Story by Jennifer Gardner
The Super Bowl halftime show is legendary, a sign for many artists that they’ve made it big. With almost 110 million people tuning in, it’s a huge concert for any artist. Bruno Mars will be following in the footsteps of artists such as Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Janet Jackson when he performs at Super Bowl XVLIII in February.
Mars is a Hawaii-born musician known for his mix of pop, R&B and soul music.
Despite being nominated for 13 Grammys, performing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show alongside artists such as Rihanna and Justin Bieber and selling over 45 million singles around the world, students have reservations about how he’ll perform at the Super Bowl.
For sophomore Greta Gillen, Mars doesn’t have the energy and appeal necessary to capture attention during the halftime show.
“I feel like Bruno Mars is not a good fit for the Super Bowl halftime show,” Gillen said. “Last year, it was Beyoncé, and I feel like it should be someone who’s really popular and iconic, someone who will get people energized and excited. Bruno Mars just kind of sits there and whines on his piano.”
First-year Nick Manzoni, however, thinks Mars was a decent pick.
“I don’t think anyone can top Beyoncé, to be honest, and I’m not a huge fan, but I think people will like him overall,” Manzoni said.
While the exact selection process for choosing the halftime acts isn’t published, the NFL tries to choose performers that will appeal to a wide audience range, especially people who wouldn’t normally be interested in football. After the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake scandal in 2004, there was a noticeable switch to “safer” acts like The Who and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. There wasn’t a return to popular artists until the Black Eyed Peas performed in 2011.
Sophomore Robert Raczka is glad that the Super Bowl halftime show is returning to more current artists because he likes the unpredictability.
“I like all the controversy that happens,” Raczka said. “When M.I.A. flicked everyone off and Janet Jackson got her top ripped off, I thought it was pretty hilarious. I like it when people do stupid, attention-grabbing stuff.”
Even though people are divided on whether they think Bruno Mars should’ve been chosen, sophomore Colton Warren said he still believes that it’ll be a good show.
“He’s popular, and he appeals to a wide range of people, and that’s what the Super Bowl is looking for,” Warren said. “They always go all out with light shows and stuff since the Super Bowl is such a big deal, so it should be good, even if he isn’t my favorite artist.”