Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota ended on a disappointing note for Patriots fans, and unfortunately, the halftime show did not make things any better. While he brought the audience on a tour of his most popular songs throughout his career, Justin Timberlake’s performance was unexciting, quiet, and surprisingly controversial.
As many know, his last appearance at the Superbowl in 2004 with Janet Jackson ended with the famous “nipplegate”, so many were interested to see how Timberlake’s second chance would go. Additionally, many were shocked to discover that he did not invite Jackson to perform with him, including Jackson herself.
To begin his redemption performance he delivered a variety of old hits, including “Cry Me a River”, “Suit & Tie”, “Sexyback”, “Senorita”, “Mirrors”, “My Love”, and “Filthy”. Towards the end of the show, he sang a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die for You”, to pay tribute to Minnesota’s hometown hero. This tribute was met with criticism, however due to -conflict that existed between the two artists while Prince was alive. Additionally, Prince had said that using a hologram to represent a dead artist would be “the most demonic imaginable”. After half time, many fans took to twitter, stating that “Prince would be livid,” while others shared that “If you don’t think Prince woulda loved this, you’re not a Prince fan”.
Not only was Justin Timberlake’s performance met with controversy from both Janet Jackson and Prince fans, his performance was affected by serious technical difficulties. His voice was almost impossible to hear, it was quiet and distorted while his backup singers and band could easily be heard. This put a damper on his performance, but he kept up the show and ended with his hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, taking an awesome selfie with a fan in the stands while performing.
The one highlight of the show was the choreography, and Timberlake proved yet again that he is a phenomenal dancer. Hopefully next year the halftime show is amazing… oh, and hopefully it is a good game.