The Super Bowl Halftime Show

What Super Bowl would be complete without the Halftime show? And, really, how many viewers would the Super Bowl bring in without the Halftime show? It is anybody’s guess. This is one of the most watched performances of the year. Think about it, you get to see some of the world’s most popular musical acts performing live in the comfort of wherever you are watching the super bowl game from. Who would want to miss that? It is an ingenious way for the most highly watched televised event of the year to pull in reluctant sports fans and increase viewership. But it was not always the way it is now.

During the first decade of the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl Halftime show featured a marching band. I guess they wanted to stick to tradition. After all, it is still the Halftime show of choice for high schools and colleges across the country (unfortunately not as entertaining). It was not until the middle of the third decade that the producers of the Super Bowl got wise and started booking popular musical acts to perform. Some of the first super bowl halftime show performers were New Kids on The Block, Gloria Estefan, and Prince and Patti Labelle. Today, the Halftime show is larger than life, with no expense spared (or no reservation we should say). We are talking major lighting, sets, stages, back-up singers, smoke machines, back-up dancers, and costumes galore, within other details here and there.

Bet you are wondering how much money these already rich and famous performers got for their show on game day. The answer might just surprise you. Halftime show acts do not get a paycheck for their work. Not one red penny. They do, however, get their travel expenses and accommodations paid for, and that is a considerable amount of dough when you think about entourages, penthouse suites, and whatever demands and expenses some diva has regarding her dressing room – men performers too actually – sigh.

An artist invited to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show may not get royalties from ticket sales or a pay stub, but they get an invaluable amount of PR, which translates into their own tickets and album sales. More people watch the super bowl than the Grammys, Emmys and Oscars (they could not ask for a better venue to sing to and from).

The Halftime show usually goes off without much of a hitch. In recent years more than one big act performs a medley of popular songs from their own repertoire and those that hold a special place in American music pop culture. One time, though, in 2007 a scandal happened that rocked the very core of what is considered a family viewing event. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were up on the stage, performing. Picture it, they are there with those crazy sets, lip synching like the pros they are, and then at the end of the song, Timberlake reaches around behind Janet, strips off a piece of fabric over one of her breasts and exposes it (accidentally?). Janet just so happens to have a pasty covering her nipple, so not all is left for the world to see. The strategic placement of such pasty lives in infamy as obvious proof the stunt was planned in advance.

When the scandal broke the media the next day, Janet’s people claimed the whole thing was an accident and called it a “wardrobe malfunction”. Everyone begged to differ and to make a long story short that phrase lives in pop culture infamy along with the performance, not to mention the fact that the Super Bowl is now televised with a few seconds of delay between what really happens, and what folks see back home or at their favorite bars – just in case these “minor accidents” do not get shown to the kids at home (obviously those at the game will be an exception… nothing can be done there – LIVE at the super bowl game).

If you have got bets riding on the super bowl game itself, you might want to consider those related to the Halftime show; It is not just time for a bathroom break. There are types of bets called “prop bets” that are made for aspects of the Super Bowl that have nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

Proposition bets can be made on literally anything you can think of. Exactly how many minutes will the Halftime show last? Will there be another wardrobe malfunction? Will a certain song be played by the performer(s)? How many costume changes will there be? The list goes on and on and on. Private prop bets amongst friends are a way to keep those 30 minutes in the middle of the game interesting and very enjoyable; just give these halftime show prop bets a try!


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