NEW YORK — Justin Timberlake ended his Tremendous Bowl halftime present on Sunday with no unintentionally uncovered physique components.
Nonetheless, the singer made reference to the notorious 2004 Tremendous Bowl “wardrobe malfunction,” the incident the place he raised a ruckus by yanking off a part of Janet Jackson’s costume and liberating her naked breast.
Timberlake performed “Rock Your Physique,” the identical music he carried out with Jackson 14 years in the past that resulted in “nipplegate.” This time, although, Timberlake omitted the lyric that proclaims “wager I’ll have you ever bare by the top of this music.”
It might have been the one factor overlooked of the halftime present, the place Timberlake appeared intent upon involving everybody within the stadium besides the Eagles and Patriots. He appeared to strive each concept thrown at him in manufacturing conferences.
One might have labored effectively — opening his set within the bowels of the stadium in what was made to appear like a small membership — if the efficiency hadn’t rendered his new single “Filthy” unintelligible.
Timberlake climbed steps out into the stadium, down a runway to a stage whereas singing “Rock Your Physique.” He was continually surrounded by dancers, enthusiastic musicians and leaping viewers members, a lot in order that it made the star of the present appear small.
He danced on the NFL’s midfield brand, introduced out a marching band wearing tuxedos, gave viewers members large reflecting mirrors, performed at a gleaming white piano, had two elaborate stage units and even climbed into the viewers to take “selfies” with a younger fan.
Sitting on the piano, he carried out a “duet” with the Twin Cities’ late star, Prince, whose picture was projected on an enormous scrim beside Timberlake. It was a touching tribute, notably when cameras exterior the stadium caught Prince’s insignia in lights, though the music alternative of “I Would Die For U” felt unnecessarily macabre.
Timberlake was at his finest in his breezy hits “Sexyback” and “Can’t Cease the Feeling,” which emphasised his attraction as an adept song-and-dance man. It was why the NFL introduced him again regardless of the historical past with Jackson. In reality, a backlash had grown not too long ago amongst individuals who questioned why Jackson appears to be without end punished for the “wardrobe malfunction” whereas Timberlake skated by.
Maybe that left him feeling that he needed to strive too onerous to get again into the general public’s graces.
He wasn’t the one performer on the Tremendous Bowl. Leslie Odom Jr. carried out “America the Lovely” earlier than the sport and Pink sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” maybe probably the most anticipated model of the nationwide anthem in Tremendous Bowl historical past.
After a season the place a political controversy was brought on by some NFL gamers who protested towards police brutality by kneeling through the nationwide anthem, cameras watched to see if the Tremendous Bowl could be used as a protest venue. However not one of the gamers took half in any demonstration.
Pink took a throat lozenge out from her mouth earlier than singing. She appeared to sing to a pre-recorded observe, for the reason that efficiency had an orchestra accompaniment and there wasn’t one on the sector.