Backed by 300 synchronized drones, Lady Gaga sang on the roof of NRG Stadium in Houston, jumped off and descended to a stage in the middle of the field for her Super Bowl halftime show.
She just didn’t do those things at the same time, or even on the same day, despite what some people thought they saw on TV: The rooftop segment was pre-recorded almost a week ahead of time.
Hey, blame it on the weather.
Gaga’s rooftop rendition of a “God Bless America"/"This Land Is Your Land” mashup, which had the 30-year-old singer performing at the edge of the stadium’s open rooftop while red, white and blue drones danced behind her, was filmed Jan. 30, two high-ranking Intel honchos told USA Today.
“When we talked about Super Bowl, the primary weather issue was if they closed the dome,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president of business. “If I had to simplify it, if you can do fireworks because of weather, so can our drones. … We’ve never had a situation where we can’t fly.”
Gaga, however, clearly could not fly through a roof that was closed due to rain, which was a likelihood in February in Houston. The stunt was edited for TV to appear as if she had made the complete, 260-foot leap in real time.
As those fortunate enough to be at the game could see, Gaga descended Sunday from a spot high in the stadium.
General manager Natalie Cheung said the Shooting Stars drone team was on site for nine days. “We were testing out our drones, tweaking our animations throughout this whole process, and we filmed for one night, and it was perfect,” she told USA Today.
Intel had to get special FAA waivers to fly up to 700 feet high in restricted airspace — the stadium is near an airport — at night, with multiple drones per pilot, she said.
Rumors about Gaga’s desire to sing on top of the stadium had surfaced in the middle of January, via Page Six, though that report included the giggle-inducing notion of getting her into the building by cutting a hole in the roof of a structure that already has the ability to open on demand.
The singer supposedly wanted to do the stunt live but was open to the notion of pre-recording, a source told Page Six at the time.