Super Bowl LVIII: More than a game

Super Bowl LVIII: More than a game

The non-athletic highlights included Usher on roller skates, Beyonce breaking the internet and Michael CeraVe?

Usher performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Usher performing his historic halftime show at Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

From Beyoncé in space, to a talking cat, to Usher proving himself a timeless performer, Super Bowl LVIII had more to offer than just the Kansas City Chief’s history making third win in the last four years. The games commercials and halftime performance were also all the talk.

Usher’s performance reminiscent of 2000s R&B

If anyone can seduce an entire country at once, it’s “Ursher baby.”

Usher’s Las Vegas residency might have come to an official close in December, but the R&B star’s final farewell to the city took place during the Apple Music Halftime Show at Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night. 

Had it not been for the 330,000 fans and the astroturf marked with yard lines, Allegiant Stadium could have been mistaken for a Vegas club. Dancers in feathers, acrobats flying through the air, a full marching band, everyone dressed in elaborate costumes and glamorous suits. The singer was seated on a throne for only a moment before showing off his signature dance moves, reminiscent of Michael Jackson, complete with sliding feet and glittering gloves.

The performance turned magical when everything faded out and it was just Alicia Keys and her piano. A stunning red cape billowed off of her as she played the famous opening to “If I Ain’t Got You.” The Grammy award-winning singers then transported the entire stadium back to 2004 with their hit duet “My Boo” off Usher’s fourth studio album Confessions

Keys and Usher’s stage presence was magnetic and left the audience wanting more, proving they still have unmatched chemistry two decades later. They played up the flirting, teasing the crowd before Usher finally came up and wrapped his arms around her, the two grinning ear to ear as they rocked back and forth to the beat.

Usher performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Usher and company perform in rollerskates during the Super Bowl halftime show.

A roster of surprise guests followed, first with Jermaine Dupri telling the crowd to give it up for the 20th Anniversary of Confessions. Usher then went into the title track “Confessions,” “Nice & Slow,” “Burn” and “U Got It Bad.”

For these slower, sexy songs the singer chose to have it just be him and the mic, showing off his seductive dance skills under the spotlight. The performance rang true to the disclaimer jokingly flashed across the screen before the start of the show: “Rated U: May cause singing, dancing, sweating, gyrating and possible relationship issues.”

The crowd went wild when Usher removed his shirt. They got louder when H.E.R. appeared on stage, out of the smoke, commanding the audience’s attention with a guitar solo.

Usher performs with H.E.R. during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Usher performing with surprise guest H.E.R. at his halftime Super Bowl LVIII performance.

In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, many people on the internet speculated Justin Bieber might make a surprise appearance, given Usher is credited with providing the Canadian pop-star his big break when he signed Bieber to his label in 2009. While the Bielebers were in attendance at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, the “Ghost” singer remained in his private suite.

However, the headliner didn’t need Bieber for any wow-factor in his finale. Suddenly the audience was reminded of the killer collabs in Usher’s catalog that defined the 2000s airwaves, with Will.i.am coming out for “O.M.G.” Turn around and there’s Lil Jon and Ludacris walking up to complete the trio of the chart topper “Yeah!” which spent 12 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2004.

As deemed by Apple Music, it was a show 30 years in the making. And the show’s not over yet given the singer released his brand new album Coming Home this past Thursday, Feb. 8, featuring Burna Boy, Summer Walker, 21 Savage, Latto, H.E.R and Jung Kook. Paired with a commemorative Super Bowl performance, Usher Raymond has cemented his place as one of this century’s timeless music artists.

Super Bowl LVIII’s commercials turn up the heat…

If you’re not interested in sports, you either watched this year’s Super Bowl to stay informed on the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce saga, or you watched for the commercials. Super Bowl LVIII was expected to break viewership records and was even available worldwide, so brands certainly had to push the boundaries to make the most of their time slots.

Here are the most memorable commercials from this year’s Super Bowl. 

Cera Ve – “Michael CeraVe”

Cera Ve’s Super Bowl commercial capitalized on one of the greatest things Hollywood has given us, Michael Cera. The endearingly awkward actor is pictured claiming to be the creator of the Cera Ve moisturizing cream, saying, “Oh, you didn’t know?”

The commercial’s humor borders on uncomfortable, with Cera giving himself a massage (two Ceras are better than one) saying, “Let my cream hydrate you.”

At the end of the ad, the skincare brand does clarify that their moisturizer is developed with dermatologists, not Michael Cera. Bummer.  

Verizon – “Can’t B Broken”

The first music drop from space? A new Beyoncé album? Verizon’s newest commercial has all the ingredients to make a truly memorable Super Bowl ad.

To promote the company’s powerful network, Beyoncé does increasingly crazy things to try to break it. She opens her own lemonade stand, launches “Beyonce-AI” and runs for BOTUS (Beyoncé of the United States). This culminates in Queen Bey flying into space to perform. But, of course, Verizon still doesn’t break. At the end of the commercial, Beyoncé announces, “Okay, they ready. Drop the new music.” This announcement was not just for show either, as Part II of her “Renaissance” album is set to drop on March 29.

Hellmann’s – “Hellmann’s Big Game”

Introducing Mayo Cat! Hellmann’s Super Bowl ad urges viewers to “Make taste, not waste” by using mayo to save their leftovers. The commercial features Kate McKinnon wondering what to make out of her leftover ingredients, to which her cat responds, “Mayo” (whether the cat is saying mayo or just meowing is up for debate). From that moment, Mayo Cat is launched into stardom, even having a brief romantic stint with Pete Davidson.

“You lasted longer than most,” McKinnon said, poking fun at the comedian. Whether you love or hate the divisive condiment, we can at least all get behind Mayo Cat.

Super Bowl LVIII was memorable for many reasons, but if you don’t care about Taylor Swift or the Chiefs’ back-to-back Super Bowl wins, you at least had some great commercials to keep you entertained.