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Super Bowl XLVI: Did This Year’s Show Live Up to the Hype?

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Monday, Feb 6, 2012
Arguably the biggest sporting event of the year (sorry, Olympics!), the Super Bowl telecast is usually the highest-rated program of the year. Did this year’s show live up to the hype?

Arguably the biggest sporting event of the year (sorry, Olympics!), the Super Bowl telecast is usually the highest-rated program of the year. Last year’s mix of highly hyped commercials, a modern halftime act, and an interesting match-up of teams made Super Bowl XLV the most-watched show in TV history. Therefore, all eyes were on NBC last night for Super Bowl XLVI. Did this year’s show live up to the hype? Read on to find out.


The festivities kicked off with a good, old-fashioned country duet of “America The Beautiful” sung by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. The married couple gave the song proper respect.

Christina Aguilera infamously botched the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” last year, but Kelly Clarkson performed it perfectly. A choir of schoolchildren accompanied her straightforward version.

The Game

The New England Patriots may have won the coin toss, but the New York Giants had the higher score up until the end of the second quarter. The Patriots took over the lead, reaching the score of 17 to 15 until the last few minutes of the game. Then with seconds to spare, the combination of an amazing sit-down touchdown by Bradshaw and a fumble by Tom Brady, gave New York the win. The Giants beat the New England Patriots by three points at the 2008 Super Bowl, and they beat them by four points this year, with a final score of 21 to 17.

The Commercials

Most of this year’s commercials played out like a who’s who of Hollywood, with cameos by Elton John, Madonna, LMFAO, David Beckham, Matthew Broderick, Motley Crue, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfield, and Clint Eastwood.

Another recurring theme was music, with over a dozen ads prominently featuring at least one hit song. Some of these featured impromptu singing, as this thank-you from the NFL shows.

Advertisers think that nothing gets people’s attention like a cute baby. They’re mostly right.

Unfortunately, many brands think skin sells with dozens of underdressed supermodels featured in several ads. The interesting thing is that I’m not just referring to women here. 

Halftime Show

It didn’t take much to beat last year’s Black Eyed Peas spectacle, but Madonna was still a little underwhelming. This may have been due to an ankle injury she reportedly suffered prior to the event and sub-par camera work that focused too much on her entourage. Luckily, she performed her greatest hits and her new single is much better than anything on her last album.

She performed “Vogue” with Roman-themed garb and dancers (but didn’t even do the vogue!) and a remix of “Music”/ “Party Rock Anthem” mixed with a guest appearance/ piggy-back ride by LMFAO before launching into her new single, “Gimme All Your Luvin’”. Nicki Minaj and MIA joined her for guest raps/ cheerleading, with MIA flipping the bird to the audience. (Was that a desperate cry for wardrobe malfunction-worthy attention?) Cee-Lo Green lead a marching band remix of “Open Your Heart” before the final number and highlight of the set, “Like a Prayer”. Bedecked in fitted gospel choir robes, Madonna and Co. finally seemed to get into the groove before it was all over. 


Sportscasters viewed this year’s game as a match between Tom Brady and Eli Manning, so sure enough; Manning took home the MVP title and a brand new Chevy corvette. Am I the only one who remembers post-game concert performances? NBC was too busy focusing on the debut of The Voice instead. See you next year!

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