Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show was bad and that’s okay

Rihanna, Super Bowl halftime show (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Rihanna, Super Bowl halftime show (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Rihanna, Super Bowl halftime show
Rihanna, Super Bowl halftime show (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

A bar has been set for halftime shows and Rihanna did not reach it

There is a reason why I am posting this article three days late and it stems from a YouTube video. I watched this YouTube video, which detailed the history of Super Bowl halftime shows, in bed last night before I fell asleep. And my mind was racing.

A content creator by the name of Set the Edge created a tier list of every Super Bowl in 1989 or later and gave a quick breakdown of each of these performances. Don’t click on it until you’re done reading through this article, but it’s a really good watch. I’ll link it at the end of this article.

In short, Super Bowl halftime show performances have come a long way. We’ve gone from having an Elvis Presley impersonator headline the event to the world’s largest international pop stars. Rihanna’s performance blows any of those from the 90s out of the water.

But as Set the Edge detailed performances throughout the late 2000s and throughout the 2010s, I began to see a shift in the content of these shows. The performances became visually stimulating. People do insane physical stunts, like Katy Perry riding a giant golden mechanical lion. The Weeknd ran all over the stadium and gave viewers a brand-new experience.

Rihanna didn’t do anything like that. She played some of her greatest songs, yes, but she didn’t really do anything other than sing. In fact, she barely moved around the stage — and we’d find out why.