Star’s savage dig at The Weeknd
The Weeknd has finally graced the Super Bowl stage - and it was a stage like no other.
Music fans had been patiently awaiting the halftime show, which promised to be an extravagant affair after the Grammy-winner splashed $9 million of his own money to perfect the setting.
It comes after some were confused by the choice of performer given the star's X-rated song lyrics.
In terms of aesthetics, his performance - which was intended to be more of a "cinematic experience" - certainly didn't disappoint.
But not everyone was into it, with Queer Eye's Karamo Brown calling the show "disappointing and unfulfilling".
Opening to an epic Vegas-inspired neon set, the star, seated in a sports car, stunned fans as the stage parted and he launched into megahit Starboy.
It's clear the singer spared no expense on special effects as fans were treated to a tantalising visual display including pyrotechnics and a spectacular (and slightly dizzying) all-gold house of mirrors-style moment.
Behind him were an ensemble of sequined violinists and dancers dotting the cityscape stage design.
When it came to his hit I Can't Feel My Face, dozens of bandaged up doppelgangers dancing around him.
The 30-year-old decided his own face was good enough for his big live gig, rather than the odd prosthetics and makeup he's been donning throughout his latest album's release.
Elsewhere in the performance, a number of masked dancers in red blazers took to the field for a wild rendition of upbeat banger Blinding Lights.
Over on Twitter, fans praising the opulent display:
The Weeknd with maybe the best halftime performance I’ve ever heard and seen. Wow! #SuperBowl— Mikey Vaccaro (@MikeyVaccaro) February 8, 2021
Others mocked some of the stylistic choices, with a new meme emerging from the show:
When your parents try to talk to you on FaceTime pic.twitter.com/gXMpjOKe6L— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) February 8, 2021
But Queer Eye's Karamo Brown was not a fan - tweeting a scathing criticism of the performance.
"Just like every #Weekend in 2020 we all prayed it would be fun & exciting but we were all left in our house's feeling disappointed and unfulfilled. #Justsayin," he wrote.
Super Bowl fans sparked super spreader fears early at today's momentous event, pulling their face masks down to sing along with the pre-show entertainment.
The event, held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, saw before kick-off performances by Grammy-winning singer H. E. R, who sang America The Beautiful, as well as the national anthem performed by Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan.
Both performances saw passionate sports fans leap to their feet and momentarily ditch their masks, amid fears the event will be a source of mass coronavirus
Authorities and health experts have warned America's COVID-19 crisis could be "twice as bad" as when it peaked after this weekend.
As the US rounds the corner of a "dark and deadly winter", experts have warned of the tremendous risk posed by Super Bowl today and the widespread gatherings potentially held in its honour, urging Americans not to turn it into a super spreader event.
With more transmissible "mutant" variants of COVID-19 circulating, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, was blunt when asked on Good Morning America last week if people should hold parties to celebrate the game.
"I mean, watch the Super Bowl on TV, enjoy it. Have a party in your house with your family with the people who are there," he said.
"But you don't want parties with people that you haven't had much contact with, you just don't know if they're infected. So as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it."
Meanwhile, fans have been eagerly awaiting a halftime performance by The Weeknd. Others, however, are still unimpressed with the choice, after last year's incredible JLo and Shakira show.
Originally published as Star's savage dig at The Weeknd
I’ve never had such a fun time watching a halftime show in my lifeeeeee. Thank you @theweeknd— ✨آوا✨ (@avarxo_) February 8, 2021
the weeknd perfoming blinding lights ⚡⚡ pic.twitter.com/DLJTH69nGL— . (@xotriilogy) February 8, 2021