The Internet Reacts To The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Performance
As always, this year’s halftime show inspired plenty of controversy — and memes.
Following in the footsteps of legends like Beyonce, Prince, and Shakira, The Weeknd (née Abel Tesfaye) took to the stage — well, field — for the famed Super Bowl Halftime Show in Tampa, Florida. The Blinding Lights singer spent $7 million of his own funds for his set, which featured a compilation of his most noteworthy tracks with live vocals, masked dancers straight out of Jordan Peele’s US, and an incredibly memeable hall of mirrors moment.
— Tyler Roney (@TylerJRoney) February 8, 2021
what my pizza rolls see from inside the microwave pic.twitter.com/GavZzw7cQR
— Ryan Schocket (@RyanSchocket) February 8, 2021
Like most years prior — think Katy Perry’s left shark and Janet Jackson’s infamous nip slip — the Toronto native’s performance was rife with online controversy. Some blamed the audio quality for muffling his acclaimed voice, which one TikTok user explained was due to the performance’s entirely live band and vocals. Compare this to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 2014 appearance, where they didn’t even bother to plug in their instruments, or J. Lo and Shakira’s lauded performance which sparked lip-syncing rumors. It’s also worth noting that The Weeknd made history by having no special guests performing alongside him — truly embracing the spirit of social distancing.
Other complaints included critiques of the backup dancers’ performance, the nauseating camera work, and The Weeknd’s trademark red blazer.
the super bowl halftime show dancers were so insanely out of sync i couldn’t believe it
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) February 8, 2021
He absolutely needs to stop this right now I’m so fucking dizzy! pic.twitter.com/2OJqa2cl5U
— KEEM ? (@KEEMSTAR) February 8, 2021
However, one TikTok explained how Tesfaye’s dizzying performance tied into the artist’s larger storyline.
Love it or hate it, The Weeknd would probably tell haters to save their tears when critiquing his performance.