seeing after the end of the game but when it comes to halftime shows, timing matters a lot.
Why would an ABC air the entire show live? the answer is simple, instead of picking some of their energetic hits, new kids on the blog shows some slow and sweet songs, performing alongside a chorus of children. The sight was too cute for both the stadium eagerly awaiting the game and for the TV audience. Good thing that in later halftime shows, there were more contemporary singers to come.
Left Anarchist Shark
Don’t be afraid to be imperfect and goofy and remember you don’t need to be a part of anyone else’s system, at least that’s what Brian Goff, Katy Perry’s dancer says. You might not know his name but we bet you can remember the performance that made him famous, the Superbowl halftime show of 2015 where Brian was the left shark. He caught the attention of the press because his dance moves didn’t match the moves of his partner, the right shark. Later Brian explained it by referring to his need to express himself, he claims he didn’t like the role he had to play, the role of a seven-foot blue shark and that’s why he decided to play a different character.
For those who are unaware about this very important and honorable idea of artistic independence though it might seem as if God simply forgot his dance moves in the middle of the show, maybe that’s the truth he’s trying to hide.
Skaters Take Over the Super Bowl
Thousands of football fans walk into the Super Bowl stadium and watch Olympic champion skaters on ice. Have you ever heard that joke? Well, if you watch the Super Bowl halftime show in 1992, I bet you haven’t just heard it, you’ve seen it with your own eyes.
Olympic champion skaters, Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamil got separate little ice rinks to perform on them during the halftime show and even though they are extremely skilled that didn’t help them get the appreciation they deserved. No wonder, it wasn’t very smart to makes two kinds of sports within one major football event. Nor to try and entertain football fans between the games with ice skating. Ice skating fans usually differ from football fans a lot. Fortunately, Gloria Estefan saved the day with her singing at the end of the show but the awkwardness of the ice skating performance in the middle of the Super Bowl is still good material for sports jokes.
Beyonce Never Fails To Do the Right Thing
Today, we mostly speak of embarrassing and awkward situations on the Super Bowl halftime shows but when it comes to Beyonce, the joke is never on her, it’s on her haters. In 2016, Beyonce stole the show by using it to make a statement. To present her politically charged single formation and support the black lives matter movement. She got sharp criticism from the rightists for singing formation with the bandolier a bullets strung across her chest. Beyonce did it to remind the audience about the problem of black men getting shot by the police in the US, it was a bold move even though it drew controversy. Of course, one could say that the Superbowl audience deserves to relax and forget about politics at least by the time of the game but Beyonce songs are always enjoyable with or without political statements.
Despite the fact that Coldplay was the Super Bowl halftime show headliner, the media mostly spoke a Beyonce’s performance. Thus, drawing more attention to the topic the singer wanted to bring to the spotlight.
Elvis is No Caesar
Have you ever heard about Julius Caesar’s mythic ability to do several things at the same time? Well, even if this historical rumor is true, not every mortal man is able to repeat this trick successfully. The 1989 Super Bowl halftime show could be the best proof of this.
The NFL decided it would be a good idea to invite Elvis Presley, impersonator and magician, Elvis presto to entertain the football fans. He was supposed to perform a massive card trick, engaging the audience and making it participate while also singing and dancing like Elvis. Even, Elvis himself wouldn’t be able to do all these things at the same time. No wonder, Elvis Presto’s performance looks very weird. It was also the same year the viewers were given sets of 3D glasses for the show and these glasses didn’t work well enough, two fails for the price of one.
Flipping off in the Spotlight
In 2012, Mc Donough was supposed to be the star of the halftime show. She performed on the Super Bowl stage alongside Nicki Minaj, LMFAO and Ceelo green and everything was perfect until British rapper M.I.A flipped the audience off during her dance. Of course, she only did it in the heat of the moment and didn’t mean to offend anyone with the gesture. The NFL didn’t care about the context though and sued her for 16.6 million dollars. They agreed on an undisclosed amount.
Madonna later told the press that the gesture was a very teenage thing to do, maybe she was a little bit annoyed that M.I.A stole the attention of the media with such a brief yet effective movement or maybe she wasn’t amused by M.I.A’s tweet. Tweet posted by the rapper after the news about the NFL lawsuit became public “@ Madonna ummm….. can I borrow a 16 million?” Well at least now, all celebrities get warned about the sensitivity the audience in the US and try not to do anything indecent.
Indiana Jones Promotion
The 1995 Super Bowl halftime show is a guilty pleasure of ours, on the one hand it’s a total mess. It was an Indiana Jones theme performance produced by Disney. The reason for that was simple, Disney intended to open a new attraction at the theme parks based on the Indiana Jones movies that very year and they could have used some promotion with Tony Bennett and Arturo Sandoval and Patti LaBelle at the center of attention, the show was both weird and enjoyable. Shirtless male dancers worshipping the trophy, a giant Idol lots of gold and glitter. Most football fans were puzzled by the sight way too much and couldn’t process it very well but let’s be honest, in a way it was breathtaking to watch.
Fergie Running Sweet Child O’Mine
We’re all humans which means that sometimes we make mistakes, of course, it’s harder when you make a mistake in front of millions in the audience but the audience can be forgiving as long as you slipped and didn’t do it on purpose. If your mistake wasn’t too funny or too embarrassing, you’d better not fail in public. Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas didn’t just slip in the 2011 halftime show at first everything went smooth. Black Eyed Peas performed their hit I got a feeling receiving great emotional response from the audience but then they were joined by Usher and Guns & Roses guitarist, Slash and that’s when everything went downhill.
It’s difficult to understand whether Fergie decided to improvise or whether it was planned all along. Anyway, she infringed upon the sacred, ruining the song Sweet Child O’Mine by attempting to sing in the manner of Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose, it looked like a mockery, especially, considering her suggestive dance moves as she sang.
You all knew this would come along, there is some kind of weird tension between Justin Timberlake and the super bowl stage. In 2018, he almost managed to bring Prince’s hologram on stage to honor him. Though according to Prince’s collaborator and friend Sheila E that was exactly what Prince would want to happen but fortunately Timberlake became wiser over the years and simply sang one of princes hits as a tribute.
In 2004, he wasn’t that wise or that lucky. Anyways, on the 2004 Superbowl halftime show, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed his hit Rock Your Body. Everything was okay until the last line of the song ‘I bet I’ll have you naked’ by the end of this song, at that very moment Timberlake reached for Jackson’s corset high but to remove it or for whatever other reasons and ripped off the wrong part of it in the most epic way, exposing Janet’s bare breasts. Jackson was not abused neither was the Federal Communications Commission that charged the Broadcasting Network with a $555 thousand fine for indecency but at least that was a halftime show to remember.