Rihanna’s Halftime Show Elicits Mixed Reviews

Student viewers contributed to the second-most-watched halftime show


Every year, millions gather to watch the indescribable halftime show of the Super Bowl. 

The expectations are high; the platforms are higher. 

After six years, Rihanna took the stage among her 280 dancers and a notable guest. 

Rihanna’s show is said to have had over 118.7 million viewers, which is more than the Superbowl game had itself. Her performance is the second most-watched halftime show in history, being the runner-up to Katy Perry’s performance in 2015.

Like hundreds on social media, students had diverse opinions about Rihanna’s performance. 

“Ten out of ten; I loved it. She stole the show. The whole performance was good. I liked the lights and theme of it,” senior Morgan Wachstetter said. 

Last year’s halftime show consisted of old-time artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. This performance was said to have been one of the better shows in recent years due to its abundance of guests, enticing set list and inclusion of props. Rihanna’s show differs greatly from theirs, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. 

“I’d say it was pretty good. I think they did a whole lot with what they had. I wouldn’t say it was the best I’ve seen. I personally enjoyed the one last year more, but it’s whatever,”  senior Carson Townsend said. “It was great. I liked the show, especially with all the beams and stuff that they used to suspend everyone. I would be terrified. They sent her up like a hundred meters into the air. That’s crazy.”

We can be biased; however, talent won’t go ignored. Rihanna revealed to fans worldwide who her special guest star was, shocking everyone with the unheard-of news. 

“Ten out of ten because it was Rihanna, and she did it while pregnant too,” junior Alyssa Herbst said. 

Some people differ and found this news to bring down the performance rather than uplift it. Though performing pregnant is still admirable, it creates limits.

“I found it to be severely underwhelming. I understand–after the fact–why she wasn’t moving around very much: she was pregnant. I did not know that in advance; I don’t think anyone did,” teacher Trevor Kitchen said. 

Though some weren’t fond of the performance itself, the set list is speaking volumes. 

“Rihanna’s halftime show was good because of the bangers, like ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Umbrella,’ but it wasn’t anything special,” senior Tanner Germann said. 

These ‘bangers’ might not be enough to make up for some of our students and even teachers’ disappointments. 

“Five out of ten. Wasn’t horrible, wasn’t great either. Choreography and staging didn’t make sense to me, and I often found myself bored,” junior Leanna Rawls said. “Rihanna didn’t seem to have much energy either, there were times where it was apparent she didn’t even try to lip-sync. The set list was good though.”

Though her soon-to-be baby was her special guest, some people still wished to have seen an ‘actual’ star.

“I also was kind of disappointed by the lack of a guest star, like an actual one. I thought she could’ve gotten Nicki Minaj to come out and do their little song they do together or something to spice it up,” Kitchen said. “They didn’t have a guest singer, dancers or any costume changes. She’s just got such an extension of collaborative great hits; there was a lot of potentials there. It was underwhelming and I like Rihanna.  I was a little disappointed.” 

Rawls also missed added talent. 

“Not great, but not bad. She’s pregnant, so major props to her on performing, but when halftime shows focus on one artist, they usually aren’t as good,” Rawls said. 

Overall, Rihanna came and shined bright like a diamond, but even diamonds are considered generic in this day and age. 

“I’ll give it a five because the song choice was strong. Songs were good–when she wasn’t lip-syncing–the singing was good. I was impressed she had the cajones to do ‘People better have my money’ to open with. I thought the NFL’s execs would veto that,” Kitchen said. “I mean, basically, her song catalog was excellent. The performance was low, the song catalog was high, so I give it a five. Definition of mediocracy.”