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The Worst Super Bowl Halftime Performances EVER

There’s plenty of hype (both good & bad) around this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, which will feature Madonna, M.I.A., and more this Sunday. Whether that performance will be anything worth talking about is yet to be seen, but these prior halftime performances certainly were, and not for the best reasons.

Many of you will be using this Sunday’s halftime show as a break in action to eat and drink more before the start of the 2nd half, but plenty of people will be locked to their screens to see what Madonna has up her sleeve for this year’s performance.

Hopefully it’ll be better than these past halftime gigs.

5. Super Bowl XXVI (1992) – Gloria Estefan, Dorothy Hammil, & Brian Boitano

“Quoth NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue at this video’s cold open: ‘Enjoy the halftime show that follows, it says a lot about all of you.’ 1992, the year before MJ would change the halftime game forever more, not coincidentally the nadir of halftime history. This show was the perfect reflection of the time when budget went entirely to procuring preposterous props and producers stiff-armed any creative director with redeemable vision. Instead there were snowflakes on the 30 yard lines with the circumference of flapjacks for Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hammil to perform their quadruple Lundys, or whatever, on sheets of Teflon and ridiculous outfits on uncoordinated people who were I think dancing?” – Stereogum

4. Super Bowl XXXIV (2000) – Christina Aguilera, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Enrique Iglesias[/lastfm], Toni Braxton, Phil Collins

“By this point the halftime budget was funneling primarily toward upgraded costumery with a hefty allotment set aside to procure some head-scratching narration. Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, and Phil Collins perform, intercut with video of actor Edward James Olmos, in full gravitas mode here, unleashing a string of platitudes about “the gateway of time” opening and “hope for a better tomorrow” under a bombastic brass soundtrack, all of which must have come in handy as his audition reel for the role of Commander Adama on Battlestar Galactica. (Very intergalactic space commander-y performance here, is what I’m saying.) Disney produced and called it ‘Tapestry Of Nations’ with a song called ‘Reflections of Earth.- Reflecting on an Earth that is fundamentally Anglo-American and Hispanic, by this tapestry of nations’ fabric. It’s a small world after all, etc.” – Stereogum

3. Super Bowl XXIX (1995) Indiana Jones And The Temple Of The Forbidden Eye, Patti LaBelle, & Tony Bennett

“It’s hard to find video evidence of this one (this clip isn’t complete), but it’s not hard to understand why. The ‘theme’ for this halftime show was essentially a commercial for a new Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland and featured actors playing Jones and his companion, Marion Ravenwood. Apparently, Indy had to save the Lombardi Trophy from … whoever … by the time the music finished. Then it ends with ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from ‘The Lion King,’ just to drive home the fact that Disney was responsible for this mess. Absolutely stultifying.” – aoltv

2. Super Bowl XXXV (2001) – NSYNC, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Nelly, & Mary J. Blige

“Nothing like a testosterone-fueled match of modern day gladiators intercut with lithe and harmonizing pretty boys and power ballads courtesy of a future American Idol judge to make all the sense in the world. To their credit, ‘N Sync ‘kept it real’ with their singing. Still, no offense JC Chasez, none taken, but it’s weird that there was a dance routine that had you out in front of Justin Timberlake, even for a minute. But I get it, it is the Super Bowl halftime show, weirdness is at a premium. Also: That whole “Walk This Way” remake at 6:10. Britney Spears inappropriately flirting with Steven Tyler the way he does with contestants on his new day job, Mary J. Blige looking a little lost, an admittedly energy-surging Nelly, and ‘N Sync hamming it up as Run-DMC who immediately rolled over in their Adidas.” – Stereogum

1. Super Bowl XLV (2011) – Black Eyed Peas

Just in case you forgot about last year’s…interesting…Black Eyed Peas performance.


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