If I Had Directed Madonna's Super Bowl Halftime Show
Madonna gave her all during her performance at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show. I even have to give her a ton of credit for looking like she was having fun up there, smiling and being playful with her surprise guests on stage.
Yet much like most were putting money on Eli Manning or Tom Brady, I had my own predictions as to what Madonna would put together for her 12-minute moment in the spotlight.
I already knew from sneak peek pictures of her stage setup that "Vogue" was in the lineup, but I felt like it was a disappointing opener. It went too long in my opinion, and if it had been cut shorter, maybe another big hit could have made it into the lineup.
So without further ado, here's what I would have done if I called the shots on behalf of our Material Girl:
- Open with "Ray of Light". I can just imagine the stage being in complete darkness and then one lighthouse-like beam circling Lucas Oil Stadium as the song begins before busting out into its thumping beat with an explosion of light. The Cleopatra-like entrance was pretty fabulous, but "Vogue", while iconic, never really busts open the way "Ray of Light" does right from the start. It would have been an amazing opening song.
- Get "Express Yourself" in there somewhere. And not just that - get Lady Gaga up on stage to do a mashup of it with "Born this Way". Madge said what many others have been thinking for the last year - that the songs sound incredibly similar - but how amazing would it have been to bury the hatchet and do both songs together in a Glee-tastic mashup? The two artists are already compared to each other constantly... why not show some solidarity?
- Don't perform "Give Me All Your Luvin". There's a reason why a lot of people take a beer and/or potty break when an artist busts out their latest efforts in concert. People a) just don't care enough about the new music yet, and b) they're waiting for the hits. It's sad, but true. And leave it to guest singer M.I.A. to stir up the controversy by flipping the bird on camera and take away the attention from the headliner. The song reminds me of "Mickey" and is fun, sugary pop, but I know I'm not the only one who was hoping against hope that the halftime show wouldn't end on this note. Which brings me to my final point...
- Keep the ending exactly the same. I was watching the Super Bowl at my parents' house, and save for my husband and cousins, the age difference in the room was between 30 and 50 years older than Made in the 80s me. Madonna has owned MTV ever since I was born. She's been in my musical DNA just through pop culture infusion. A lot of the people in the room weren't loving the show, but as soon as I saw the choirmembers and heard the beginning of "Like a Prayer", I knew that Madonna would be bringing the house down. I said, "this is where she turns it around." Cee-Lo was a great surprise and partner in the show's finale, with the song swelling up before the stage swallowed Madonna whole. The finale shows the level that the entire show could have been at.
Overall, I give Madonna a B+ for her halftime show. If any of the above suggestions had been in place, my head might have exploded with excitement. But I give the NFL credit for doing something different this year. Plus, I'm glad that Madonna is making 2012 the year of the smile. From the Golden Globes to twirls on bleachers at center field, Madonna seems to be taking herself a little less seriously and having a ball.