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Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Draws Mixed Reviews

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Madonna positioned herself as the queen of a new generation of pop stars at the Super Bowl halftime show — complete with throne — but didn’t have complete control of her show.

Guest singer M.I.A. flipped the middle finger to the audience after uttering a barely disguised expletive during a performance of Madonna’s new single. M.I.A. was one of two guests who contributed vocals to the bubblegum pop song, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” along with Nicki Minaj. Dance rockers LMFAO and singer Cee Lo also joined the halftime show.

“Madonna rocking … well received here in the stadium,” WFAN’s Boomer Esiason posted to his Twitter account.

“When did Madonna forget how to dance?” tweeted Craig Carton, Boomer’s morning show co-host. “Oh thats right last time she had a hit.”

PHOTOS: Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show

Madonna seemed like Roman royalty when muscle-bound men carried her extravagant throne across the football field to the stage for her opening song, “Vogue.”

The singing and dancing on that song was smartly choreographed, as Madonna moved more deliberately but still adroitly in moves that took into account that she’s now in her 50s. She briefly appeared to stumble at one point while trying to make a step on the stage set, but recovered in time.

She let a tightrope walker make the more acrobatic moves during a performance of “Music.”

That song was augmented by dance rockers LMFAO, who performed a snippet of “Party Rock” as Madonna joined them in a brief routine.

Madonna carried gold pompons for a performance of her new single. Twitter was alight with questions about the vocals being lip synched or augmented by tapes, particularly during this song.

At the end of her lines, M.I.A. appeared to sing “I don’t give a (expletive),” although it was hard to hear clearly. Her extension of a middle finger to the audience was clearly visible, though. The camera shot briefly blurred after that, but too late.

The best guest was clearly Cee Lo, who joined Madonna for the final song, “Like a Prayer.” They were joined by a robed chorus in the show’s most soaring performance.

With a puff of white smoke, Madonna disappeared down a trap door in the stage, and lights on the field spelled out “World Peace.”

The veteran star’s vocals were not strong throughout, lending to the sense of distance during the spectacle.

Earlier, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert offered some pregame patriotism. Shelton and Lambert did a twangy duet on “America the Beautiful” and Clarkson, in a simple black dress, sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”

What did you think of the halftime show? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Amused but not misled says:

    Sounds like I made the right choce to switch to the Simpson’s during half time. LOL

  2. Placebo says:

    The age-related disparagements in here bode ill for all who anticipate being welcome members of society through their 80s and beyond. What’s the point, after 50? Better keel over, or shut the f up, because you’ll just be disparaged. What a waste of money on viagra, plastic surgery, hair replacement, teeth replacement, fashion, heart surgery research…

    Life is precious at any age? spiritually, for sure. But socially, apart from friends and friendly relatives? only as a revenue stream, and even then you’ll be type-cast and sidelined if not totally disregarded. Fun!

  3. reepermeg says:

    Hey Madonna, why don’t you join the AARP, sit back on your throne(with that great english accent) bark out orders to the help and enjoy your money ! Another super bowl half time wasted on trash. Should just air the commercials , then at least we would have a good laugh.

    1. Placebo says:

      case in point – gratuitous AARP reference

  4. sdmg647 says:

    At half time, I went back to Animal Planet…boring half time…..America you could do better than that half time show.

  5. mary b says:

    typical madonna entrance….only things worth watching were the songs at the end with cee lo….time for her to get off the stage

  6. Rock God 5150 says:

    OOHHHH All the nancy’s are in a uproar cuase their she queen is get’n booed’ shut up girly boys!! bring in Ozzy to do it right!!!

  7. Sharon says:

    When y’all are 53, making millions and a name for yourself, doing what she’s doing, THEN you have the right to judge. I think she’s amazing and I applaud her for keeping it up. Press on girl!!!

  8. steve says:

    I thought it was an awesome halftime show, entertaining much better than those peas, i cant even remember any good halftime shows in recent memory. Perhaps it because i grew up in the 80s, loved it!!

  9. Jk says:

    Terrible lip sync half time show where the singers can’t even sing. Whoever hired this show should be canned. And the broad who gave the crowd the finger was really low class. Madonna? let’s see: dances like an fake and surrounds herself a dreary spectacle to make up for it.

  10. RAM says:

    Isn’t it time for a “classy” half time show? These are getting soooo boring..

  11. Elaine says:

    The half time show was just okay – not spectacular like I thought it might be. There was no need for any hand gestures and obscenities. It took away from an otherwise entertaining half time show.

  12. Pierce says:

    I like Madonna old music…not so much today’s stuff. Why you people who make negative so mean. She gets joy by performing and entertaining people. Why not just give that to her. If you don’t like her performance, just say you don’t like. You don’t have to make nasty comment about her age. If you don’t have any nice to say, then stfu. Just mean and nasty.

  13. Barbara says:

    unbelievably stupid show. What was up with the girl dancers going around with big “M’s” hanging from their belts? The biggest problem for me was no real spirit, no real emotion, no real energy, no real talent. Just a bunch of outdated gimmicks not even thrown together very well. Made me want to puke.

  14. Becky Molina says:

    I agree totally. Madonna can move. What was Her PROBLEM PROVING TO OTHERS SHE CAN WEAR ULTRA HIGH HEELS? Madonna couldn’t move in them. What a STUPID MISTAKE SHE MADE. All that dancing ability and all that plastic surgery wasted – she looked like a foolish fifty something in silly ultra high boots that made her look stiff, insecure, and foolish. She did not own the stage at all and she was capable of so much more. WORLD PEACE at the end -was just as disingenuous as her performance – like a canned beauty contestant’s answer to everything.

  15. David Snyder says:

    I must admit I felt a little gay watching that half time show

  16. kathy says:

    She can sing but she needs to leave the dance moves to the younger ones. She almost fell off the back of the set and I was expecting her to say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” She was unsteady on her feet and it showed. I felt as if someone was going to have to catch her at any moment.

  17. RoyBoySays says:

    I was hoping she would show a little more skin lol

  18. susan says:

    I found it to be a disappointment. Hard to understand just what she was trying to portray. The best part was WORLD PEACE. I rate it a 6.5 and a huge waste of money.

  19. BJ says:

    Madonna is certainly not a “bag” she still looks great….that being said…….
    the show was a different story. No cohesiveness.
    First it was stiff Egyptian moves, then she looked like Dorothy of the Wizard of OZ,
    next thing you know it was a gospel revival. Pretty bad.

  20. M. J. says:

    I was expecting soooo much more. The worst half time I ever watched.

  21. Rebecca says:

    Horrible game Horrible Halftime. Horrible commercials!

  22. Ken says:

    At least we didn’t have some tonedeaf hip hop yodeler butcher the national anthem. Thank God.

  23. karen says:

    HORRIBLE! Stiff and looking confused, unsuccessfully trying to dance on a stage while poorly lip synching. What a mess- It was only good for a laugh.

  24. Steve says:

    Madonna was never just a singer but is, along with Michael Jackson, one of the architects of the female rock diva and pop-as-theater, with a straight line leading to contemporary concert spectacles like Lady Gaga’s. She’s also a brilliant producer, songwriter and promoter. I’m only surprised that it took this long for her to be invited to the Super Bowl.

    That said, I thought it was a Disneyfied version of her usual shows and she didn’t seem completely comfortable with it. The 5″ heels probably didn’t help her moves either but I think millions of 50+ women are going to hit the gym this morning anyway.

  25. cai says:

    TERRIBLE! The worst lip synching and slow motion dance moves that I’ve ever seen. Madonna looked like Betty Whites trying to move on the stage. Karma is a bitch, and it all seems to be coming home to roost. What a disappointment and disaster. We all had a good laugh.

  26. Syma says:

    The Stones show was underwhelming, so was the Peas.JJ was not even worth mentioning despite the flash. Madonna has followed suit. Too bad, I’m a fan from way back.

  27. reuben says:

    Truly one of the gayest halftime shows I ever saw. All that was missing were a bunch of oiled-up up men in speedos waving rainbow flags. Oy!

  28. Dave says:

    What people don’t understand is that singing is the least important thing Madonna does. I admit it wasn’t her best performance but comparing her to Billy Holiday or even Mariah Carrey is ridiculous. It’s not understanding what Madonna is all about.

  29. Mikeybklyn says:

    That was painful.

  30. sue says:

    Not at all a Madonna fan but thought the halftime show was good. The tech effects were fun for a night show and if I were in the crowd I know I would have been singing along with “Like A Prayer”. HOWEVER….Did not like at all that I heard she flipped a bird for any reason and of course, she always has to throw a political stance like “World Peace” in any performance. Makes me crazy people cheer for this CRAP but anyone who has a friend, family member or loved one in the military, knows this is a Hollywood bull $%&# dig at our soldiers, whether they even get it or not…..

  31. giga says:

    I thought the show was boring and Madonna seemed… well, old. Just my opinion. And I’m a child of the 80’s and MTV Madonna, so it’s not like Ive been raised on Nikki Minaj or dislike Madonna

  32. jackson says:

    just to be nice she at least hit the notes in her two octave range…I believe Mariah carey has seven octave arnge…Madonna fans say “What’s an octave?”

    1. more gibberish says:

      Oh Janet, is that you again? Your comments are very transparent and you haven’t even met the woman!

    2. Obaf says:

      you know, Mariah herself said that Madonna is a Legend !
      look it up in YouTube
      Celine – Whitney – Kelly Clarkson – Aguilera – Mariah all of them have a more powerful voice BUT that doesn’t make them more popular than Madonna, even with all those seven octave range !

  33. Angela says:

    Madonna was extremely nervous, as she has stated in prior interviews, and who wouldn’t be, performing for 100+ million viewers! She is also very smart. Even though she performed for free, she knew that this was her biggest oppotunity to gain exposure for her upcoming music to be released in the near future. She has always known how to make money, even if it meant her character was criticized for controversial performances. Her mastery is conveyed in her art, and the ability to relay her passions to her audience, regardless of what emotion she evokes in us. It was precisely those controversies that lifted her career to mega success. Was this her best performance? Even she knows the answer to that one. But we all have to remember, humans, even Madonna, have good, bad and mediocre days. I think her movements would have appeared more fluid and she more confident, had she not challenged herself with those bleachers. Granted the heel height on those boots didn’t help, but could have been more easily dealt with, given a flat surface to dance on. She’s as tough as nails and I’m pretty sure she will just shine brighter next time. She will remain a legendary star regardless of who thinks what. That’s Madonna.

  34. Alex says:

    I can’t believe some of the comments people are leaving. Madonna was amazing!!
    Why is it so important to mention her age all the time. 53 isn’t that old. Madonna is in amazing shape and could out perform entertainers half her age. It makes people think that once you hit a certain age in life, you shouldn’t do certain things.
    Isn’t this what makes people old. OH MY GOD, I’m 50 now, I guess i have to give up everything I enjoy because I shouldn’t do it anymore. Get real people, she has a long way to go, and it is only the stupid agism that is making her look bad.

    1. Angela says:

      I agree Alex!!
      Perhaps it is those people and their mindsets that will have them aging quicker than someone like Madonna. Too bad we can’t track it.

    2. angela says:

      couldn’t agree more! I’m 40 but guess what, I’m a hiphop dancer.

  35. susie says:

    Madonna looks like Mae West, She needs to retire from the stage.

  36. The only Jeff says:

    Didn’t watch it, because I didn’t care. Wouldn’t have been interested in it in her prime, so I REALLY wasn’t going to waste a half hour on her or her pop crap cronies now. You want people to actually watch the half time show? Mix it up. Throw Metallica in there, so it’s not all about what the pop kids like…or liked 20 years ago in this case.

    1. maxx says:

      bitter much?

  37. maxx says:

    Madonna is so pretty. She sure knows how to play a crowd. She may not have awesome vocals but hey, it’s the overall performance that counts. Plus, at her age, she doesn’t look a day older than 25. She can stand beside Nicki and Mia all she wants, she looks like their age.

    kudos Madonna!

  38. Kathryn says:

    It was lame at best and certainly looked like lip synching to me too. It seemed more like how many people in costumes could they get up there than how much talent there was and a total lack of cohesion akin to tossing fish, crayons and grapes in a bowl and calling it a fruit salad.

    She has slipped into mediocrity and is just trying to do what she can’t do any more- which is about the depth of her talent and not her age. Of course she is timeless to her die hard fans, but she is not enduring well for the rest of us. I hope they can do a lot better next year, but at least it was a great football game.

  39. Dirk Kennedy says:

    Karen Carpenter wasn’t great? Seriously? You need to get some ears that work.

  40. LUV Madonna says:

    She, it, was great!

  41. Nancy says:

    I so wanted to love it, but I couldn’t. I do give Madonna credit, she looks and moves better than most 53 year old women, but that alone wasn’t enough to save her. She moved like a mummy who had just been unearthed from the Great tombs of Egypt. The type of dance moves she attempted need to be left to the young performers. It just doesn’t look good when they flip a 53 year old woman, they did it so slowly that I assumed they were all worried about breaking a hip. As for her newest single, sounded like the same old stuff we’ve been hearing from her for the last 30 years. As for M.I.A., and her crude gesture, we can only hope she goes MIA from our TV screens forever.

  42. tjh1972 says:

    Madonna did make a few bobbles. I missed the part where the vocalist flipped off the audience. Very unprofessional.

    As for the performance itself: beautifully done. The back up singers could have been better but ceelo did great with madonna.

    This one was better than the past several. The worst will always be the who not even playing the guitars or singing their own songs.

    Madonna will alway be a legend. People have tried to copy her ie, gaga before being booed off the stage for copying Madonna’s work, but no one will replace this woman in the hearts of a generation.

    You rocked the house Madonna. You should be proud. You brought the house down in one of the best performances in years for a halftime show.

  43. Anthony says:

    Folks…… Young and Old……… I am married with four kiddioes…. In my forties…… This was by far the best super bowl show!!! I had all age groups at my house who were glued to the tv…….watching Madonna. Not sure about all the negative comments, but take some time analyzing all her great hits. Again BEST super bowl show ever….. I dare someone telling all of us the super bowl halfbtime show that was better. Btw… I never comment on these things….I happen to be looking at what people thought of the show….

  44. DjAce Hart says:

    i was disappointed in Madonna lip syncing, she almost fell off the bleachers during “Music” – the LMFAO dude missed her leg & she almost fell a 2nd time, her dancing was lackluster & looked very forced. the stage & lighting were very cool. I Love Madonna but this show was NOT up to her standards at all.

  45. Judy says:

    Madonna, I hope you are reading the comments. It is okay for men to get older but when a woman is over 50, she is critisized. Referring to you as elderly. that is sad. Thank god you have always had a high ego and pursued your dreams. You have done things off the top that have shocked us all and some like you and some don’t. Nonetheless, you gave it your all. Music has changed and maybe some are just refusing to accept you as the artist you are. I was suprized at some of the songs you sang and did expect a more modern beat to pull in the audience but even if you had done that, there would have been crititics saying “Look at her not acting her age”. Thank God you never let negativity stop you in your career.

    1. Peace says:

      Couldn’t have put it better myself Judy!

    2. maxx says:

      I agree. Music knows no age. Dance knows no age. Madonna can do both and the industry changed and she changes with it, constantly evolving and still becoming a trendsetter. THAT is an icon.

      from 80s to 90s, to the 2000s, Madonna is simply the Queen!

    3. Bob Hurst says:

      I thought she look really good … 50 or not … but that is the only good thing I can think of about the show. No excitement … left me totally flat … totally canned.

    4. les says:

      Has nothing to do with age. Poor lip synching, poorer moves,fumbling and dazed– no entertainment value at all.

  46. bryan says:

    i think madonna is a good performer but she did not do a good job. i think she was nervous. she looked very stiff. bryan

    1. Anthiny says:

      Stiff? Have you seen the past super owl shows? She was awesome…

  47. Sarah says:

    Hey Guys! I have a GREAT idea for halftime. Madonna’s cheap…right? Right. So here’s the theme. Egyptian… from there we will transition into something cool. Kids still like the circus, right? So we get a great tightrope walker to distract from her age, then we get LMFAO. The kids love LMFAO. And it’s cheerleading…so let’s make Madonna into a cheerleader… but she’s a bit old to be cheering. Let’s get Nicki and M.I.A to cheer then. That would be cool, right guys!?!?!?
    Oh…and we need to get all the audiences…
    And Madonna does have to shine for actually singing rather than awful lipsinging. Let’s have her sing in a gospel style so we recognize that she has some talent… Cee Lo would have fun with that. Let’s just bring in all of these people. Oh.
    But it’s football… maybe we should get a marching band… but a marching band could be costly. Let’s have a drumline and Madonna should poorly high step. Good brainstorm guys. Good job.

  48. Richard says:

    It was a great melody and history of some of her songs from her career. Loved how she modernised some of the songs, and collaborated with artists from Gen Y to appeal to the younger audience. Good work Madonna!

  49. cat on a hot tin roof says:

    I think she did great for a 50 y.o. bag. Then again, we were there to watch a football game, weren’t we?

    1. nopatienceforidiots says:

      I’ve never been a Madonna fan and thought her part of this performance was extremely empty and bland, BUT I’d hardly categorize her as a “bag”. (Tell us how you really feel about women….)

  50. Deborah Jeffries says:

    RJ doesn’t the shameless plug of your book constitute as part of the American capitalist machine you criticize? Hey you can’t fool a far leftist Ward Churchill protegee like me. My party refers to people like you as pseudo leftists or hypocrites.

    1. jeff says:

      I know evil when I see it, and it’s in your comments, certainly not in Madonna’s performance. Find another forum to spew your toxic waste.

      1. Peter says:

        An article about a halftime show and you plug a book about your political views, and then get bent out of shape because people don’t care/disagree with you.

        I’ll bet you change the world.

        As an author, great use of punctuation and grammar. I like the liberal use of periods, commas and question marks. Really sends your point of “I don’t know how to write” home.

        1. Miriam says:

          Question for RJ,

          By any chance are you from California?


          1. RJ O'Guillory says:

            Hi Miriam,….no, I grew up in St. Louis,..lived in Japan for a few years, Germany , Hungary and Bosnia,…but I’ve lived off/on in Ca now for 25 years, and am now retired to the Sierra Mountains,…waiting for the social clusterduck that is engulfing our culture,….

            But tanks for asking, and let me know if you enjoyed my book,…


            RJ O’Guillory
            Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

    2. terry13z says:

      Am I on the right blog???? Better put some hip boots on here cause the BS is really getting deep. You can take any incident or event and reveal the underbelly of whatever political persuasion you come from. This was a football game. Matter a fact the SuperBowl…..and part of American culture. If you don’t like…don’t watch it…..however your comments on the demise of American society in welcomed here in the USA; maybe not Syria, but here….yes……my point is this…….Madonna was terrible…no umpghhh in her at all…….thought she showed her age……..but then again I am part of a war criminal class siting on my couch and ………..hold on let me get manifesto and rewind her half time show; perhaps I missed something.

      1. RJ O'Guillory says:


        …yes, I know, observations are a pain-in the-ass,…takes all the fun out of things,..deflates the balloon of patriotic pride most of you have while watching the show,….which was great theatrically, and the football was fun,…

        …but fifty years from now when the rest of society is examining the criminal record of our leadership,….(hopefully,.. well after the last of them has been legally found guilty of treason,..and executed),…and they begin to question how our society could have allowed such illegal, criminal behavior on the part of our government,..the government that says it represents us,…or,..after you watch a few videos of the drone bombings we are inflicting on innocent men, women and children around the world,…

        …you people will be looked upon with the same disgust as those thousands of waving Germans at Nurnberg,….I’m sure they were proud of their parades and entertainment as well,…too bad they had an evil, hollow society….

        ..and btw,…I did begin this with an opinion on the halftime show,….it is your all’s fixation with my writing, my opinion and my dots that is cracking me up,…man, how did all of you get so angry at the world,… that you cannot see fascism and criminal conduct on behalf of you military/government,..and how sad you cannot see the future for our country,….and kids,…

        ..very sad,..but very stud-like American-Like responses,….now go watch a video of one of those Libyan boys with their hands blown off, ..or their sister with her jaw blown apart,…and go back and watch your Madonna or football,…

        ..but if you want to be honest with yourself,…you know everything around you is soaked in corruption and criminality…and Madonna’s show just looked like the end of a sad, commercial peak for the US,….from here on, it’s down hill and into more war-crimes,….oh, wait,..unless we happen to get another one of those convenient 911 type situations,…you know, the false-flag type attack used to justify some more killing and theft of other people’s resources,…Rah, Rah,..go America!


        RJ O’Guillory
        Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

        1. steve says:

          How the F**k did 911 get involved it Madonna half time show??
          BY the way..Mr. RJ O’Guillory….”Everybody does have a book in them ,but in most cases thats where it should stay” Christopher Hitchens.

    3. Renee says:

      They need to have a real star like Marduc from “Marducs World”.

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