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Three topics are particularly hot today: the Superbowl,  its commercial breaks and its halftime show. Though football and commercials are great, today we’ll be focusing on what is really important: the halftime show.

In the weeks leading up to the Superbowl, many people questioned the choice of Madonna as a halftime performer, calling her “irrelevant,” and claiming that her impending Superbowl performance was an attempt to claw her way back onto the music scene.

Having now seen Madonna’s halftime performance, it seems that many former naysayers have changed their tunes. USA Today reports that yesterday’s halftime show averaged 114 million viewers, which makes it the most watched Superbowl halftime show of all time.

My feelings about the halftime show are mixed; I think the show was well-timed and choreographed, but I found that Madonna’s performance lacked commitment at times. More than anything, I attribute Madonna’s careful dancing to the high-heeled shoes she was wearing, which, although they looked great, weren’t optimally functional. In an illustration of my point, Madonna fell off of the bleachers at 3:32 in the video below.

But I can’t completely blame her shoes; Madonna also had some dance partners who didn’t entirely have her back.  At 5:52 Redfoo from LMFAO supported Madonna’s leg a moment too late, causing her to redistribute her weight, drop her pelvis, and sloppily execute the following choreography.

From 6 minutes onward, the pace of the performance really picked up, and with the exception of some awkward marching, Madonna’s stage presence drastically improved. I generally enjoyed the performance from that point forward, but I could have done without the “World Peace” message at the end. I talked a bit about my issues with projecting meaning onto a performance in Bad Dance: Part 4, so I won’t discuss them further here.

But enough griping already. The fact of the matter is, last night’s Superbowl halftime show is the best I’ve seen in years, and Madonna delivered an incredible performance. The woman is iconic for a reason, and she can dance her well-toned butt off, no matter what her age may be.

So here’s to Madonna’s spirit, strength and longevity as a performer. I can only hope to someday have the same reach with my writing that she does with her music.

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