Scott Halleran / Getty Images
February 1, 2013
Super Bowl XLVI
The team: Madonna, LMFAO, Cirque du Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green and several drum lines
Playbook: The "Material Girl" was fresh off her "MDNA" and was defiantly unconcerned with the more conservative red state wing of the football fan base who'd never be caught dead singing along to one of her songs, and her halftime show was pure spectacle by the Cleopatra of the game. In less than 10 minutes, America watched marching warriors pulling a massive chariot; faux trumpeters announcing the arrival of Madonna; a man named Redfoo with a ridiculously large afro fronting a duo called LMFAO; a polyglot British-Sri Lankan rapper slyly flipping the bird at the camera; a cartoonish multiple-personality Nicki Minaj; and a charismatic Buddha of a singer with a golden voice in one of the best bandleader outfits ever created, to say nothing of his stunning black choir robe.
Result: Touchdown! Despite its success and extravagance, this whole halftime package most of all was little more than an ingeniously well planned -- and shockingly transparent -- advertisement for "MDNA," and not much more. Nonetheless, the show nabbed the largest viewership Super Bowl has ever had, which says quite a bit since the game was itself was the most-watched TV event in history.