Worst Super Bowl Halftime Shows
1. Super Bowl XXIII (Elvis Presto)
Super Bowls are known by those today as big-time events with some of the biggest performers in the world. However this wasn’t always the case, in 1989 at Super Bowl XXIII the halftime entertainment was an Elvis impersonator named Elvis Presto. This show looked low budget from the start and was something you see at a discount cheap show in Vegas. This wasn’t good from start to finish and when people look back on this show they wonder how it was even able to be aired.
2. Super Bowl XXIX (Disney)
Super Bowl XXIX wasn’t much better than XXIII. This was more of a show than a concert and was produced by Disney. It was titled “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” and it served as more of an advertisement for a new Disneyland attraction than a good show. The show featured Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, and others but it didn’t go how they expected. There is no longer video of the show because people don’t want to be seen and that’s better for everyone. This will go down as one of the worst halftime shows we have ever seen.
3. Super Bowl XXVI (Winter Magic)
This Super Bowl In Minnesota was yet another show that didn’t feature the “concert” that we are used to seeing now. The title of this show was “Winter Magic” and was a celebration of winter in Minnesota and the Winter Olympics. The show involved 2,000 performers and looked more like an opening ceremony of the Olympics and featured drill teams, dancers, color guards, and more. This was not celebrated by the public and after this Super Bowl, the NFL started trying to find more big-named talent so they could keep viewers watching through the halftime break.
4. Super Bowl XLV (Black Eyed Peas)
The Black Eyed Peas had a stretch of times in the early 2010s where they were one of the most popular groups, but that doesn’t mean they made good music. The lip-syncing was at an all-time high and the performance itself felt like a mess. They were also joined by Slash which didn’t help things. Aside from the fancy lights and production, the show itself didn’t live up to what it could have been and the overall perception of it was not positive.
5. Super Bowl XLVI (LMFAO & MIA)
Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis featured Madonna as the headlining performer but she isn’t the reason that so many people disliked this show. It was more because of the special guests, most notably LMFAO and MIA. LMFAO was basically a one-hit-wonder, Party Rock Anthem, and was joined by MIA, who decided to throw up a middle finger to force some attention on herself. Even though people didn’t seem to enjoy the performance as a whole, at the time it was the most viewed halftime show ever. The show was viewed by 114 million people.
6. Super Bowl XX (Up With People)
Heading all the way back to 1986 we have Up With People, this group has performed at the Super Bowl many times. This was back in the time before the NFL decided to bring in big named entertainers and we are very thankful they did. Up With People is a music group that didn’t do anything excited and just had us hoping that the game would get started again. This was their last performance and by the reception of these performances, I think that is for the better.
7. Super Bowl XXXIV (Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, and Disney)
This show featured big names and was the first NFL halftime show of the 2000s. You would think that Enrique Iglesias and Christina Aguilera could do no wrong but the show itself was not very entertaining to watch. It featured interesting costumes, a narrator, and songs that some people didn’t even know. This Super Bowl taught us that no matter the level of performer you get you are still going to have to put together a complete show that gets people to stay glued to their TV sets.
8. Super Bowl XXV (New Kids on the Block & Disney)
New Kids on the Block was one of the biggest groups at this time but a lot like what we talked about with the XXXIV show, they were let down by the production and style of the show. Also, one of the weird things with this show is that it didn’t even air at halftime. ABC aired a war report at halftime so this show was shown after the completion of the game. It wouldn’t have made a difference but hopefully, fewer people had to sit through it. New Kids on the Block didn’t get to perform any of their super upbeat popular songs and were forced to do things like sing “This One’s for the Children” with a Disney kids choir.
9. Super Bowl XXXI (Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman)
In 1997 the Super Bowl brought the Blues Brothers back together and it was a disaster. There was no real hype when it came to their performance and it felt like some oldies just trying to live like they were in their glory days. ZZ Top was also involved in this show but he didn’t come on till later and by the time he made an appearance most people had likely already turned their TVs off or stopped paying attention until the 2nd half of the game came back on.
10. Super Bowl LIII (Maroon 5)
2019 was a troubling time at the NFL, there were issues with the NFL apparently “blacklisting” Colin Kaepernick, which reportedly had multiple entertainers denying invitations to perform. The NFL settled for Maroon 5 and many people were left underwhelmed. Maroon 5 is hit or miss and even with special guests Travis Scott and Big Boi it didn’t help. Travis Scott wasn’t able to create the riot type experience that you see at a lot of his shows and a majority of the older folks watching the Super Bowl don’t understand his music. Overall it wasn’t the best show but it was more bearable than some of the shows on this list.