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They say you get what you pay for. And if you thought the Black Eyed Peas was among the worst Super Bowl halftime performances you've ever seen, then it might lessen the blow to learn that they will not make one red cent for their efforts. In fact, most Super Bowl halftime performers have not been paid to appear.
So why bother to do it at all? According to Forbes, it's all about exposure.
In 2010 a record 106.5 million people watched the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts, and this year’s audience is expected to top that — making it the most-watched show in American broadcast history. Even if 6.5 million people get up to go to the bathroom at halftime, there will still be 100 million pairs of eyes on The Black Eyed Peas.
The amount of people who watched the Black Eyed Peas perform during halftime eclipses the amount of people who saw them live in concert approximately 100x over.
Whether or not that's a good thing depends on what you thought of their performance. Still, expect them to see a big boost over the next week when it comes to record sales. It happened for Tom Petty in 2008. Plus, they got a free trip to Dallas, which is nice too.
Slash, former lead guitarist for Guns 'N Roses, popped into the middle of the Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show and tried to redeem the Black Eyed Peas performance as it was quickly spiraling out of control. Sandwiched between Fergie shakin' it and an odd display of glowsticks, Slash brought the thunder, playing a solo from Sweet Child Of Mine. His entrance -- rising from the middle of the stage -- was awesome and his guitar solo was just as great.
With axe in hand, Slash looked completely out of place amidst the train wreck that was the halftime show, even shying away from Fergie as she moved in for the kill. And then, just as quickly as it began, it was over and Slash disappeared back into nowhere, likely to never be heard from again.
From Guns 'N Roses to a cameo in a Black Eyed Peas and Usher halftime show, this is how far Slash has fallen. Luckily nobody will remember his part as they rip everything else about the show. At least he's got that going for him.
For more on the performance, check out our review of the Super Bowl Halftime Show StoryStream.
Hey, do you have a ringing feeling in your ears after that abysmal Super Bowl XLV halftime show by the Black Eyed Peas? ME, TOO! Let's recap the carnage.
"I Gotta Feeling" kicked off the Black Eyed Peas' assault on our ears. Lots of people dressed in white jumped up and down as tinny music blared. The audio issues would persist throughout the performance — everything sounded faint, as if FOX had no idea how to televise a halftime show.
"Boom Boom Pow" came second, and came complete with TRON-style green arrows on the field, likely pointing to somewhere else fans would have liked to be. Those turned into a pair of circles around the main stage. And Taboo and apl.de.ap got to rap!
Then, in a nice transition to non-Black Eyed Peas music, Slash emerged from the stage, probably not actually playing the riff to "Sweet Child O' Mine" — not that anyone could tell, what with the incredibly low mixing for the guitar — and allowing Fergie to butcher it to nearly unrecognizable hash.
After the surf-rock riff for "Pump It" kicked in, I briefly thought the halftime show was improving. But will.i.am decided to rap in a nearly unintelligible mumble, rendering that song's energy moot.
Next song: "Let's Get It Started," which really makes no sense whatsoever as the fifth song in any sequence of songs, but did permit Usher to descend from the roof and co-opt the halftime show for about 15 seconds of singing and 75 seconds of the same dance routine he did while performing "OMG" at every public event and awards show in 2010. It included a split! It was impressive!
And then the Black Eyed Peas tried to remind everyone to ask "Where Is The Love?" If you hadn't asked "Where is the remote? Hit mute, please?" by then, you might have heard will.i.am freestyle a couple of bars: "Obama, let's get these kids educated" was part of it, and so was the phrase "create jobs," which is an oddly conscious move for a guy who has been writing ever more basic hooks since, oh, 2004.
By the end, when will.i.am was singing "The Time (Dirty Bit)," and professing to having fun while doing the Running Man, it was hard to believe anyone was having the time of this or any life. But, hey, the BEP finished by affirming that they have a feeling tonight's gonna be a good night. So there's that.
FOX returned from commercials after the halftime show with a bit of the Black Keys' "Howlin' For You." It was better than the entire halftime show.
Could this be the worst Super Bowl halftime show ever? Well, let's just say I think the "wardrobe malfunction" halftime will be remembered more fondly — and as a better-executed show.
"I Gotta Feeling"
"Boom Boom Pow"
"Sweet Child O' Mine" (with Slash)
"Let's Get It Started"
"OMG" (with Usher)
"Where Is The Love?"
"The Time (Dirty Bit)"
"I Gotta Feeling" (reprise)
For everyone who has always wanted to see Fergie and Slash share a stage and perform "Sweet Child Of Mine," the halftime show of Super Bowl XLV made your dreams come true. It opened with Black Eyed Peas being lowered down to the stage and signing "I Gotta Feeling." Which, well, obviously.
They were immediately surrounded on all sides of the stage by hundreds of people dressed in all white suits (that also lit-up, of course). They danced a lot. They also formed large green arrows pointing to ... ?
Then it was onto "Boom Boom Pow," which led into Slash from Guns N' Roses rising from the middle of the stage for a very special duet with Fergie. And then, as quickly as he appeared, Slash was gone, out of our lives until, I dunno, Far East Movement calls.
Then BEP moved on, going into "Pump It" and "Let's Get It Started" (I thought we already did!) before Usher joined them on stage for "O.M.G." The show ended with Black Eyed Peas doing "Where is the Love" -- the dancers weraing light suits all formed giant hearts at this point -- before wrapping it up their newest single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)." This is when the group was joined on stage by dancers with huge blocks on their head.
So, yeah, the 2011 Super Bowl halftime was pretty terrible. But we knew it was going to be terrible before it ever started.
And to think: the Black Eyed Peas were once really not all that bad.
More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.
The Black Eyed Peas will "rock" Cowboys Stadium for the Super Bowl XLV halftime show in mere moments, which makes this a good a time as any to learn about the Black Eyed Peas. Who are these minions of keyboard- and synthesizer-heavy hip-pop, and how did they come to rule the world of music? Glad you asked.
The Black Eyed Peas were originally a "conscious" hip-hop group, sort of in the vein of De La Soul meets the Pharcyde. Frontman will.i.am and apl.de.ap were both members of Atban Klann, which formed in 1991 and was signed to Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. After that group disbanded following Eazy-E's death, they joined with Taboo and backup singer Kim Hill to form Black Eyed Pods, then Black Eyed Peas. That iteration of the group was known for organic sounds and thoughtful lyrics in a "real hip-hop" vein; "Weekend" is a pretty good track from that era.
Of course, the more soulful sound Black Eyed Peas pursued wasn't particularly popular; when Fergie joined the group in 2002, the poppier sound she and other BEP members produced was far more potent. 2003's Elephunk was the first album released as The Black Eyed Peas, and featured worldwide number-one hit "Where Is The Love?" (which still managed to lament "We still got terrorists here livin' / In the USA, the big CIA / The Bloods and the Crips, and the KKK"). It went triple platinum in the U.S., and 2005 follow-up Monkey Business went quadruple platinum, mining a goofy, funky sound that was often brighter and lighter than the louder fare that topped the charts in that period. The Peas were big then, but not huge; in 2005, BEP performed at the halftime show for the CFL's Grey Cup.
The Peas went on hiatus as Fergie took a break from the Peas for a one-album solo career. 2006's The Dutchess was a huge success: it's sold over six million copies worldwide and spawned as many number one Hot 100 hits in the U.S. than The Black Eyed Peas have in their career. The album was executive produced by will.i.am, so there were Peas traces on it, but the five charting singles, all top-five hits, showed a range that the Peas didn't and don't have. It was also a triumph for a longtime show business fixture — as Stacy Ferguson, Fergie had been on Kids, Incorporated and done the voice of Sally Brown in various Charlie Brown specials, and her singing career began with short-lived group Wild Orchid — because Fergie, 31 at the time of The Dutchess' release, was a bit older than the average female pop artist.
But it was Fergie's return to the Peas proper in 2008 that began a BEP's current period of chart domination. The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), the Black Eyed Peas' 2009 opus, borrowed heavily from French DJ David Guetta's electro style for a sound that turned the bass-and-synth grooves will.i.am could cobble together into chart-topping hits. Both "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" hit number one on the Hot 100, and between those two songs and "Meet Me Halfway," the Peas locked down the top spot on the charts for an astounding 30 consecutive weeks in 2009, and dropped an album that nearly went triple platinum during a time when platinum was rare.
BEP followed that up by playing virtually every live show possible for the next two years and releasing The Beginning in 2010. That album's already produced "The Time (Dirty Bit)," a top-five song in the U.S. that's topped charts globally.
It's undeniable that will.i.am is the heart of the Peas' music — he's the lead lyricist and producer, is usually the featured artist, and is the public face of the group — but Fergie and her powerful voice may be the soul. If you want to call the Peas soulless or sellouts, it's probably fair to blame will.i.am again: he's been the driving force behind the Peas going electro, and though he remains an absurdly talented producer, he's let the Peas' ethos atrophy to "We're going to say a bunch of random words while you dance," and diluted the value of those songs to high school dance staples.
Taboo's lasting contribution to the band is probably his hair. apl.de.ap has a verse on "The Time" in which he puns on his name with "I'm the Mac daddy, y'all" and "I'm the party application, rockin' just like that." But both of them are far, far richer than you or I will ever be, so, uh, good for them.
With Usher and Slash rumored to join the Peas for the Super Bowl halftime show, expect a medley of only the biggest hits: "I Gotta Feeling" to "Boom Boom Pow" to Usher's "OMG" to a bit of the Slash/Fergie collaboration/abomination "Beautiful Dangerous" to new hit "The Time (Dirty Bit)" would be a pretty safe projected setlist.
As for the optimal setlist, "Let's Get It Started" to "I Gotta Feeling" to "The Time" is a clean, fun, fairly painless triptych of the best of late-period BEP, which means it has no shot whatsoever to happen.
will.i.am is William Adams. apl.de.ap is Allan Pineda. Taboo is Jaime Gomez. Fergie is Stacy Ferguson.
For more on this game follow along with our Super Bowl XLV StoryStream, and check out our stream of live analysis and video of the Super Bowl commercials.
I was ready to hate Christina Aguilera's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Super Bowl XLV. The gold standard for singing the national anthem at a Super Bowl and emoting it is Whitney Houston's performance during Operation Desert Storm, and I wasn't sure that the big-voiced Aguilera, often prone to over-emoting, could match Houston's efforts. So I watched what you'll see on this video with trepidation.
But Aguilera did a very nice job with the singing of song, even if she stretched it out, mostly in terms of pitch. Her "wave," "free," and "brave" all spanned a little more than one syllable, and she went low repeatedly to give the anthem a bit more richness. She didn't milk it nearly as much as she could have, though — she sang it in 1:54, meaning that particular Super Bowl prop bet was a push — and that was a nice relief.
Unfortunately, though, she screwed up four words — one line — by repeating "what so proudly we hailed". So I'd say that Aguilera's performance gets an A for musicality and a C+ for execution; average that out, and it's a solid B.
There aren't many great vocalists in contemporary top 40 music. What Christina Aguilera proved by singing the Super Bowl XLV national anthem as well as she did — never mind the mix-up in the lyrics — was that there's at least one left. Let's just hope she remembers all the words when next she is asked to do something like this.
Video via @bubbaprog.
The Green Bay Packers have won the coin toss in Super Bowl XLV. As the visiting team, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the call (the AFC and NFC alternate home team roles each year), and James Farrior called tails, but the coin came up heads.
This means that NFC has now won 14 straight coin flips (but they are just 3-10 in the previous 13 games). In 44 games, the coin has come up heads 24 times, tails 21. The NFC has won the toss a total of 31 times, the AFC 14.
The special ceremonial coin was introduced by referee Walt Anderson and then was officially tossed by Deion Sanders, a member of the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class, which was announced on Saturday. Sanders was joined by some of Canton's newest members at midfield: Shannon Sharpe, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Richard Dent and Steve Sabol, son of NFL Films' founder and 2011 enshrinee Ed Sabol.
But maybe it's not such a good thing the Packers won the toss -- of the 44 Super Bowls, the team that won the coin toss has won the game 21 times, and lost 23 (.477 winning percentage). The team that has won the toss has also lost 10 of the last 14 -- though, the New Orleans Saints bucked that trend in Super Bowl XLIV, when they won both the coin toss and the game. Two years ago, the Arizona Cardinals won the coin toss and became the first team to defer, but they went on to lose to the Steelers.
More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.
The National Anthem for Super Bowl XLV was belted out by Christina Aguilera, a native of Rochester, Pennsylvania, a town about forty minutes outside of Pittsburgh.
The unofficial length of Aguilera's version was 1:54, according to SB Nation's stopwatch, which means it's a PUSH in Vegas. Bodog had the Over/Under set at 1 minute and 54 seconds exactly (the favorite was the Over, at -200).
She followed Keith Urban and Maroon 5, who performed during the pregame concert as part of the seemingly never-ending festivities leading up to Super Bowl XLV. Aguilera, a five-time Grammy award winner, was making her second Super Bowl appearances: she was part of the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIV.
Twenty two-year old Candice Villesca of Lewisville, Texas, performed the National Anthem and America the Beautiful in American Sign Language.
Aguilera, who is 30 years old, originally appeared on national television in 1990, as a contestant on Star Search, before going on to star on The Mickey Mouse Club. She has released six studio albums, two of which went No. 1 in the United States, and has sold over 46 million albums worldwide.
And if the commercials are more to your liking, be sure to visit our 2011 Super Bowl Commercials StoryStream, with analysis, commentary and video.
Bill O'Reilly and Barack Obama sat down for a wide-ranging interview ahead of Super Bowl XLV, talking everything from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to his knowledge of football and thoughts on the game. The interview was more tame than expected, though O'Reilly spent much of the time talking over Obama.
O'Reilly started with the news of the moment: the Egyptian protests. Obama said the United States is powerless in the situation, and cannot dictate a change in leadership.
"The Egyptian people want freedom, freedom of elections they want a responsive government," Obama said. "Trying to supress your own people is something that is not sustainable. When you resort to supression and resort to violence, it does not work."
Health care was another big topic, with Obama expressing disappointment that his health care plan is still stalled, with court challenges threatening two years of work. Obama felt a majority of American people supported his plan and was adamant that the country would not go back to a day when a person with a pre-existing condition couldn't get health care.
Obama spoke of life as the President, joking the worst part of the job is having to wear a suit and tie on Super Bowl Sunday. On a serious note, he said it's living in "the bubble," the protective layer the president has to maintain while in office. Going to the corner store or carrying on a conversation with everyday people is impossible, he said, and has taken time to adjust to.
Being the president has also taken a toll on his person life, Obama said while pointing to his gray hair. He has to be more cautious of his words and comes off more guarded now, both in public settings and when surrounded by friends.
Finally, the conversation moved on to the Super Bowl. When pressed on predicting a winner, though, Obama hedged, asking for a good game and nothing more.
Spoken like a Bears fan right down to the very end.
For more on the events leading up to the game, check out our Super Bowl pregame StoryStream.
In his sitdown with Bill O'Reilly on FOX just moments ago, President Obama touched on a number of controversial issues, but there was one question of more immediate relevance. Forget the politics; who is the president picking in the Super Bowl?
After talking about the situation in Egypt and President Hosni Mobarak, the looming threat of the Muslim Brotherhood, the health care debate, and his policies on the economy, President Obama finally got down to the brass tacks. And now we know, Obama is taking... Well, actually, he didn't pick a winner for Super Bowl XLV.
"Here's the thing," he began, and you already knew it was over. "Once my Bears lost, I don't pick sides. I want a great game. These are pretty evenly matched teams. Green Bay is a little faster. Pittsburgh has more experience."
Not surprising, I guess. But still disappointing.
When Bill O'Reilly asked whether he'll watch the game, Obama was almost offended. "Of course I watch the game," he scoffed. "I know football. What happens is I schmooze with everyone, but once the game starts, I'm watching the game."
And in case you're wondering, yes, just like 100 million other Americans, President Obama will be at a Super Bowl party tonight, as Barack and Michelle will invite guests to the White House. CNN has a look at the menu below:
Deep Dish Pizza
German Potato Salad
Twice Baked Potatoes
Snyders Potato Chips and Pretzels
Chips and Dips
Beverages including the following beers: Hinterland Pale Ale & Amber Ale (Wisconsin), Yuengling Lager and Light (Pennsylvania), White House Honey Ale.
White House Honey Ale? ... Wait, seriously? Who knew the White House has its own beer? Regardless of how you feel about Barack Obama or his Super Bowl diplomacy, you gotta admit: It's pretty awesome that the White House has its own beer.
Super Bowl XLV will begin as every football game does: with a coin toss (after all the Super Bowl pregame festivities, of course). As the visiting team, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have the call (the AFC and NFC alternate home team roles each year).
The special ceremonial coin will be introduced to the team captains by referee Walt Anderson and then will be officially tossed by a member of the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class, which was announced on Saturday. Scheduled to represent Canton's newest members at midfield will be Shannon Sharpe, Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Richard Dent and Steve Sabol, son of NFL Films' founder and 2011 enshrinee Ed Sabol.
With the game being played in the Dallas Cowboys' home, except the coin toss duties to be handled by either Sanders, or a favorite of nearly every NFL fan, Sabol.
The Super Bowl has used a ceremonial coin tosser beginning in Super Bowl XII, with Red Grange. Previously the game official had handled the duties.
The NFC has won 13 straight coin flips, but is just 3-10 in those games. In 44 games, the coin has come up heads 23 times, tails 21. The NFC has won the toss 30 times, the AFC 14.
The odds are even for both heads and tails (imagine that!), with both sides at -105 over at Bodog. Similarly, both the Steelers and Packers were -105 on the moneyline to win the coin toss (it's as though it was a 50-50 chance!).
It wouldn't be a Super Bowl pregame without musical guests. With four hours to burn before Super Bowl XLV kicks off, FOX is going all-out, bringing in a wide-array of guests to fill space as they count down to game time. The pregame show on FOX is more a Hollywood event than your typical pregame show, right down to the red carpet show hosted by Michael Strahan.
Country music star Keith Urban is set to perform, playing a quick set during the pregame show. Maroon 5 will take the stage prior to the game, as well, with FOX there to broadcast a mini-concert. And, of course, Christina Aguilera will have the final musical performance before the game kicks off, singing the national anthem at Cowboys Stadium.
If nothing else, we'll see an eclectic mix of country, pop and former teeny-bopper music ahead of the Super Bowl. If pregame music is your thing, there's plenty to keep you satisfied.
It all gets started at 2 p.m. on FOX, leading up to the Super Bowl kickoff at 6:29 p.m. For more information on the build up to the game, check out our Super Bowl pregame StoryStream. To get caught up on the latest from Dallas, check out our Super Bowl XLV news and notes StorySteam.
More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to join the FOX pregame show ahead of Super Bowl XLV, sitting down with Bill O'Reilly shortly before the game gets underway. FOX describes the interview as a no-spin zone, with Obama and O'Reilly engaging in candid conversation. It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without a bit of politics mixed in.
The biggest question remaining has nothing at all to do with politics. Instead, the people want to know which team Obama favors, and whether or not he'll predict a winner ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl. Will Obama, a Chicago native and Bears fan, stick with the NFC and pick the Green Bay Packers, a Chicago rival? Or will he choose the Pittsburgh Steelers out of spite, rooting for a Green Bay loss? There's even a prop bet on potential Obama picks.
According to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, Obama is scheduled to join the pregame show between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on FOX.
With the Puppy Bowl set to kick off at 3 p.m. Eastern/Pacific, Animal Planet put together a teaser for the game. Like the Super Bowl, this year's Puppy Bowl has gone official, with starting lineups and puppies running out through the stadium tunnel. It's almost like they're people!
Check out Big Red, Little Red, CB and more, complete with intros that rival those of an NFL game. Big Red, it appears, holds a distinct size advantage that could come into play in the race for the most valuable puppy.
In addition to the introductions, the video also features a sneak-preview of Puppy Bowl VII. But wait, there's more! The Puppy Bowl also has its own music video with a behind the scenes look at the game. Animal Planet went all out this year.
Gearing up for Super Bowl XLV? What better way to get ready for the big game than to watch puppies duke it out on the gridiron in Puppy Bowl VII. Nothing gets a party amped-up for the Super Bowl like watching cute and cuddly puppies chase a ball around and engage in an adorable game of football.
This time around, the Puppy Bowl has gone high-tech, introducing a Puppy Cam, giving viewers a first-hand look at all the action through the eyes of the players themselves. The Water Bowl Cam is, of course, back again this year, putting fans right in the middle of the action as our four-legged friends stay hydrated during the big game.
Puppy Bowl VII will also be broadcast in 3-D for the first time ever on 3net, a brand new channel hosted by Discovery Channel, Sony and IMAX. The action comes straight to your living room live, and in 3-D, should you have one of those fancy 3-D TVs all the cool kids have.
The lineups can be found here and it'd be a good idea to get acquainted with the competitors ahead of the game. Take, for instance, Pauly, the perfect Jersey Shore Fox Terrier. In his free-time, he loves spinnin' the freshest cuts as a DJ. Or Sadie, an adorable 12-week-old Pitbull that sleeps with a teddy bear.
With Super Bowl XLV not set to get underway until 6:29 p.m. kickoff, there's a full day of time to kill for the major networks. And kill it they will, with a day full Super Bowl Sunday of pregame action, analysis, guest spots and so much more. Fox, the official broadcasting partner of the Super Bowl, has a full lineup to get you ready for the Super Bowl as they break down the matchups and other Super Bowl storylines.
The primary channel for the Super Bowl is Fox, so here is Fox's full slate, beginning a solid six hours before the game itself.
12 p.m., Road To The Super Bowl: Fox takes us back, running through the best moments of the 2011 season from beginning to end. Remember that time Michael Vick did that one thing? Or that time the New York Giants punted to DeSean Jackson? Relive all the moments in a one-hour highlight show. It's like a clip-special from your favorite sitcom.
2 p.m., Super Bowl XLV Pregame Show: Finally, after two hours of build-up, we get to the show before the show. Four hours of wall-to-wall action with your favorite Fox commentators. Terry Bradshawn, Curt Menefee, Howie Long, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson and more are set to cover every angle and leave no stone unturned ahead of the big game.
The game gets underway at 6 p.m., with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Chris Meyers and Pam Oliver on the call. And by gets underway, I mean the show before the show, with all the pageantry -- the National Anthem, lineups, concerts and more -- that typically precedes the big game. The game actually kicks off right around 6:30 Eastern if you're planning on skipping all the pregame festivities.
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