Halftime shows are high energy spectacles that level the playing field of opinion. Whereas thoughts on Super Bowl play calls for some back study or a pretense of analysis, ruminations on the quality of halftime entertainment requires only a reaction–an immediate one. This is why Beyonce‘s show-stopping performance at the Super Bowl did more than demonstrate her vocal abilities and dancing prowess– it turned out the lights on her critics.
After her breathless display, celebrities promptly took to Twitter to give praise. Diddy joined Justin Timberlake, who recently dropped a record with Beyonce’s hubby Jay-Z, and bowed down to the newly anointed “King Bey.”
“Yes, B. Yes. Roasted that… #KINGBEY,” Timberlake tweeted.
— Chris (@TeamMinajOH) February 4, 2013
Diddy saluted in similar fashion. “King B is my f–kin’ Hero!!! #KillinIt,” he tweeted.
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) February 4, 2013
“Goosebumps!!,” tweeted Jessie J. “@Beyonce is a superstar right to her fingertips! #superbowl”
— JESSIE J (@JessieJ) February 4, 2013
“Destiny’s Child Super Bowl swaggin’,” tweeted Frank Ocean, whom Beyonce shouted out when he confessed his sexuality via the now famous Tumblr post.
destinys child super bowl swaggin
— frank ocean (@frank_ocean) February 4, 2013
“OMG Beyonce killed it!!!,” she tweeted. “And when Destiny’s Child came out…that made my life! #Bootylicious
OMG Beyonce killed it!!! And when Destiny’s Child came out…that made my life! #Bootylicious
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) February 4, 2013
Alicia Keys, who kicked of the festivities with a performance of the National Anthem, celebrated the sisterly love.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) February 4, 2013
Beyonce’s moment was set against her Inauguration performance of the “Star Spangled Banner.” She was roundly criticized for “lip-syncing,” though she actually sang over a backing track, which is a significant distinction. But after the Super Bowl show, the lip-sync controversy that loomed was burned away by the time the pyrotechnics flared. The press conference, in which Beyonce sang live to prove her pipes (even asked “Any questions?” when she was done) was rendered unnecessary.
Her seamless a cappella version of “Love On Top” set the tone. The fast-paced medley of “Crazy in Love,” “End of Time” and ”Baby Boy” thrilled. Screaming Twitter accounts proclaimed her vindicated, or, in Samuel Jackson’s case, reinstated her status at the top of the game.
“I’m in the DON’T GIVE A F–K IF IT’S PRE-RECORDED OR NOT club!!,” the actor said. “B’s putting’ in WURK!!!!”
Prince‘s unforgettable turn at Super Bowl XLI, in which he famously sang “Purple Rain” in a downpour, gave his performance an air of mysticism. Likewise, after Beyonce’s electric performance, the stadium lost some of its lights, which caused an unprecedented delay in the game.
Instantaneously, Twitter exploded (actually broke for moments) with nyuk-nyuk jokes and conspiracy theories about Beyonce’s role in the power outage.
“Nobody wanna say nothin but Beyonce’s stage show drained all the power,” Fabolous tweeted. “… But yall ain’t hear that from me… #BeyonceBowl”
Nobody wanna say nothin but Beyonce’s stage show drained all the power…But yall ain’t hear that from me…#BeyonceBowl
— Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) February 4, 2013
Perhaps, the heaviest and most poignent tweet of the night was dispatched from Jay-Z’s Mr. Carter (@S_C) account.
Lights out!!! Any questions??
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) February 4, 2013
“Lights out!!!,” he tweeted. “Any questions??” But Beyonce had already answered her critics. And while the arena went dark, her light shone as bright as ever. –Erik Parker, CBS Local