Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show
On November 26, 2018, SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg passed away at 57. This led to a petition to have the song "Sweet Victory" (which played at the end of the SpongeBob episode "Band Geeks") to be played at halftime in Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019. After months of teasing, the actual halftime show finally came, and during Maroon 5's performance of some of their various songs, a 10-second clip of Squidward introducing "a true musical genius who needs no introduction" appeared, then the opening horns played, but instead a performance of "Sicko Mode" by Travis Scott played.
Fans were angry, calling the halftime show an insult to Stephen Hillenburg and his legacy. Nickelodeon had created the clip expecting it to go into the entertainment performing "Sweet Victory", and even a video that is no longer available was proof that "Sweet Victory" actually was played post-game, at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The following night, the song was played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas during an NHL game featuring the Dallas Stars vs. the Minnesota Wild. The song included a modified version of the clip during the second intermission. Instead of including part of the episode were "Sweet Victory" was included, the full song was played. The intermission was billed as "the halftime show fans deserved". Fans rejoiced as a result.
Maroon 5, Scott, and Big Boi faced criticism for their decision to perform at the halftime show, due to the alleged blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick by the NFL and its franchises for protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before games. Several artists—including Jay-Z, Cardi B, and Rihanna—reportedly turned down offers to headline the show as a display of solidarity. A petition was organized calling for Maroon 5 to drop out of the show and accusing them of "choosing to side with the NFL over its players."
There is a video that is an edit of the halftime show, showing what would’ve happened had Sweet Victory played at halftime.
This halftime show was criticized not just for Travis Scott's performance, it was also criticized for Adam Levine's performance.
Why This Halftime Show Isn't a Sweet Victory
- The main criticism and problem of the show are that the performance promised that the song "Sweet Victory" from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Band Geeks" was to be played as a tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg. However, just a few seconds were used as an introduction for Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode".
- This can also be considered disrespectful to Hillenburg.
- Maroon 5 delivered one of their worst performances yet. The only band member that got any screen time was Adam Levine.
- Rather uninteresting pyrotechnics.
- Poor special effects for the platform.
- Levine had a very unenthusiastic performance, singing off-key, having very breathy vocals, and looking generally very bored. In addition, he threw his shirt off during the performance of "Moves like Jagger", which was met with controversy.
- Speaking of Levine, the portions when he tried to play guitar were very laughable.
- Travis Scott's performance was underwhelming. He did not use any auto-tune and Drake was not present, making his "Sicko Mode" performance lackluster. Also, his performance was very brief and short. This gave both Scott and "Sicko Mode" very bad names as a result.
- Despite how much of a disaster the half-time show was, the short animated clip for SpongeBob SquarePants that was made for this halftime show is a nice touch.
- The NHL thankfully did play Sweet Victory during one of it’s games, as well as NASCAR who played it for its commercials!