Opinion: Was the Super Bowl Halftime show a fumble?

Many Americans spent last Sunday huddled around the TV anxious to see the very first pandemic Super Bowl. While it was a very unique game, many had something to say following the halftime show.

As the snow fell in New Jersey, many of us were tucked away at home watching the football game unfolding in Miami. Television entertainment has become our friend in a socially distant society. It has been almost a year since Americans have been able to enjoy arena sports, concerts, bar hopping, and much more. The Super Bowl gave us a glimpse of the society we once enjoyed.

“I was really looking forward to see The Weeknd’s performance. I am a fan of his music, and was curious to see what kind of show he would put on for us,” explained Paige Triplett, senior Communications major. “I was not too impressed in terms of a wow factor, but the music was good.”

During a post-halftime scroll through social media, it was easy to understand that many others also shared this view; The Weeknd’s performance lacked something. Compared to other halftime shows, this year’s had lacked the surprise guest, duets, fireworks, and acrobatics that we have grown accustomed shows past.

While The Weeknd is owed quite a bit of credit for being able to produce a full show during these trying times, we have to understand where the general public comes from in these negative reviews. It has been over a year since most people have been able to attend a concert, see a firework show, be starstruck by their favorite performer, and share the energy of the crowd around them. The Super Bowl was supposed to serve these wow factors, and maybe even more from this performance.

Other feedback from social media users question The Weeknd’s backup dancers’ masks. Many post speculated these masks were a self-confidence message from the performer. These notes of positivity were coupled with memes of The Weeknd trapped in his funhouse mirror stage.

The Weeknd’s performance should be a reminder to be resilient in these difficult times. While many are unable to give their full effort, we have to appreciate each and every moment of “normalcy we can. Even though the show lacked a bit of energy, fans were still able to enjoy a unique performance. Coming up on the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in the U.S., with vaccines now becoming available, we can only hope that spectacular performances are right around the corner once again.