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Hit Or Miss?: Super Bowl Halftime Show

The controversy of super bowl halftimes is always a hit during this time of the year. Super bowl halftime shows create popular trends like no other. For example, Tik Tok videos of creators reenacting Rihanna’s backup dancers got millions of views last year. This year, Usher provided a halftime show that created mixed emotions. I sent out a google form to the whole school asking everyone’s opinions on the halftime show. 52.2% of you responded saying they enjoyed the halftime show. Let's recap Usher's performance.

Usher started off his performance with his 2005 single, Caught Up. He then performed U Don't Have to Call, his 2002 single; followed by Superstar in his album “Confessions.” All these songs are not widely known by our generation. Some of the responses I received mentioned, “I really didn’t know any of the songs” and “Many of the songs were unknown when I feel like there was more potential if they would've played a different set list.” Other responses, that I assume could have been staff or those who listen to older music responded with, “it was nostalgic” and “I just like usher because he made good songs in the early 2000s and late 90s.” With this, there are mixed opinions about his opening singles, but following these songs, Love in the Club, a newer song was performed.

Following Usher’s singles, Alicia Keys appeared playing piano. She performed her classic If I Ain’t Got You (with a rocky start-she pulled through though) and then finally a duet with Usher in their song My Boo. With Alicia and Ushers duet, there has been a concern with their connection during their performance. If you didn’t know already, Usher married Jennifer Goicoechea, three days before the super bowl performance. Social media is raving about how Alicia and Usher had a special connection on the stage that raised a concern about how Usher’s wife, Jennifer, felt about this performance. One response I received on my form stated their performance as a whole was “Very short and Usher was being weird with Alicia Keys.” Another response I received really embodied the performance as a whole and what I felt like most of the audience was thinking . . . ”it was mid - like Usher said maybe 20 words that account for filler words. NOT TO MENTION HIM DANCING WITH ALICIA KEYS LIKE HE DIDN'T JUST GET MARRIED THREE DAYS PRIOR. Bro was literally dancing up on her like they were both single. Ew.” Anyway, maybe it was just for performance purposes, but their duo did in fact eat.

Usher then went on to play Confessions Part II, Nice and Slow, Burn including a guitar solo from H.E.R, and U Got It Bad. These songs were once again more from his decade, but were smash hits for most of our parents. 

After these were performed, the popular OMG, featuring was performed . . . with roller skates. Who knew Usher could dance and roller skate, at the same time? This surprise definitely, in my opinion, picked up the performance. A response I got stated: “Usher was literally on roller skates ??? Do I need to say more?” I thought this response was accurate for this part of the performance.

Finally, the wait was over for the most popular songs to be performed. Near the end of his halftime show, Usher performed "Turn Down for What," featuring DJ Snake and Lil John, as well as "Yeah!" with Lil John and Ludacris (literally MVF brought to the halftime show). In my opinion, this was the best part of the performance and the roller skates really brought it all together.

There were many mixed opinions about this performance. Fans were wondering where Justin Bieber was (including me . . .) and his hit “Hey Daddy,” that everyone expected him to sing. I got a response from a staff member that I feel really describes this performance: “Because I am 40, Usher, Lil Jon, and Luda were my posse in college. This Gen Xer/Xennial/Geriatric Millennial was VERY excited to see the team back together. And with Alicia! Be still my heart. The whole thing was a bop. It wasn't for the youths. My gen is the target audience for the SuperTime Half Bowl show, and we are living it up. You'll see what I'm talking about in approximately 20 years. Rihanna was better.” Along with asking how this year’s performance was, I also took a poll on which performance was better: Rihanna-2023 or Usher-2024. 66.5% believed that Rihanna’s performance was better than Usher's. This year's performance created mixed opinions. I thought Usher's performance was pretty good, but in my opinion, no one could top Rihanna’s slay performance last year.

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