Atlanta fought hard to be recognized on the hip-hop scene. However, at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Southernplayalisticadillac funky music is a side dish to Maroon 5’s halftime show.
The men of Maroon 5 had the decked stacked against them going into Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show: The band faced a flood of criticism for even taking the gig, one Rihanna and other stars reportedly turned down out of support for ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
And Maroon 5 headlining a Super Bowl in Atlanta, the capital of hip hop? That didn’t play well either.
“We expected it,” said Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine said last week.
Here’s what viewers didn’t expect: A shirtless Levine alongside a tribute to Spongebob Squarepants.
The Top 40 pop-rock played in an utterly predictable fashion? We all saw that coming. Twitter had a lot of thoughts about the whole thing.
A second ‘Nipplegate’ erupts
A lot of post-show chatter asked whether NFL and CBS would face a fallout after both of Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s nipples were exposed during the halftime performance, a moment echoing a certain wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl.
“Wow two nipples during the half time show?” tweeted Portland-based Mary Numair. “His career is OVER.”
“Super Bowl halftime nipple rules feel inconsistent” tweeted ESPN’s Katie Nolan.
Another writer, Rachel Syme, leaned in a bit more: “I would like to have a word with whatever minister in culture decides that rights that are denied to Janet Jackson shall be extended to men with a nasal falsetto.”
Author and health lecturer James Hamblin brought it all home. “The only physiological purpose of the male nipple is to distract from an inability to dance or sing,” he tweeted.
Jackson declined to comment on USA TODAY’s deep dive last year into the moment unfortunately known as “Nipplegate.”
Many wanted more SpongeBob
A rumored and much anticipated SpongeBob SquarePants tribute left many social media users wanting more.
A short sequence paying tribute to the famed “Band Geeks” episode of the cartoon served as an introduction to Travis Scott performing “Sicko Mode.”
More than a million people signed a petition for the halftime show to pay tribute to Stephen Hillenburg, the late creator of SpongeBob. The petition asked for a rendition of “Sweet Victory,” a song during the “Bubble Bowl” in the episode.
And while the cartoon character made an appearance, the tribute stopped short of singing the song, displeasing many:
Not many positive reactions to be found
The loudest voices on Twitter were negative about the performance. Some sent off dismissive Tweets:
Some had detailed criticisms:
Some just wanted more SpongeBob:
And some came to Maroon 5’s defense, saying some of the hate may have been coming from people who aren’t Maroon 5 fans to begin with:
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