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Super Bowl 2017 halftime show: Predicting Lady Gaga's performance

The eight songs we think Gaga will perform — plus is she really going to play on the roof of NRG Stadium?

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Super Bowl 50 - Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

“Predictability” isn’t a word you’d usually associate with Lady Gaga — after all, she famously attended the MTV Video Music Awards in a meat dress, and arrived at the Grammys in an egg. That is, unless you’re referring to her performances, which are always great (go watch her sing the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl as an example). Since she’s performing the Super Bowl halftime show this year, we might as well let our imaginations run wild and make some predictions on what she’ll sing.

Here’s what we know: Gaga will not have a guest singing with her during the show, although her good friend Tony Bennett will be part of a video countdown that introduces her. It’s a bummer, since we won’t get to see folks like Elton John and Beyonce — the latter sang with her on “Telephone,” and she’s generally welcome to sing on television by virtue of her being Beyonce. But since this is about song predictions, a focused set list sets us up nicely, and Lady Gaga has plenty of radio singles that could fit into a 12-minute performance.

So not only am I going to predict which ones she’ll sing, but, as an additional challenge, I’m going to predict the order. If the song order turns out to be 100 percent correct, I’m gonna sit in stunned silence, then buy a bunch of lottery tickets after the game, then fill myself with regret for doing so.

1. “Born This Way”

I think Gaga will start off with “Born This Way,” but she’ll be subversive and sing it like a ballad at first, then build up to its original tempo. She’s probably going be at a piano for the first half, then hop off the piano when the original beat drops. Once she’s done, the piano will explode and lead her into ...

2. “A-YO”

I think she’ll go into “A-YO” for the second song to keep up the energy (and remind people that her latest album, Joanne, came out a few months ago). The song sounds like an amalgamation of country pop and whatever genre The Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It” qualifies as. “A-YO” has a similar tempo to another Lady Gaga song, which is ...

3. “Applause”

“Applause” from Artpop is probably the only song from Artpop that people will recognize at the Super Bowl, although that’s probably just me having a huge memory gap in 2013. At this point, the set will have gone long enough for Gaga to dig deep into the classic-classics, and there are two obvious ones that should be placed right after “Applause.”

4. “Poker Face”

It would be strange if Gaga didn’t do “Poker Face” at the Super Bowl. That’s pretty much one of the songs she’s best known for. It’d be like if Michael Jackson did Super Bowl XXVII, and decided not to do “Billie Jean.”

5. “Bad Romance”

Thanks to this behind-the-scenes video, “Bad Romance” is confirmed to be one of the songs during the show. I’m putting it after “Poker Face” in this short “classics” segment, although the two can easily be switched. Also, we’ve already covered the fact that there won’t be true guests, but just in case it’s a lie, “Bad Romance” would be the perfect song to invite newly minted Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who was so excited to see Lady Gaga last year.

6. “Perfect Illusion”

“Perfect Illusion” isn’t one of my favorite Lady Gaga songs, but she released it as a radio single, a soundtrack for an American Horror Story commercial, and another plug for Joanne, so it goes in here.

7. “The Edge of Glory”

“The Edge of Glory” is a nice way to end the upbeat section of Gaga’s halftime show. “Edge” is a good placement here in two ways: It shares “Perfect Illusion’s” key, which makes for a great transition (provided Gaga ends that song before the key change), and tonally, it’s a good song to associate with a championship game.

8. “You and I”

Like all great Super Bowl performances, you have to end with a ballad. Prince did it with “Purple Rain,” Beyonce did it with “Halo,” and Coldplay did it with “Fix You.” It’s only fitting that Lady Gaga keep with tradition and end the performance with one of her well-known ballads.

Bonus predictions:

- The “no guests” thing will turn out to be a lie to keep at least one person a surprise, and that person is Queen’s Brian May, who plays guitar on “You and I.” I wish it could be Beyonce, but she’s done the Super Bowl twice in four years. She deserves a break from football pageantry.

- Building off that prediction, there will be a stage-sized curtain during May’s solo, and he will be silhouetted as a tribute to Prince’s Super Bowl performance.

Specifically, the part where Prince played his guitar like it was his penis.
NFL/CBS

- There’s going to be at least seven costume changes.

- There was a rumor going around that Lady Gaga wanted to cut a hole in NRG Stadium’s roof, despite the fact it’s retractable. It sounds too ridiculous to be true, but she didn’t exactly deny it and, well, I do wanna see a hole in a stadium’s roof. That’s not really a prediction — I just want to see it happen.