Wow, The Internet Really Didn’t Enjoy Maroon 5’s Superbowl Halftime Show
"It's actually a 100 million dollar ad for white people."
The Superbowl halftime show is a legacy gig for musicians, a 10 minute all-in spectacle where they have the chance to grab the whole world’s attention. When Maroon 5 was announced as this year’s act, the reaction was tepid — and unfortunately for Adam Levine and co., the internet, an ever cruel and harsh critic, was far from won over by their performance.
The band was joined by Big Boi and Travis Scott as they blazed through songs from Songs About Jane, and more recent hits, like ‘Moves Like Jagger’. People were not impressed — on Twitter, it was essentially a race to see who could make the funniest joke the quickest.
Maroon 5, viewers 0
— Douggpound (@douggpound) February 4, 2019
This has truly been one of the most inoffensive, milquetoast Super Bowls of all time.
— Matthew D'Ambrosio™ (@drmattdambrosio) February 4, 2019
Mom’s halftime show review is in pic.twitter.com/ZUkMgaT0Aq
— Kristin Chirico (@lolacoaster) February 4, 2019
Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5 battling for worst halftime show ever pic.twitter.com/23MsjdFirZ
— matt (@electriccchair) February 4, 2019
There must have been a time when Maroon 5 did not fill all of the tedious interstitial spaces in our culture but I simply cannot remember it
— Jason Wilson (@jason_a_w) February 4, 2019
There was even a much-hyped cameo from Spongebob, as a tribute to the show’s creator Stephen Hillenburg, who passed away last November.
They introduced Scott with a clip from ‘Sweet Victory’, a 2001 episode where the sponge performs at the Bubble Bowl, Bikini Bottom’s version of the Super Bowl. The wider public was confused with Scott’s short performance, while Spongebob fans weren’t impressed with the shorter ‘Sweet Victory’ snippet.
Soooooooo…… This halftime show though. That’s all for Travis or nah?!?!?! 🤨
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 4, 2019
my dad walked in the living room when we all shouted “spongebob” but Travis Scott was on TV & he goes “… that’s not spongebob” and walked out & I haven’t seen disappointment like that in a long time
— Gabriela Harrod 🦋 (@harrodgabriela) February 4, 2019
Adam Levine tryna dance next to Travis Scott is PEAK white dad 💀💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/2bPS9RHecT
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) February 4, 2019
2009: Will SpongeBob and Sandy get married? Haha! No! It was just a play! lol
2019: Maroon 5 will perform Sweet Victory at the Super Bowl. Haha! No! Bring in Sicko Mode to tribute Stephen Hillenburg.
— Crimson Mayhem (@mayhem_crimson) February 4, 2019
I got them mooooves…
Great show, @maroon5! 🎤👏 #SBLIII pic.twitter.com/sdAOPuvhr2
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
Elsewhere, viewers questioned the relative lack of theatrics or style in Maroon 5’s performance.
Hilarious! #superbowl pic.twitter.com/YNtWlnM4Dh
— RLE – Rey Lopez (@ReyMines) February 4, 2019
Lady Gaga jumped off the stadium years ago and Maroon 5 ripped off his shirt, we have downgraded severely. #PepsiHalftime
— Rocco (@pantsforahat) February 4, 2019
This year’s Superbowl performance follows last year’s equally maligned show with Justin Timberlake. Timberlake previously performed in an infamous guest spot during Janet Jackson’s 2004 Superbowl show, where he intentionally revealed her nipple by tearing off part of her costume.
The incident essentially derailed Jackson’s career. Given that Adam Levine tore off his shirt during ‘Moves Like Jagger’, many online found it hypocritical.
friendly reminder that janet jackson got blacklisted for doing what adam levine just did
— Korey Kuhl (@koreykuhl) February 4, 2019
Let me get this straight, @JanetJackson’s entire career was sidelined over a nipslip but a white dude can take his shirt off and it’s no problem? pic.twitter.com/2cDz5OWO9L
— Hannah Cranston (@HannahCranston) February 4, 2019
IF TWO ADAM LEVINE NIPPLES WERE APPROVED THEN SOMEONE OWES JANET JACKSON A BIG APOLOGY
— Katie Zack (@katiefzack) February 4, 2019
To be fair, the odds were stacked against Maroon 5. This year’s Superbowl performance was always going to struggle, as it had been revealed that the band were far from the NFL’s first pick.
Pink, Rihanna and Cardi B all declined to perform, with the latter two doing so due to their support of footballer Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has filed a lawsuit agains the NFL, claiming that they tried to lock him out from league after he repeatedly kneeled during pre-game playings of the US national anthem as a protest against police brutality towards African Americans.