The Entertainment of Super Bowl LI

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The Entertainment of Super Bowl LI

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[ot-caption title=”  A picture from inside the Superdome the 2008 Super Bowl in New Orleans. (via David Reber, Wikipedia Commons)”]

Every year millions of fans prepare for the Super Bowl like it is a national holiday. Last Sunday’s big game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons was the 51st. Although the game draws many viewers, fans also await the entertainment for the most watched television event. Throughout the night there were multiple opportunities for people who don’t like football to be entertained by the Super Bowl.[spacer height=”20px”]

During the pregame show, actresses Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones, from the 11 Tony winning hit musical, Hamilton, sang “America the Beautiful” and received huge cheers when they added “and sisterhood” to the lyrics of the famous song. In Hamilton, they play the three Schuyler sisters, Eliza, Angelica, and Peggy. The talented trio reunited for the Super Bowl after leaving the Richard Rodgers’ stage a few months ago. Even thought they did not sing their iconic song “The Schuyler Sisters,” Hamilton fans were delighted to hear these three sing at the Super Bowl.[spacer height=”20px”]

Award winning country singer Luke Bryan sang the national anthem this year. On January 22, 2017, Bryan himself announced the news on Fox and on Twitter.  Bryan’s fifth studio album, Kill the Lights, a country album that was released in 2015, is a hit, and he is still touring the nation on his Kill the Lights tour, which will resume after the Super Bowl. Luke Bryan joins a long and talented list of performers who have sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl in previous years, some of whom include Idina Menzel, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, Cher, and Lady Gaga, who performed the national anthem during last year’s Super Bowl and starred in this year’s halftime show.[spacer height=”20px”]

For the halftime show, pop icon Lady Gaga took the stage. She had been planning this moment ever since she was four years old and was ready to perform at the Super Bowl once again. Her performance of the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl was so well received that this year she will be the star of the 15-minute half time show. Gaga topped all other past performances by performing from the roof of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. To get into the stadium, she jumped off the roof and descend down to the stage. By her choice, Lady Gaga performed alone for the most part, but her close friend, Tony Bennett, did appear briefly in a prerecorded introduction. The rumors were circulating that Gaga will talk politics, but she did not make any direct references. Many took her singing “America the Beautiful” as a way of standing against recent legislation, but it was not as direct as many wanted. To make sure that the performance went as smoothly as possible, Lady Gaga’s background dancers set up a tent in Gaga’s backyard so they could practice with the proper dance floor needed for the show. For some, Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance was one of the most spectacular shows ever.[spacer height=”20px”]

Super Bowl ads are the most expensive and most valued ads on television. On average, a 30-second commercial costs about 5 million dollars. Once a year, brands that have enough money give it their all to make their best commercial yet, many of which include A-list actors or are produced by an expert in the industry to ensure that they get good reviews. The NFL has selectively chosen and approved of each commercial that will air during the game to ensure that they are appropriate for the event. An ad from the building materials supply company, 84 Lumber, was revised after it was considered too controversial because it portrays a Hispanic mother and daughter facing a wall that separates Mexico and the United States. The commercial depicted life after the wall the President Trump plans to build. After the changes, the commercial will still air, but it will not show a wall.[spacer height=”20px”]

Honda’s inspirational commercial starts off with photos of old yearbook pictures of celebrities, such as Jimmy Kimmel, Tina Fey, Missy Elliott, and more. After their old photos are shown, the celebrities give motivational advice to their younger selves. This 60-second ad corresponds with Honda’s campaign, called “Power of Dreams.” Budweiser’s commercial follows the story of Adolphus Busch, the company’s founder, and how he immigrated to the United States from Germany. The ad sends a strong message about perseverance and bravery and gives viewers something to think about, even though some see it as a political mockeryMore brands that will showcase new ads during the Super Bowl are Mercedes-Benz, Skittles, Kia, TurboTax, Snickers, and many others.[spacer height=”20px”]

The Super Bowl may have started as an event for football fans, but it has certainly involved into much more than that. It has become an event that families can watch together no matter what their interests are. Even though the Super Bowl only just ended, the question for all the fans of the entertainment remains: Who will be performing the halftime show next year?[spacer height=”20px”]

Sources: CBS Sports, TVLine, SB Nation,, The New York Times, Variety, The Huffington Post, Fortune, The Washington Post, NY Daily News, Billboard