Super Bowl: the ads, the music and everything but the football – live

Mary J Blige

Mary J Blige Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Another tribute to 2Pac with Dre briefly playing the unforgettable piano intro to I Ain’t Mad Atcha before Still DRE starts, bringing Snoop back and causing probably the loudest sign of recognition from the crowd.

And then it’s over already! That was quick! Can’t we get more of them and less of *insert team names*?

Kendrick Lamar appears next with Alright along with suited dancers all wearing Dre Day sashes. The bottom of the stage is revealed in full to be a map of Los Angeles and an overhead shot shows off some impressive synchronised movement from Lamar and his dancers. It’s another change of pace but so far, it’s all fitting together incredibly well.

Then comes Eminem! He’s picked his most rousing big venue-fitting track, 8 Mile’s Lose Yourself, along with a live band. It’s a big moment and every fan in the crowd has their phones out to record.

Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg

Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg Photograph: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

A surprise guest! It’s 50 Cent who appears for his best known track In Da Club, turning one of the white houses into a club surrounded by dancers.

Mary J Blige comes on next for Family Affair and a set of sparkled back-up dancers. What’s that much more energizing about this year’s structure is the block party vibe with groups from all of the different white houses dancing along and carrying on their different scenes. No More Drama slows things down a bit then and Blige, as ever, gives it her absolute all.


Dr Dre appears first to introduce Snoop Dogg and some white houses where the latter raps on top of. It’s a mini version of LA from the looks of it with a living room and some cars outside.

Snoop then hands over to Dre and Next Episode turns into California Love, an appropriate choice for the venue and a large set of dancers doing the very most. It’s a more opened up stage than usual and all the better for it.

Time to face the music

Mary J Blige and Dr Dre

Mary J Blige and Dr Dre Photograph: John Mabanglo/EPA

Some scores / goals / dunks were made and now we are here for the real entertainment, a tantalizing supergroup performance featuring Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J Blige, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. The half-time show has given R&B stars the spotlight sometimes but historically, has not embraced hip-hop, so this feels like a major moment. Let’s see how five major stars are able to share the stage. It’s a challenge!


Keeping up with the Joneses

As Tom Jones plays, Leslie Jones, Rashida Jones and Tommy Lee Jones race their Toyota Tundras. And then a confused Nick Jonas turns up. And we’re confused too.

Larry David does crypto

It’s really been a big night for cryptocurrency ads, the highest profile of which stars Larry David, turning down some of history’s best ideas. The star said that he gets offered a lot of ads that he’s happy to turn down but this was one that really appealed to him. It’s … better than the QR code one?


Matthew McConaughey is back in space

The actor said he wanted people to actually think his Salesforce ad was for Interstellar 2. But sadly, that isn’t the case and it’s yet another classic combo of big name, worthy voice-over and “oh huh, it’s an advert for that?” ending.


So what can we expect from tonight’s half-time show?

During a press conference this week, Dr Dre said it would be “fucking incredible” and insisted there will be no wardrobe malfunctions. “I had to talk Snoop and Em out of pulling their penises out,” he said. Mary J Blige’s face was described as “semi-mortified”.

There’s not a whole lot to take from this trailer other than it will be high-gloss and high-budget. While we don’t know the exact cost of tonight’s performance, 2020’s JLo and Shakira show was budgeted at $13m.

Dolly and Miley phoning it in

No one does a Dolly Parton cover as well as Miley Cyrus so their pairing makes a lot of sense. Sadly, this T-Mobile ad and the accompanying song, hits a disappointingly bum note.


Uber Don’t Eats

Just because it’s in an Uber Eats bag doesn’t mean you should eat it, as celebrities such as Trevor Noah, Succession’s Nicholas Braun and Gwyneth Paltrow learn the hard way. The Uber Eats spot, in which celebs nom on household goods from dish soap to sponges, mostly serves to confirm that Jennifer Coolidge, most recently of HBO’s The White Lotus, is convincing even when eating a roll of paper towels.

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