Forget the New York Giants and Eli Manning. The true winner of yesterday's Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis was pop music. Heralded in by Queen Madonna herself, the halftime show was truly an entertainment spectacle unseen since Nipplegate '04, when everybody's favorite boy-bander, Justin Timberlake "accidentally" exposed Janet Jackson's breast in a wardrobe malfunction of titillating proportions, setting pop back a few spots on the Super Bowl's priority scale and giving us rock acts like Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and the Who instead.
See also: M.I.A. flips off Super Bowl audience during halftime show
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A look back at the Top 5 Super Bowl halftime shows
Madonna's"Give Me All Your Luvin'" with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A as cheerleaders
Surprisingly, Madonna wasn't too keen on exposing herself during last night's halftime show, but, maybe for the first time in the star's career, she didn't need to rely on sex to hold our attention. Instead, she recruited all of pop's finest (and weirdest) for the most interesting twelve minutes of performance the Super Bowl has ever seen, pulling in all the stops: LMFAO, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and a choir that would make even Whoopi Goldberg's character in The Sister Act jealous. If you can look past the lip synching, It was a greatest-hits collection of the past twelve months in pop, and it worked surprisingly well.
Madonna entered into the stadium in the most over-the-top of fashions, arriving like Helen of Troy only without the horse. She was a Greek sight to be seen, tipping her hat to Kylie Minogue's own Aphrodite-inspired imagery from last year. Opening with "Vogue," the choreography left much to be desired -- especially in comparison to the remainder of the set -- but it served the song well, as an homage to Madge's own head-framing hand gestures of the early '90s video.
More noticeably, however, was the stage itself, which boasted floors that lit up and projected imagery apropos of the song. Even part of the field saw a blanket-like extension of the stage, giving the appearance that the projections covered an area triple its actual size. You could continue drawing comparisons to Minogue's own shows, which included the same advanced staging, but to compare Madonna's show to Minogue's at this point would be redundant, for the similarities are too many in number (even the cheerleader, pom-pom shtick of "Give Me All Your Luvin'" later was something borrowed from Kylie's camp).
With a brilliant mix, "Vogue" seamlessly segued into "Music" from 2000. It didn't matter that the songs were released ten years apart; they flowed as if they two songs from the same album. Picking up on the momentum from "Vogue," the choreographed antics of "Music" were impressive -- though they weren't coming from Madonna. At this point, the show was more about the Queen's slackliner and her skilled dancers, who were breakdancing their way along bleachers on the stage.
But Madonna proved her dancing chops when she shuffled along with LMFAO to "Party Rock Anthem." You could tell something was off in her timing -- likely due to her previous leg injury -- but even then, it was somehow still excellent, like watching pop parody itself on the most extreme of levels and still being enjoyable .
Fast forward a bit and Madonna's performing her new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin,'" with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. Not one to let Minaj outshine her again like she does in the video, M.I.A., of course, flipped off the cameras, essentially stealing today's headlines from Minaj and the Queen.
Despite the setback, the halftime show ended on a high note. Literally. Cee Lo Green made a surprise appearance during a mash-up of "Open Your Heart," "Express Yourself" and "Like A Prayer," which called for a massive choir onstage. Despite her best efforts, Madge's pipes couldn't match Green's.
Movers & Shakers: Adele holds for a third week with "Set Fire To The Rain" on the Billboard Hot 100. "Rain," combined with "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by another set of pipes, Kelly Clarkson, at number two, sends Rihanna's "We Found Love" to third place this week, the biggest drop for the song since its release back in 2011.
Since all is just in the pop world, Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" falls to number four. Despite the video release last week, David Guetta and Nicki Minaj's "Turn Me On" dropped a spot this week, to number five. Jessie J's "Domino" moves two, to number eight, while Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" falls four, to number nine. At this point, it looks like Perry won't beat Michael Jackson's record of number-ones from a single album... but with a rumored re-release of Teenage Dream ("The Complete Confection") come March, that dream could still materialize.
On to albums: Adele surprises absolutely no one by sitting at the top for yet another week with 21 on the Billboard 200. Does any other album in the Top 10 even matter at this point? Sorry, Tim McGraw (who debuts at number two with Emotional Traffic), but the answer is no.
Glambert: Fresh off the news reported by Rolling Stone that Adam Lambert will be joining the surviving members of Queen on stage for a performance at the European Music Awards this year, Lambert released the video for the lead single off his second album, Trespassing, called "Better Than I Know Myself." The song is a mid-tempo pop-rocker showing off Lambert's singing talents, but not necessarily his desire to be the next big male pop star. The video is safely "meh" -- it runs as if a Twilight cast-off had a schizophrenic breakdown in his apartment and captured it all on Instagram.
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