Super Bowl Thoughts….Madonna, is that you?

I know how you feel.

Because Super Bowl XLVI was a disappointment to end all disappointments, I won’t even talk about it. Instead, I will talk about everything else but the game.

Too many commercials. Too many commercials that weren’t funny or remotely amusing. Too much money spent on too many commercials that should have been a lot funnier considering the amount of money that was spent on them. Moving on…

Hello, underwhelming halftime show. Madonna = awesome. Madonna + Super Bowl = watered-down excess. I was excited to see Madonna perform. And without a doubt, at 53, Madge still looks incredible.

But watching performers lip sync their way through four songs, two of which aren’t even that great, is far from exciting. I get that when you have eight minutes to set up a stage and a dome with sketchy acoustics, it doesn’t leave a pop icon with many options. But I’ll take one well-sung song over 100 extras in gladiator gear and a lip-syncing star any day.

And this wasn’t really Madonna performing, after all. This was the sanitized, major network-approved version of the Material Girl that is far less interesting than the real one. Everything that’s ever defined Madonna — the bold, the raw, the provocative — was tossed in favor of a family-friendly Egyptian queen, or a family-friendly cheerleader.

Since when does Madonna engage in semi-lame choreography and use golden pom-poms as props? It’s not that I wanted to see an S & M sequence set to “Justify My Love,” but something a little less robotic and bland would have been welcome.

Yes, she called in younger, urban-friendly stars LMFAO, Cee-Lo Green, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., but even that felt guided by marketing strategy, not real chemistry.

Give Madonna credit — she hit every move at just the right moment, hit every fake note on cue, worked the stage in high-heeled boots and managed to squeeze in multiple wardrobe changes in the midst of a live performance. But that electric, magnetic feel  that Madonna normally brings to everything she touches was missing. Nowhere to be found.

That’s probably more of a statement on the venue, the occasion and the network than Madonna herself. When you’re working within The Man’s rules and regulations, you inherently lose some control over your performance. That’s why we brought M.I.A. along for the ride…

Take that, The Man!

The halftime show’s only real moment of shock and awe came courtesy of underground rapper/world artist M.I.A. and her infamous hand gesture. When M.I.A. flashed the middle finger during “Give Me All Your Luvin,'” it was like a visit from the bold, daring and controversial Ghost of Madonna Past. Inappropriate? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.


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