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Look, we've all got bigger fish to fry right now and we can do it over the embers of a once-promising democracy, but dammit, JLo got screwed.
Do I like JLo's music? No. Do I like her movies? Not really. Did I watch quite a few around the turn of the century because they played on long-haul flights and I traveled for work? Yes. Was she upstaged in Anaconda by Jon Voight's accent? I mean, who wasn't? Did l fall asleep during Out of Sight? I did. Did I still like it enough to watch The Wedding Planner? Uh-huh. Were she and Matthew McConaughey both charismatic and charming while playing horrible people? Yes. Was their chemistry so bad it felt like they were in different movies? Pretty much. Did I like The Wedding Planner enough to sit through Maid in Manhattan? Oh fuck no. Is that because it was too soon after Schindler's List to buy Ralph Fiennes as a traditional romantic lead? Yes. Is it still too soon? It is. Did he screw the pooch again with his genuinely unsettling portrayal of Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies? Yes he did, it will always be too soon, brilliant actor but no fucking thanks. Are we getting off topic here? Maybe.
The point is, Jennifer Lopez has been out here singing and dancing and acting and being the person who most closely resembles Jennifer Lopez for a billion years now. She's done every kind of film you can imagine, from art house to biopic. She's made albums in two languages. She was 50% of the original celebrity portmanteau and one of the first fashion memes. And back in the fall, when she agreed to co-headline the Super Bowl halftime show, she was heading for her first Academy Award nomination. This Sunday was supposed to be a coronation, the final elevation of JLo from pop culture artifact to respected A-lister.
Instead, she's going into the performance nursing the sting of an Oscar snub. She appears nowhere in the promos, having been relegated to a "special guest" of Shakira which . . . is totally fair, come on, Shakira is clearly the bigger musical star. I can't believe they were asking her to share the billing, what is she, Coldplay? Does a foreign-born act have to be Viagra years old to get a solo headlining spot?
Anyway, back to JLo. On top of everything else, Netflix just dropped the Aaron Hernandez docuseries, so we can all feel profoundly uncomfortable for ever having enjoyed the soul-crushing torture porn known as NFL football. Plus, she's still engaged to ARod and, like, what's that portmanteau? JaLord?
So yeah, should you happen to tune in around halftime this Sunday, spare a thought for JLo and the career-defining February she won't be having. I'm sure she'll be out there like the consummate pro she is, singing and dancing and acting like someone who isn't choking on the disrespect.
Fuck the NFL for screwing over both Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, and also fuck the universe.
Here are your official Super Bowl halftime prop bets.
1. What songs will Shakira perform solo? The song featured in the promo is "Whenever, Wherever."
2. Will JLo perform solo ala Missy Elliott or will she duet with Shakira ala Lenny Kravitz? Oh crap, they're going to make her sing the Beyonce part in 'Beautiful Liar," aren't they?
3. Is she going to perform any of her own songs?
4. How many costumes will Shakira and JLo combined wear?
5. Will there be any other surprise guests?
I'm not sure there's much to add, but I will say for a half-time show sponsored by a major soft drink manufacturer, JLo sure seemed thirsty. Also, to complete the record, I will note that two Reggaeton stars performed and neither was Pitbull, which I think we can all agree was a rare win for humanity. I'll add that Shakira performed with Bad Bunny, who is from Puerto Rico, while JLo performed with J Balvin from Colombia and I find that genuinely charming, like they were trying to pretend this wasn't a huge open-air diva fight to which JLo brought her crotch while Shakira brought a guitar, a backup band, a flipping drum set and several hundred adorable children. I'm not going to say who won (Shakira) but I'm pretty sure someone (Shakira) wound up clad in gold while some other basic Betty (not Shakira) wound up in silver. It was Shakira, guys. Shakira won. - Natasha Julius
Previously In Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Coverage:
* The 2009 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bracket: Bruce Springsteen Edition.
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