There are a lot of things that make Super Bowls memorable: the commercials, the singing, the halftime show, outstanding plays in the game. Super Bowl XLV will be no exception. However, most of what will give the 2011 Super Bowl longevity doesn’t look as if it will have much to do with the football game itself.
For instance, Super Bowl XLV will be memorable because of the Black Eyed Peas and the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling group performing possibly the worst halftime show ever. No, despite the lyrics to their mega-hit song to the contrary, the night was not “A Good Night” for the Black Eyed Peas…
But Super Bowl 2011 viewers cannot say they had not been warned. And for those who missed the warning, those who had ever seen the Black Eyed Peas perform live had a “heads up” on the situation as well. Regardless, it is doubtful anyone was prepared for the extravaganza of awful this year’s Super Bowl halftime show became.
Where to start…
First of all, the audio was poorly rendered, which is nothing new during a televised Black Eyed Peas event. Still, this was the Super Bowl, and you would think that getting it at least passably right would have been a priority. Although the group cannot be faulted for the technical aspects of the broadcast, what they put into the microphones during their performance was entirely under their control.
Unadorned, the Black Eyed Peas would have been better off had they hired American Idol audition rejects and passed the performance off as one big Super Bowl joke. Instead, the worst Super Bowl halftime show ever was a distracting light show that didn’t distract enough from the flat and somewhat atonal singing and rapping emanating from the four people on stage.
Fergie, who most times has great vocal control and is the one singing saving grace of the group, was off-key for the entire show. Yelling instead of singing, she was a poor counterpoint to Will.I.Am’s at times breathless raps and spits that were just as flat (but thankfully not as loud). And Fergie’s duet with guitar virtuoso Slash, which could have been the show’s highlight (because Slash was his usual guitar god-like self), was off-key as well. Her attempts at trying to make herself look sexy failed miserably, especially when she tried to pull off a full-bodied lean-in against Slash, followed by a poorly rendered Axl Rose snake-dance shimmy. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was anything but sweet. It’s save? It lasted less than a minute.
After offering a couple partial Black Eyed Peas tunes, the sound system seemed to catch up with the act. However, the singing never did. And to make things sound even worse, Usher was dropped on stage, where he danced and jumped and sang for about a minute, showing the halftime audience at Cowboys Stadium and the hundred million viewers around the world what a great show the 2011 halftime show could have been if he had been the headliner. Of course, Will.I.Am had to saunter across the stage and spit his pointless rhymes to “OMG.”
The Black Eyed Peas will never be accused of writing overly meaningful songs or musical masterworks. Unfortunately, the 2011 Super Bowl halftime show only accentuated their reliance on studio effects and engineering, emphasizing the banality of their pop sound.
And did anyone else get a more-than-slightly amateurish Power Rangers vibe each time the four members of the Black Eyed Peas gathered and struck poses?
If the reader should think that the writer may be a bit harsh, take a short surf around the Internet. “Worst Ever Halftime Show” seems to be a fairly common phrase (along with the word “fail”) in article titles, mixed in with some pretty cruel judgments and barbs. Of them all, “Black Eyed Peas vs. Tron: A Super Bowl Contest No One Wins” probably best summed up the performance in a dozen words or less.
And to think that people have been complaining about all the old rockers who have graced the halftime shows previous to the 2011 performance. Say what one likes, but the halftime shows of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince were far and above more ear- and eye-pleasing than the garish and blinding ear-assaulting affair that insulted viewers at Super Bowl XLV.
But was it the worst halftime show ever? Although some will argue that the Super Bowl XXXV with Aerosmith, ‘NSync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly was the worst ever (live mash-up might be a more accurate descriptor), there are going to be many who nominate the Black Eyed Peas as the worst act.
Taking just one of the dozens of disparaging comments left on an Associated Content article about the then upcoming halftime show, Uggh pointed out: ” WOW!!! I expected the worst… but… now I wish I were blind AND deaf!!! awful awful awful!!”
Still, the Black Eyed Peas will have competition for being Super Bowl XLV memorable, though. At least they didn’t mangle the “Star Spangled Banner.” Christina Aguilera botched the National Anthem by malapropishly repeating a line from a song she said in a prior interview that she’d been singing since she was 7 years old.
Incidentally, the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV (2011), defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.
“Super Bowl XLV,” Fox Television
“Super Bowl 2011 – Half time show Black Eyed peas,” YouTube.com