Dick of the Week Super Bowl Special: Christina Aguilera and the Black Eyed Peas

7 Feb

I hadn’t originally planned to write a post on the Super Bowl, but after watching the game, I quickly realized that it was inevitable.  If you didn’t see the halftime show, this primer will sum it up for you.  The halftime show was probably one of the worst 20 minutes of my life, but it was like watching a train wreck.  And, God help me, I could not turn away.  Maybe it was the fact that Fergie appeared to be wearing football pads.  Maybe it was because will.i.am seemed to have walked off the set of JJ Abrams’ next Star Trek movie.  Maybe because The Other Guy (who cares what his name is) appeared to have a Lite-Brite™ duct taped to himself.  Truth be told, I don’t know why I decided to subject myself to watching the halftime show, but once I started there was clearly no way I was going to be able to look away.

Amazingly though, the halftime show was not the worst part of the night.  Christina Aguilera, who time has apparently not been kind to, made sure that we started off on the worst possible foot by actually forgetting the lyrics to the national anthem.

Look, the national anthem is tough.  I’m pretty sure I know all of the words, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed one here or there.  But listen.  If you’ve agreed to sing the national anthem for the Super Bowl, with 46 million people watching across the United States, YOU’D BETTER BE PRETTY DAMN SURE YOU KNOW ALL THE WORDS.  It’s a huge honor to be able to sing before the Super Bowl, okay?  And if you can’t even be bothered to learn the Goddamn words, maybe you should LET SOMEONE ELSE SING IT.  It’s pathetic.  And by the way, the articles that are cropping up today asking if it’s fair to criticize Aguilera are almost EQUALLY shameful.  Really, CNN?  “I’m sure she’s beating herself up pretty good today about it.”  I’d hope so!  She deserves it!

I hope she OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT KILL IT WITH FIRE (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

I hold that Aguilera’s flub was the most shameful part of the Super Bowl, but it is a testament to how bad the halftime show was that the Black Eyed Peas managed to make most of us forget that it ever happened.

As I noted, the Black Eyed Peas came on stage dressed like the cast of Starship Troopers preparing for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.  Was that the worst part?  I’m really not sure.  There are so many things to choose from.  My personal favorite writer, Deadspin’s Drew Magary, walks us through a comprehensive breakdown.  Either that or a hilarious rant.  Either way, it’s quite useful.  Maybe the worst part was the fact that their giant LED “LOVE” failed to light up correctly, leaving us with what appeared to be “LOI’E,” which I’m assuming is a kind of cake.

No, no.  Maybe the worst part was when Slash emerged from the stage and participated in the systematic destruction of Sweet Child o’ Mine, a classic song which I will never be able to listen to again.  Not since I lost my taste for Tom Petty after my beloved Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII has a song been so ruined for me by a single sporting event.  Why Slash decided it was a good idea to perform with the Black Eyed Peas in the first place is beyond me.  Why he decided it was a good idea to do so while dressed in a sequined top hat is, well, probably beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Fergie and Slash. Yeah. #2 on the list of Things I Had Hoped Never To See, right behind Cris Collinsworth going down on Michael Moore.

It got so bad that I was actually THRILLED when Usher was lowered from the jumbotron.  To me, Usher was a HERO, because every second that Usher was singing was a second that the Black Eyed Peas were NOT singing.  Maybe this goes without saying, but I think that any halftime show in which Usher is the best part…is probably the worst halftime show of all time.

In the end, though, I can say with almost complete confidence that the single worst part of the halftime show was the fact that NOT ONE OF THE BLACK EYED PEAS HELD AN INSTRUMENT AT ANY POINT.  Seriously.  Not one of them.  It took a second to even register with me that none of them held an instrument, and I don’t remember a lot after that point because I was totally blinded with rage.  They literally could have put in a Black Eyed Peas CD and played a laser show, and the halftime show would have been exactly the same.  No, that’s not even true.  The halftime show actually would have been BETTER, because we wouldn’t have had to listen to Fergie’s pathetic warbling.  Fergie, I’m sorry, but you are the reason that autotune was invented.

When the Black Eyed Peas finally left the stage, I felt as though a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I felt, if you’ll pardon the analogy, like Moses finally emerging from the desert; for though it had been a mere 20 minutes, I felt as though it had been 40 years.  I may never understand why the NFL departed from the classic rock halftime show formula.  Frankly, I found the Black Eyed Peas performance to be more shocking and offensive than any wardrobe malfunction possibly could be.  In fact, literally the only GOOD thing about the halftime show was the fact that, with the Black Eyed Peas, Slash, and Usher all in the same place, the odds of them all dying at the same time skyrocketed.

Sadly, it didn’t happen, and instead of that happy memory we will forever be left with the sad sounds of Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to her own national anthem and Fergie howling at the moon.


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