Michael Jackson, Katy Perry And The Most Bizarre Super Bowl Half-Time Shows

From rogue dance moves to helicopter exits, these are five of the oddest half-time show moments
13:00, 05 Feb 2021

In the US last year, over 102 million people tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers duke it out at Super Bowl LIV. Impressive numbers, especially considering it ended a four-year decline in viewership figures, but those were boosted even further when the half-time show, one of the craziest, most unpredictable shows in sport, began.

Over 104 million people watched Shakira and Jennifer Lopez shake their stuff on stage and by the time they’d made their exit, social media activity over the NFL’s showpiece event had skyrocketed. In fact, overall J-Lo reached 2.2 million interactions over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In comparison, the actual star of the show, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, only received 514,000.

It’s big business and part of the fun of the Super Bowl half-time show is never knowing what’s going to happen next. The event is famous for having some of the most hilarious, outrageous and bizarre moments in sport. Ahead of The Weeknd’s performance at Super Bowl LV this, erm, weekend, here are five of our favourite half-time show moments…


Katy Perry And The Renegade Shark

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Best described as candy-coloured fever dream, pop sensation Katy Perry’s half-time show was one of the most memorable in recent years thanks in part to one of her back-up dancers, in full shark costume, who saw his/her moment to shine and took it. The dancer on Perry’s left decided to go rogue and bust out seemingly random dance moves at an alarming rate, becoming an internet sensation in the process.

Diana Ross’ Swift Exit Via Helicopter

It’s not just the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony where Motown legend Diana Ross stole the show. Two years after that stonking penalty miss in Chicago, the Supremes lead singer was in action at the Super Bowl XXX half-time show and where most stars like to make a grand entrance, Ross decided instead on the grandest of exits.

She rounded out her 10-song set with “Take Me Higher”, before looking towards the sky and declaring: “Oh, here comes my ride!” before a helicopter landed in the stadium and took her away. Bonkers.

The One With Janet Jackson And Justin Timberlake

Is there anything that needs to be said about this one? You don’t even need to like American football to know about this half-time show because it’s easily the most infamous of all-time. Pop singer Justin Timberlake stunned the world and the 143.6 million people watching when he ‘accidentally’ unveiled Jackson’s breast. The debacle would go down as ‘Nipplegate’ and broke the record for ‘most searched event over one day’.


Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unplugged

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the biggest stadium bands in the world so it’s no surprise that they were called up for half-time show duty back in 2014 and, to be fair to them, they did rock… sort of.

It’s no secret that Super Bowl acts often mime to pre-recorded music, but watching the Chili Peppers rock out and maintain the act for a full set whilst their instruments were visibly all unplugged was just bizarre. There’s a ‘Give It Away’ joke here somewhere...

Michael Jackson And One Of The Greatest Power Moves Ever

When you’re the King of Pop you can do what you want and that’s exactly what Michael Jackson did at the 1993 Super Bowl. Jackson literally just stood on stage doing absolutely nothing… for two minutes. It’s also worth noting that on average a performer has about 12 minutes to do their stuff, and Jackson used a good chunk of that just staring at the crowd. Weird, even for Michael Jackson.

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