Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show
In November 2018, BTSW 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. After months of teasing, the actual halftime show finally came, and a 10-second clip of Squidward introducing “a true musical genius who needs no introduction”, then the opening horns played, but instead a performance of “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott played. Then, Maroon 5 did a performance of some of their various songs, and none of them were “Sweet Victory”.
Fans were pissed off, calling the halftime show an insult to Hillenburg and his legacy. Nickelodeon had created the clip expecting it to go into the entertainment performing Sweet Victory, and even this video is proof that Sweet Victory actually was played in rehearsals, inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The following night, an NHL team known as the Dallas Stars played a modified version of the clip during the second intermission, billing it 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."
This video is an edit of the halftime show, showing what would’ve happened had Sweet Victory played at halftime.
While this was criticized for this, it was also criticized for Adam Levine's performance.
Why It Sucked
- The main criticism of the show is that the performance promised SpongeBob SquarePants' "Sweet Victory" 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".
- 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 have any auto-tune and Drake was not present, making his "Sicko Mode" performance lackluster. Also his performance was very brief and short. Worst of all, it drove a lot of people to disown "Sicko Mode" because of this.
- Not only did Maroon 5 sing "Girls Like You" really badly, but Cardi B, who arguably had the best part of the song, was not present.
- There was some pre-show controversy about their decision to perform at the Halftime Show.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The mini animated clip for SpongeBob SquarePants that was made for this halftime show before the performances began is a nice touch.