However, hemmed in by the Super Bowl's presumed insistence on a family-friendly halftime show, Madonna had nothing outrageous to offer herself, instead giving us the most guest stars ever packed into one 15-minute medley. With LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and finally Cee Lo Green joining her on the 50-yard line, you half-expected to see Elton John putting aside their blood feud and showing up for a cameo, too.
Then came a medley of "Music" with LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It" on a bleacher set with a tightrope jumper for slight aerialist effect. Then the guest rappers--bumping hips, but not lips.
Finally, Pastor Cee Lo led the congregation in "Like a Prayer," as the video screens spelled out "World Peace"... the clear message we'd all been missing for the last quarter-hour.
The staging was all so impressively cinematic on our new LCD megascreens that it was hard to believe the visuals weren't recorded in advance, too, along with the vocals. But will we still be talking about it Monday morning? Not likely, unless the sight of M.I.A.'s errant digit somehow inspires a few seconds of water-cooler talk.
What we're left with is the sight of Madonna looking unusually enraptured as she sang "I hear you call my name..." Which, of course, was not originally written to refer to M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj dressed as cheerleaders chanting "L-U-V...Madonna!" When an optical illusion made the entire football field appear to get sucked into Madonna's stage, it was the perfect metaphor for what this spectacle was supposed to be about.
But, minutes later, the crowd was back to givin' all its luvin' to the Giants and Patriots, having already forgotten their shoulda-been upstager.
- Arts & Entertainment