What happens when the Man of the Woods becomes the singer on the Super Bowl field?
Justin Timberlake took the halftime stage while the Philadelphia Eagles were 10 points ahead of the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LII. Like Tom Brady, his bromantic partner, Timberlake had a lot to overcome.
Earlier in the day, the hashtag #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay was trending on Twitter in protest of the role JT played in Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. And a few days prior to the performance, critics slammed Timberlake’s new album.
He may not have won over all of his critics Sunday night, but he created plenty of buzzy moments during his show.
1. That fringed outfit.
Not exactly what you’d expect the “Filthy” singer to emerge with: fringed sleeves. He opened with the new single from “Man of the Woods” and a Coachella-ready outfit.
2. Prince was projected on a giant screen.
The late Prince was a Minneapolis native. So it made sense that JT would want to include the icon into his show — and make the lights purple for “I Would Die 4 U.” However, a posthumous duet with JT on piano earned mixed reviews on Twitter.
3. JT took a Super Bowl selfie with a kid in the crowd.
Not since Ellen DeGeneres took a celebrity-filled selfie at the Oscars has someone taken so public a social media picture. JT went into the audience and hammed it up for a young fan in the stands.
4. There were dance breaks and a marching band.
JT’s song with Jay-Z, “Suit and Tie,” got a new twist with a marching band. “FutureSex/LoveSounds” tune “SexyBack” and “Justified” classic “Senorita” had dance-filled numbers. “20/20 Experience’s” “Mirrors” had an elaborately staged showing with, yes, mirrors. And then “Got This Feeling” had everyone — well, at least the hundreds of dancers gyrating on the field — grooving with rainbow colors.
Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY