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It's Orgasm Adjacent! A European's Perspective Of His First Ever Super Bowl Half-Time Performance

By Wojciech Góralczyk | TV | February 3, 2020 |

By Wojciech Góralczyk | TV | February 3, 2020 |


For whatever reason, I have never seen a Super Bowl Halftime Show. This was my first. And it was such a sensory overload, that I started writing down my thoughts. So here’s an outsider’s perspective.

0:15 - is this Shakira? I think it’s Shakira. Her dance moves are amazing.

0:27 - Oh, it’s in Miami! Is that why it’s Shakira and J.Lo? I feel so culturally competent for a European right now.

00:31 - Shakira is repeatedly punching the air with her cooch and singing about her thighs being wide open. Entertaining AND factual!

01:00 - Ok, now she’s singing about she-wolves in closets and charging at the camera in a full on folk dance routine. This is amazing. This is Eurovision. Wait… is the Superbowl Halftime Show America’s Eurovision?

1:25 - The lyrics to this song seem to be “Let the empires of the world unite, and the stars make love to the universe, and I’m like *playing a disconnected electric guitar*” That’s a lyrical hairpin if I’ve ever seen one.

2:03 - We’re two minutes in, and she’s already sampled Kashmir and tied herself with a rope. I am SO ENTERTAINED.

2:25 - I’d have pretty ignorant thoughts on this Middle Eastern moment, but I was educated by Pajiba! *ding*

2:40 - So much hairography!

3:25 - Ohhh she unfurled her bib! Shit’s about to get REAL! Or there’s a food component coming up.

3:30 - There are… disembodied legs in the background. What sorcery is this?

3:40 - This is the sparkliest trench coat I’ve ever seen. It’s also the first sparkly trench coat I’ve ever seen.

4:15 - Horn section dancers are killing it. This is riveting. This is entertainment concentrate.

4:50 - Shakira does a LOT of hair work.

5:15 - OK, the moment when they switched to her live mic and suddenly she was out of breath mid-phrase was a bit jarring. Also, I know this is in poor taste, but when Shakira started crowd-surfing, I couldn’t help but think they will pass her straight into the back of an ICE van, and that will be the end of that performance.

5:40 - More cooch-fu!

5:50 - Ok, now I totally appreciate how she’s in sensible knee-high boots, because the amount of stomping this performance involves is insane.

6:09 - Pretty sure I’m mishearing a lot of these lines because I could have sworn she just said “No fighter!” and then delivered a flying kick, which seems like a mixed message.

6:21 - I do not have the words to express the impact of J.Lo’s entrance. Power chords while Glamour Kong dangles from the tip of Empire State, read to swat down some basic bitches… Seriously, this is orgasm-adjacent.

6:32 - She’s singing “I stay grounded…” as she descends from a literal pyramid, surrounded by a legion of people trained to mirror her every move. I’m in heaven.

7:10 - The cane and the shoulders and… oh happy aneurism.

7:33 - She just smiled, and it’s my favorite moment out of a smorgasbord of favorite moments. This woman’s charisma is insane.

8:00 - Maybe it’s the get up, maybe it’s her superhuman body, but I’d totally see J.Lo in a Mad Max film.

8:06 - Cooch slide! Thanks for tying it together, lady!

8:20 - They’re bringing in POLES! I wonder if she put so much effort learning this stuff for Hustlers that now she’s gonna do pole-related stuff every chance she gets.

8:38 - Just imagine. The inauguration of President Elizabeth Warren. J.Lo performs a solemn pole routine on the Washington Monument.

8:52 - The dancers are holding up her ass as she serenades the audience. I mean… what else can I say here. Facts are facts, America.

9:18 - I feel like P!nk enjoyed the hell out of this show, what with all the air work.

9:43 - Is that trench coat guy? In a black hoodie now? Is this like a subtle commentary on the discrepancy between the amount of showmanship required from male and female performers?

10:20 - And now she’s She-Ra. But like an 1980s She-Ra. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen a single episode of She-Ra).

10:33 - They’re dancing over a sacrificial pit filled with smileys. At some point someone had to write this down. “And then we project a crater, but it’s full of emoticons”.

11:00 - OK, J.Lo’s doing hair work and stomping, this feels like a harbinger of Shakira’s return.

11:45 - Oh wow … Kids in cages … I did not see that coming.

11:55 - And the female symbol. Are halftime shows usually this political? This is amazing.

12:15 - And the American flag? No wait, the Puerto Rican flag? Wait, it’s BOTH?! This couldn’t get more spectacular. OK, maybe if they literally stitched Bruce Springsteen into the furry flagcoat and had him join them in the “Born in the USA”. Yes to all of this.

12:55 - Stompy stompy ooh-ay-ay.

13:45 - OK, so there’s Shakira’s whole dance routine, and it’s joyous and athletic and all-around fun, and then J. Lo’s comes around and is like “Ever had a champagne-flavored firework launched straight into your prostate?”

14:02 - They. Are. Superheroes.

I will be re-watching this, repeatedly, for the rest of my life. Thank you, ridiculous sport. Thank you, nation of excess.

Wojciech lives in Poland, where rainbows get burnt.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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