What once began as a meeting between the best teams of the now defunct American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) to decide who was the best professional football team in the nation, the Super Bowl has now morphed into a week-long spectacle that showcases creative television commercials and A-list entertainers alongside the battle on the gridiron. That said, in the entertainment portion of Super Bowl LXVII it was Alicia Keys and not Beyonce Knowles who stepped up on the center stage with a performance for the ages, and here is why.
Alicia Keys' National AnthemThough she was relegated to just singing the national anthem, Keys' piano-based rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" probably rates only second to Whitney Houston's performance (1991) in the annals of the game. Sure, Keys took a little liberty with some of the lyrics, which is a no-no when it comes to the anthem, but her live rendition certainly was above and beyond the recent lip-synch version that Beyonce put out at the Presidential Inauguration. What's more; Alicia Keys' classy looking red dress rocked in comparison to the the racy attire worn by Bey. In the end, one only needed to look at the emotionally moved players on the field to conclude that the "Girl on Fire" put in a noteworthy performance.
Beyonce's Half-Time PerformanceIf there ever was a performance that Queen Bey should have employed her lip-synching prowess, this one was it. With the first half of her performance drowned out by the loudness of her music, and second half finding Beyonce trying to catch her breath after dancing on the stage, Super Bowl XLVII was not the proper venue for the top selling artist. Sure, the Charlie's Angel's theme was cute, but neither the pyrotechnics nor the lighting did much to help out the mediocre performance she put in.
What Should Have HappenedIn retrospect, perhaps splitting the performances as they did was not the best idea in the world. However, had these two superstars split time on the same stage in a performance choreographed to take advantage of both Beyonce's stage presences and Keys exceptional voice and talents on the piano, things may have worked out better all around. While this would have taken some planning and out-of-the-box thinking by Super Bowl organizers, the end results may have been a performance worthy of the nation's biggest television audience.
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