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Updated February 6: The results are in!
Oh my GAWD, everybody!
The shadowy figures behind the Super Bowl halftime show have decided to ROCK OUR WORLD by transporting us back 20 years!
That's right, y'all. It's 1992, Lady Gaga is in kindergarten, and we're all rushing to our local Border's to buy Sex, Madonna's shocking new book of mildly titillating pseudo-erotica. And can you even flipping BELIEVE, the Queen of Pop herself is totally going to play at the Super Bowl?! Don't they know how current, exciting and controversial she is? Didn't they see the video for "Justify My Love?" There were nipples in it, for pancakes' sake! And not just one brief flash of Janet Jackson's right hooter - I'm talking actual pairs of female nipples attached to actual BREASTS!!! If the Internet existed right now, it would be BLOWING the hell UP!
Of course, back here in the early '90s we've never experienced a wardrobe malfunction, so there's no model of halftime depravity to which Madonna can live up or down. Whatever slightly naughty hijinks she gets up to - simulated fapping, talking in a fake British accent - will be incredibly memorable because everything she does is just so fresh and new!
Wait, what's that you say? It's 2012 and a good nine years since Madonna tried to suck her way back to relevance via Britney Spears' tongue? She's now too old to swap spit with Katy Perry and too young to be retro. So maybe the Super Bowl gig doesn't signal NBC's willingness to rattle our cultural cages so much as it signals the death rattle of a bygone zeitgeist.
1. The song playing on all of the NBC promos is "Music." It's not a hard and fast rule, but in previous years the promo song has been performed during halftime.
2. Madonna has a new film and a new album coming out soon. The first single off the album is called "Give Me All Your Luvin'." I really wanted this to be a ZZ Top cover, but it's actually slightly worse. It features a duet with nubile young pretender to the pop tart throne Nicki Minaj. She is already rumored to make an appearance in Indianapolis, assuming Madonna hasn't drained the life force from her in a desperate attempt to reflate her veiny hands by then.
3. Other rumored special guests include LMFAO and Cee-Lo Green, who would probably release his last collaboration with Listerine if he thought it would have an audience.
Based on years past, we have between three and six songs to guess. I'm going to allow four official picks, because I don't believe for a second Madonna is humble enough to perform less gargantuan megahits than Bruce Springsteen. And while something tells me she's also too egotistical to share the stage with that many people, I'm betting she'll want to show she can draw bigger names than the Black Eyed Peas (seriously? Slash and Usher? I'm still not sure what the hell that was all about). So I'm setting the over under on special guests at 2.5.
Official tiebreaker question: Will Madonna will play a musical instrument during this performance?
Extra credit: Guess the special guests.
Prizes: To be awarded at the Beachwood Inn.
1. Give Me All Your Luvin'
2. Express Yourself (just to show that bitch Gaga how it's done)
3. Ray of Light
4. Like a Virgin
I'm taking the under on guests; I think it'll be just Nicki Minaj and end in a chaste kiss without tongue. But I'd be super psyched if Madonna got the joke and actually invited ZZ Top.
And yes, Madonna will play the tambourine, because nothing says "dynamic live performer" like a tambourine.
2. Ray of Light.
3. Express Yourself with surprise appearance by Lady Gaga.
4. GIve Me All Your Luvin' with Gaga, Minaj and M.I.A.
1. Give me all your luvin' (Minaj, MIA)
2. Material Girl
3. Ray of Light
4. 4 minutes (w/J. Timberlake)
She may whip out that guitar if she plays something from Music.
2. Ray of Light
3. Material Girl
4. Some sort of Super Medley including Like A Prayer.
I'll take the over with special guests. I could see Steven Tyler and/or Joe Perry from as a surprise to satisfy a missing demographic.
And I'll take the over for costume changes at 1.5.
She'll play the guitar and something else, like a turntable during Walk This Way.
And The Winner Is . . .
You guys, despite my cynicism I found myself charmed by Madonna and her "singing" and "dancing" and that part where Will Ferrell bounced around on a tightrope for no reason and when the prop manager magically fixed it so she would be taller than Cee Lo and her "hair" got caught in her costume. Sure, it wasn't the freshest show. I mean, in this strange post-modern age, the Cleopatra entrance feels a lot like Madonna ripping off Gaga (ripping off Liz) and ending with the choir was so cliche everyone in the pool steered clear. But come on, you guys! She can still make Nicki Minaj and MIA her bitches! And she was so sincere at the end there I almost believed "Like a Prayer" is about world peace and not giving head. Bless her shriveled little heart.
Well this pool was probably the most collectively off-the-mark in all our years of playing. The actual playlist was:
3. LMFAO interlude
4. Gimme All Your Luv
5. Open Your Heart to Me
6. Like a Prayer
We were way over on the special guests and, yes, the ornamental harp counts as a musical instrument.
Absolutely no one in this pool picked the last two songs, which in retrospect does seem kind of shocking. After tallying everyone's responses, I'm happy to award the win and the gloating rights to Elan Maier. Elan correctly predicted "Vogue," "Gimme All Your Luv," and he actually picked "LMFAO interlude" which is exactly what it was. He was right on the Over and successfully named all special guests except the choir and Will Ferrell (yes, I know it wasn't him, but it should have been!).
I think this is Elan's second win, which puts him in the same league as half-time pool legend Mike Smith.
Thanks to all for playing and we'll see you next year!
Editor's Note: Elan didn't appear on the Beachwood pool list but played in the invite-only Natasha bracket. Next year the title is ours, Beachwoodz!
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