While the Super Bowl halftime may be the most-watched musical performance in the world most years, high expectations can often lead to disappointment. Here are the 10 worst Super Bowl halftime shows of all time.
January 30, 2013
1 of 10Simon Bruty; Christopher Polk/Getty Images
#10: Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
No, Madonna doesn't still move like she used to, but that wasn't the major flaw of this performance. While Madonna held her own, it was the accompaniment of LMFAO and M.I.A. that dragged down this halftime show. M.I.A. also stole the post-performance attention for her, uh, forgetfulness that Super Bowl halftime shows are broadcast on television, making middle fingers a bit improper.
2 of 10Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
#9: Super Bowl XXXI (1997)
Sadly, Jim Belushi is no John Belushi, a point made clear in this halftime show when Jim Belushi performed with Dan Akroyd and John Goodman as part of the new Blues Brothers. For every second that they were on stage, that meant one less for James Brown and ZZ Top.
3 of 10Kevin Terrell/Getty Images; Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images
#8: Super Bowl XXXIV (2000)
Disney aimed big with this one, hoping to hit something along the lines of an Olympics opening ceremony. Instead it got a strange show that required a narrator -- Edward James Olmos in what can only be seen now as an audition for his later role in Battlestar Galactica -- and wasted its star talent by having them sing a song nobody knew.
4 of 10 Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
#7: Super Bowl XVI (1982)
Let's start with who Up With People were: A group originally created in the 1960s to counter the counter-culture movement, Up With People allegedly behaved like a cult, even including practices of arranged marriages. Their 1982 show, one of five appearances the group made in Super Bowl halftime shows, featured the band's super smiley/creepy attitude and a tribute to Motown.
5 of 10 Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
#6: Super Bowl XX (1986)
The only performers to make this list twice, Up With People was at it again with their cheery message in Super Bowl XX, this time in a show titled, "Beat of the Future." Finally after four times headlining and a fifth appearance, Up With People exited the Super Bowl stage for good with their Super Bowl XX performance, and not a moment too soon. Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones haven't headlined a combined four Super Bowl halftime shows, but Up With People has. Something seems off there.
6 of 10Gin Ellis/Getty Images
#5: Super Bowl XXV (1991)
ABC chose to air a special ABC News report with Peter Jennings on the Gulf War rather than televise this halftime show live, and with good reason. Another awkward Disney attempt to pitch its products and honor the military, this halftime show combined New Kids on the Block with thousands of kids singing "It's a Small World," complete with loud costumes and foam guitars.
7 of 10AP
#4: Super Bowl XXVI (1992)
When a halftime show can be best described as an infomercial for Minnesota and all its wintery wonder, that doesn't bode well for the production's reviews. With ridiculous costumes and an ill-advised song choice of "Winter Magic," there's a reason Fox's counterprogramming of a live episode of "In Living Color" was a success.
8 of 10Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
#3: Super Bowl XXIX (1995)
An example of product placement gone wrong, Disney used this halftime show to build buzz for its Indiana Jones Adventure attraction that was opening later that year at Disneyland. Unable to get Harrison Ford to participate, a different Indiana Jones sought the Vince Lombardi Trophy while the show concluded with another Disney property inclusion, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from its 1994 film "The Lion King."
9 of 10Simon Bruty
#2: Super Bowl XLV (2011)
Big on style but lacking substance, the Black Eyed Peas made a big entrance, descending from the ceiling of Cowboy Stadium with an impressive light, but their performance went downhill from there. Between the almost complete lack of movement from the group and Fergie's off-key singing, the Black Eyed Peas failed to live up to the hype of the first under-50 Super Bowl halftime performers since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
10 of 10Rob Brown/Getty Images
#1: Super Bowl XXIII (1989)
Despite featuring an Elvis impersonator named Elvis Presto, this halftime act utilized zero of the King of Rock and Roll's songs. Presto, in fully sequined glory, did however perform a magic trick, and the show incorporated some earrrrrly 3-D technology.
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