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.)

  • RJ O'Guillory

    …for those who wondered why I was bothered by the oiled-up “roman gladiators” dragging Madonna into the SB Half-time show…it simply seemed very symbolic of our decline as a country of beliefs and morals…representative of domination and vulgar excess….the comment below is from Paul Craig Roberts, former Treasury Secretary…and it relates very much to what I felt watching the “declining” (yet entertaining) star…it felt very Roman Spectacle Look to it,…or as I said earlier ,,1934 Nurnberg, Germany..
    In the course of the conversation I asked how Washington got so many other governments to do its bidding. He answered, “Money.”

    I asked, “You mean foreign aid?”

    He said, “No, bags of money. We buy the leaders.”

    He didn’t approve of it, but there was nothing he could do about it.

    Purchasing the leadership of their enemies or of potential threats was the Roman way. Timothy H. Parsons in his book, The Rule of Empires, describes the Romans as “deft practitioners of soft power.” Rome preferred to rule the conquered and the potentially hostile through “semiautonomous client kings which the Senate euphemistically termed ‘friends of the Roman people.’ Romans helped cooperative monarchs remain in power with direct payments of coins and material goods. Acceptance of these subsidies signified that an ally deferred to imperial authority, and the Romans interpreted any defiance of their will as an overt revolt. They also intervened freely in local succession disputes to replace unsuitable clients.”

    This is the way Washington rules. Washington’s way of ruling other countries is why there is no “Egyptian Spring,” but a military dictatorship as a replacement for Washington’s discarded puppet Hosni Mubarak, and why European puppet states are fighting Washington’s wars of hegemony in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

    Washington’s National Endowment for Democracy funds non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It is through the operations of NGOs that Washington added the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to Washington’s empire, along with the Baltic States, and Eastern European countries.

    Because of the hostility of many Russians to their Soviet past, Russia is vulnerable to Washington’s machinations.

    As long as the dollar rules, Washington’s power will rule.

    As Rome debased its silver denarius into lead, Rome’s power to purchase compliance faded away. If “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke inflates away the purchasing power of the dollar, Washington’s power will melt away also.


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

  • susan

    could we please move off of this topic??the superbowl is past history now, as is the halftime was big and las vegas style and it got a lot of attention, whether you liked it or hated it..madonna will go on..this was not a career breaker for her because she has already made millions…

  • Rudy Rubio

    All who criticized Madonna and her spectacular halftime show, need to get a life
    and do something with it too! It just shows the way our new generations are headed for, in bad taste. I love this great country of ours and our entertainers, that includes Madonna. To make us forget all the misery in the world we live in.
    But with comments I’ve have read…..just make me sick to know that the misery
    is here in this country. so you all take care and think before commenting on someone who makes us forget for awhile about the issues and problems we
    have, and LOVE ONE ANOTHER! RR

  • CalMom

    Out of curiosity I’ve been watching this woman off and on since she’s been ‘a star’. I am her age and have never really cared for her style.(Pointy bra and weird stuff she’s worn to get the almighty attention) I have issues with anyone coming into a performance in a self-worshipping manner. Too much hoopla for me. Other than that, she did a fair job, given all the money and time that goes with keeping up the ‘ole bod, I have no doubt many of us poorer 50+ year olds could do what she does.(Well maybe not the singing for me) But move, I can.
    I liked her dress and boots but not the gaudy cape she came out with. Kudos for her refraining from wearing an ill-fitting costume and spilling out. That was good.

  • susan


  • EBL Who was the Rubber Band Man with Lady Gaga’s Grandmother?

  • CherCherokee

    I think Madonna did a great job. She is a great performer at any age and I feel she has gotten better as she got older. Obviously she is doing something right because she has made millions as a singer/songwriter. No agent or manager can make you popular. Sure, they can promote your talent but it is THE FANS who buys the CD’s, see the movies, etc. and Madonna still has her fans. She still feels great enough to continue her work in the industry at 53 and I give her all the credit for doing that and as I said, she has loyal fans ! She has made a name for herself and she is an icon like her or not.

  • Jada Marie

    I would like to see what you people sitting behind your computer bashing her will be doing and looking like at 53! She rocked it even for a 25 year old. Take that haters!

  • Gost of Don Knotts

    The halftime show sucked, it was way too fruity and corny for me to take it seriously. Listening to a 53 year old woman singing a gay anthem at the Superbowl just somehow seems..nightmarish.

  • sandracretu is queen of pop


  • Diss Appointed

    In her day M was amazing, time to hang up the pompoms and act her age…she was way out of step many times, let the new up & coming entertain us, Madonna’s time has passed. And make up your mind, she said at the oscars I want to focus on film oh wait but I’ll sing for superbowl…still fame hungry as always.

  • potomus

    I have never posted a comment and my guess is that most normal everyday people don’t post comments. I was with kids in their teens and early 20’s and then a little older like myself and we were all impressed with the half time show. I don’t know what you over critical ones were looking for. It’s meant to be a show and thats what is was. I didn’t think Madonna could pull off such a family type of event and she did – looking happy, confident, keeping it clean and with the guests, I’m not sure how much more you could pack into such a short amount of time. GREAT JOB MADONNA (from a previous Madonna hater – I’m turned around – not that any of it really matters to her in the long run – for those that don’t like her, somehow she is worth close to $500M. I guess you negitive folks have been outvoted by paying customers…. and they didn’t pay that much 20 yrs ago so she is still making a lot of $’s.

  • Aaron

    Madonna represents the 1% and is a shill for corporate entertainment pay-outs as a supporter of independent music she signs onto yet another major corporate label and grossed 300 million touring while using Unicef to get people to become more giving-it worked and then her friends in Malawi spent millions of donated money on cars and golf-her interest in Malawi was non existent until someone pitched the use of that country as a p.r. stunt and charity gig. Recently in an interview via 20/20 she stated she cannot cook and hired help raise her children, her middle class working girl image holds no merit, as no middle class woman hands their children to others to raise and definitely home cooked meals with some TLC is very American. There is a website online which shows side by side images of exactly whom she has copied or ripped off for her 30 years in media, she called Lady Gaga a copycat but remade Lina Wermullers 1970’s film “Swept Away” frame by frame, Evita is also a remake, Vogue is a knock off of Malcolm McLaren’s original single “Deep In Vogue”.

  • Emily

    The Black Eyed Peas might have been horrible last year, but at least they ACTUALLY SANG. I honestly hated the performance; there were too many props and it jumped from Gladiator to cheerleader and then to a gospel choir? And when it was all over “World Peace” illuminated the field. It was honestly as if pop media vomited all over the field. The only half decent guest star was Cee Lo Green, who was the ONLY ONE out of the 5 guest stars that sang.
    Madonna was lip syncing the whole time, she nearly fell during her opening song, her new song was HORRENDOUS (“luv MADONNA you MADONNA!”) and she looked as if she was dying out there on stage. The only interesting part of the whole show was M.I.A. flipping off the camera. Madonna, you might’ve been a super star 20 some years ago, but it’s time to move on and stop trying to make a comeback. This failed superbowl show only proved that she is not what she once was in her glory days.

  • joe allen

    dont you people have jobs? or a life?
    when you sell 300 million records, then you can critique one of the most powerful musical and cultural icons of the last 3 decades.
    her show was a SHOW. period, it was great. and she put on an explosive show.
    the ones who did not like it, probably do not like Madonna, because she is a brave, outspoken, powerful woman who speaks her mind on life, sex, and how most Americans are ignorant about everything connected to quality.
    you Madonna critics are envious, judgmental whiners, who could be doing something more positive with your time, lazy fat-asses.

    • Rick~ Nashville

      Right on Joe Allen!!!

  • Grey Bush

    Ok, so here it is: Music seemed canned, her voice was OK..and she can still give a dog a bone…. end of conversation…moving on…. The DJIA is looking stronger…

  • barbara

    The show was overdone and totally irrelevant. The songs she sung were released before some of these football players were event born. Add to that the costumes and the pathetic lip-synching and you have a total mess. The only thing redeeming was the lighting effects.

  • Fred

    Honestly I missed the finger incident because the “show” was so lame that no one paid much attention to it. We all started having side conversations. There was a lot of production that probably took much time and cost much money but to no avail. You can take something lame and dress it up all you want, its still lame because her songs are basically pop drivell.

  • Bill Mlezcko

    I don’t “L U V” Madonna and after that performance I am still not any of the those “Y O U” wanna.

  • Mayor Koch's Tomb Inc.

    M.I.A.and Madonna are still in the year 1930 ‘s doing the same
    old bump & grind burlesque dancing for men.Madonna is not 30 anymore
    and M.I.A did her ghetto thing ,cursing “the man” that pays you da money.

  • RCL

    I found it hard to watch Madonna trying to move around the stage. I was embarrassed for her. I do take her age into consideration. She looked a little stiff, not sure if it was because of age or because her skin is pulled so tight, that she cannot move that well.



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