Pink performed the National Anthem with a viral infection, Janet Jackson said she wasn’t gonna be there, and we think Ministry’s “Work For Love” appeared in a Wendy’s ad. So Justin Timberlake, with or without a Prince hologram, had his work cut out for him during the Pepsi Halftime Show at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
Did he pull it out?
Well, maybe. It wasn’t the most awe-inspiring performance ever, it was kinda just… there. Despite some muffled sound coming out of the speakers of millions of TV viewers, Timberlake cruised through a medley that included his familiar hits (“SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me A River,” “Can’t Stop The Feeling”), opened with recent flub “Filthy” and dashed stage to stage looking like he was having all kinds of fun. There were no special guests; no NSYNC, no Janet (though we got “Rock Your Body,” the song that soundtracked the infamous “wardrobe malfunction”; write a thinkpiece about that cruel decision).
Oh and hey — speaking of guests…
Prince did make an appearance, his royal likeness projected on a giant screen rising from the stage, not unlike his famed silhouette from Dolphin Stadium in Miami 11 years ago. There was no hologram, but it was close, and maybe we just don’t need to hear Prince sing about dying, which we got as his recorded voice and Timberlake’s came together on “I Would Die 4 U.”