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The critics have weighed in, and it’s not exactly great news for the Black Eyed Peas.
“Regarding the music … was being three-sheets-to-the-wind drunk a requirement to enjoy this Super Bowl halftime show?” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Christie D’Zurilla. “Are the folks who said it’s still cool to like the Black Eyed Peas eating their words? Do you sympathize with the not-an-old-fart-at-all editor who sent me a frantic note about that ‘horrific caterwauling by Fergie,’ proclaiming her ears had been violated?”
The Associated Press suggested that “maybe Usher should have been the headliner” for the halftime show and said the Black Eyed Peas seemed “tentative and tense.”
Usher “had only a brief cameo in the showcase, but his tightly choreographed moves and acrobatics marked the brief exhilarating moment of a surprisingly stale medley from the normally frenetic headliners, the Black Eyed Peas,” the AP’s Nekesa Mumbi Moody wrote.
Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot acknowledged the difficulty of doing “anything nuanced or thoughtful on such a stage in 12 minutes.”
Of the performance, he wrote: “Coming in short minute-long bursts, the Peas’ songs actually benefited from the nervous, jump-cut energy of the medley, exiting long before their repetitiveness and triviality could become apparent.”
The Hollywood Repoter’s sister publication Billboard weighed in with this tweet: “gotta love Fergie Ferg, but her voice sounded a little strained. Will.i.am was futuristic swagger but Stacy stumbled a bit.”
The New Jersey Star-Ledger’s Jay Lustig praised the effects while criticizing the vocals.
“While it’s true that when there wasn’t something spectacular going on, visually, they didn’t offer much in the way of vocal dynamics, it’s also true that there was usually something spectacular going on, visually — those hordes of glowing dancers really were pretty cool — so the 12 minutes passed very quickly,” he wrote. “It was a solid B performance — but nowhere near an A.”
Taylor Write of AllYourTV.com was a bit more blunt: “This halftime show blew like Katrina. It was clunky and completely without a heart.”
Meanwhile, Dallas-based sports site SBNation.com said the show was boring and confusing.
“My rapid reaction? Worse than The Who, by a fair margin,” wrote J.P. Starkey. “It wasn’t entertaining, it wasn’t fun, the songs were brutally bad and didn’t translate to a live setting whatsoever.”
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