Frontier Psychiatrist

The Black Eyed Peas @ Super Bowl XLV

Posted on: February 7, 2011

For the last six years, Janet Jackson’s nipple has loomed large over the Super Bowl Halftime Show, as the NFL has retained “safe” performers, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones (seriously, they are now “safe”), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Prince (yes, also “safe”), Bruce Springsteen and The Who.

In April, the Black Eyed Peas topped Rolling Stone’s 40 Reasons To Be Excited About Rock, labeling them “a group that has perfected the art of global domination thanks to the brilliant maneuvering of philosophical leader”  The choice of the Black Eyed Peas, which was announced in September before album The Beginning was released in November (and largely ignored), signaled that the NFL was ready to bring pop acts at the top of their game back to the Super Bowl.

So, there was a little more lead up interest in what, exactly the Black Eyed Peas would do (and whether would participate as a hologram, like he did for his election night coverage).  At game time, the three most enticing halftime show prop bets:

(1) Over/under on number of songs the Black Eyed Peas will play was set at +/- 4

Related bet: Number of songs Fox colorman and former Super Bowl MVP Troy Aikman can identify set at +/-1.5

(2)  What will Fergie be wearing when she appears first on stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
Skirt/Dress 1/1
Pants (Below Knees) 1/1
Shorts (Above Knees) 7/2
Thong/G-String/Bikini Bottom 10/1

Related bet: How many minutes into the Black Eyed Peas set will NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell regret straying from the classic rock-themed halftime shows since the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction in 2004.

(3)  Will Fergie be dressed as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader at any point during the Halftime show?
Yes 5/1

Related bet: Will she wear a pink Tony Romo jersey?

. . .  and so, the BRIDGESTONE Super Bowl Halftime Show:


The Peas descended from the mid-field jumbo screen that dominates the Stadium clad in Tron-inspired glowing robot costumes (Fergie’s featured shiny football shoulder pads).  Throughout, the Peas were plagued with crummy mic/sound, nowhere more pronounced than in openers “I Got A Feelin’” and “Boom Boom Pow” (where Taboo and Apl-de-ap are allowed to sing).  In spite of the sound glitches, the Black Eyed Peas hit as many popular notes as they could during their 12 minute set, squeezing in more variety by opting for a couple of verses per track, instead of the full song.

The musical highlight of the show featured Slash emerging from below the stage, with a snappy new top hat, playing the opening bars of “Sweet Child O’Mine.”  Fergie grinded awkwardly next to Slash with a furrowed brow and lack of emotion that certainly would get her thrown off “Dancing With Stars.”  And, well, I’ve sung my fair share of “Sweet Child O’Mine” karaoke.  It isn’t easy.  She proved my point (and she can’t sing or dance as well as a washed up “Chinese Democracy” Axl Rose).  The Slash cameo was brief (one verse) and the Peas were off to “Pump It” with the Prairie View A&M marching band (Prairie View of the football program with an 80 game losing streak, nearly twice as bad as Columbia’s 44 game streak).

Usher dropped by (also descended from the mid-field scoreboard) to perform an abbreviated “OMG.”  The show closed with a Peas medley of sorts supported by a variety of Tron dancers in LED-bedazzled unitards (and it isn’t clear to me why the dancers on stage behind that band had boxes on their heads).  While the Peas’ upbeat tunes suggest that they are “gonna have a good, good night” and that they’ll have the “time of [their] life,” the music fan and football fan in us should be asking, “where is the love?”

Other points to note:

Lea Michele Glee’d up a Broadway stylized “America the Beautiful” and Christina Aguilera belted out an embarrassing national anthem and repeated (with variation) “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last gleaming.”  It was a caricature performance (she’s really jumping into the heir to Cher role).  Thankfully, the second half of the game was exciting, Eminem was featured in two commercials, and we wanted more from the little kid who wants to be Darth Vader.


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