Madonna went over the top with the Super Bowl halftime show as only the Queen of Pop could, doing a sequin and gold-studded medley of some of her greatest hits — “Vogue,” “Like a Prayer” — and a couple of her newer songs.
The Material Girl pledged not to repeat the sins of her past pop star predecessor, Janet Jackson, and expose herself on stage. She succeeded in that, but there was one glaring wardrobe malfunction — she zipped a curly blonde lock of hair into the coat she wore for her final song, making it look like she had a mane of lustrous chest hair underneath all those sequins. M.I.A., the U.K.-born rapper/pop star who joined Madonna for “Give Me All Your Luvin,” did worse, though, and gave the entire Super Bowl viewing audience the middle finger, presumably causing the second-long freeze frame that happened midway through “Give Me All Your Luvin.”
The show began with a Cleopatra-like Madonna rising up from an army of gladiator dancers. Wearing what appeared to be 5-inch stiletto boots, she performed complicated dance routines with few flaws, most memorably when she did the “Party Rock” shuffle with the crazy kids from LMFAO. (Prior to that, she slipped and almost tumbled over a set of risers.)
M.I.A and Nicki Minaj guest starred, joining Madonna in a pep rally-esque performance of her latest single. Cee Lo stole the show at the end, donning a silver marching band helmet and a glimmering black robe to duet “Like a Prayer” with Madonna. But the back up dancers deserve the most praise — whether leaping over bleachers or jumping on a tightrope, they nailed it.