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I'm totally torn about this year's halftime show. On the one hand, it's Beyoncé Fucking Knowles. For the first time since Nipplegate, we're actually getting a relevant, contemporary superstar who's had a #1 single in the last five years. Oh fine, I guess the Black Eyed Peas count but . . . come ON.
On the other hand, despite Beyoncé's cultural influence the back catalog is not particularly rich. And while Queen Bey hasn't pulled a full Roger Daltrey and leaked the whole set list, a lot of details have already been announced. Here's what we know:
1. Beyoncé will start out alone singing past hits.
2. Beyoncé will be joined on stage by Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for an official Destiny's Child reunion. They will perform "a medley" of their hits.
3. Destiny's Child will then bring an end to the long national nightmare by performing their first new single in nine excruciating years. The single is called "Nuclear."
4. Beyoncé will close out the show alone, performing her newest multi-platinum megahit "Ratchet."
5. The promo song that has been running on CBS is "Crazy in Love" because apparently "Single Ladies" had to wash its hair or something.
6. Beyoncé will kill this show. She will take it, break it, rebuild it in her image, and then destroy it just because she can. We know this because, depending on your interpretation of this week's events, she's either perfect or ruthlessly obsessed with the image of her perfection.
7. The NFL will cancel next year's Super Bowl and possibly the second half of this year's game because - seriously - who wants to follow THAT?
So here's the thing: I really doubt Beyoncé is going to offer any surprises, so we're looking at top-5 tracks for the open. I'd guess two songs at the most before Destiny's Child reforms before our very eyes. Unless she goes medley, but she's not going to go medley because that'd be a medley-medley and it would be like those Japanese cartoons that give everyone seizures. And what are the chances those two songs WON'T be the two mentioned above? There's a better chance John Boehner goes a month without spray tan.
All of the tension in the Destiny's Child reunion comes down to your definition of "medley." Is two short songs a medley? Three? Four? Not four, right? Because no one knows four Destiny's Child songs.
I think this year the bracket is all down to the side bets. Song order. Costume changes. Karat weight of earrings. Additional guests (Beyoncé has collaborated with Gaga, Swizz Beatz (whose wife is doing the national anthem), Timberlake (come on, CBS, let bygones be bygones!), Ne-Yo, Pharell Williams, and her own husband Jay-Z). So let's get down to it. Here's my official picks:
1. Single Ladies
2. Crazy in Love
3. Destiny's Child Medley: Bootylicious, Independent Women, Survivor
* How many costumes will Beyoncé wear? Over/under at 2.5
* How many additional guests will there be? Over/under at 1.5
* Karat weight of Beyoncé's earrings? Over/under at 5
* Will Kelly rip out her earpiece to show Bey how it's really done?
* Would Michelle dare do the same?
* Will Beyoncé artistically announce she's once again pregnant?
I'm going to go under on the costumes, under on the guests (no true diva wants to share the stage with that many people), way over on the earrings. It's Beyoncé. She can rock the stage with a Richard Burton wedding gift on each ear. I think Kelly keeps the earpiece in, but does some fussing just to show she can sing blind too. Michelle? Please. I don't even think her mic was on. And you know what? I'm gonna say yes on new baby announcement. Why the hell not? I like those crazy kids.
In Beyoncé we trust.
* The Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bracket.
* The Who's Super Bowl Suckage.
UPDATED WITH RESULTS:
Sometimes hindsight truly is 20/20. In retrospect, we should have known that Beyoncé would cover the stage in Destiny's doppelgangers, the better to disguise the actual appearance of Destiny's Child. We should've known that Bey would reduce Kelly and Michelle to her video hoochies for a group rendition of "Single Ladies." And we should've known that 20 minutes of Beyonciosity would be enough to drain the power from half the Super Dome.
We had some close calls and canny guesses. I called that the other Destiny's Children would arise from under the stage; I did not, however, guess that they would be shot out of subterranean cannons and forced to rely on their cat-like reflexes to survive. Jessica didn't think we'd get an original DC song and she was right. We were all way under on the backup dancers and the whole thing turned out to be one big ass dance-off. And while my prediction that Beyoncé would "take it, break it, rebuild it in her image and then destroy it just because she can" proved all too true, even I didn't envision the lead guitarist whose instrument ejaculated flames. How could we all have been so blind?!
What a bizarre night, but the dust has settled and we have a champion. While his beloved 9ers finished third in the Super Bowl, Elan Meier can proudly celebrate the defense of his half time pool title. His genius pick of "just one verse of Halo" proved the decisive factor in an otherwise tight race. This is Elan's third win, having also shared the glory in Bruce Springsteen's year.