The world had a lot of questions leading up to the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake this year. Would he pull another 2004 Janet Jackson moment and call it a “wardrobe malfunction” again? Would NSYNC make a surprise appearance? Would he sing any of their greats and give us a taste of nostalgia? (That’s always good.)
The singer/actor who rose to fame in the late 1990s/early 2000s, said in a Minneapolis press conference that he wasn’t going to have any special guests aside from his band, according to Reuters. And that held true.
“To be honest I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests. There’s a whole list,” Timberlake said, shutting down the Janet Jackson rumors with, “I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it. From NSYNC to Jay [Jay-Z] to Chris Stapleton to Janet. But this year… my band, the Tennessee Kids, I feel like they are my special guests and I am excited this year to rock the stage and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) February 4, 2018
“Without giving too much away we are doing a few things with this halftime show that they have never quite done before,” he added. “I have the opportunity to bring so many people together through what I think is the greatest art form, which is music.”
He also said that he hopes everyone’s dancing during the performance. (Guilty.)
When it came time to perform, in usual JT fashion, he pulled out all the stops.
He started with “Filthy” from his new album “Man in the Woods” and transitioned into oldies-but-goodies like “Rock Your Body,” “Sexy Back” and “Cry Me A River.”
Timberlake used every aspect of the field to his advantage — the turf for some major dancing, the fans for selfies and an array of stages, one of which held a piano.
— Sports Insider (@SportsInsider) February 5, 2018
Despite controversy, he also used a Prince hologram during his performance.
Prince’s inner circle, as well as his fans, condemned the idea prior to the halftime show once rumors came out earlier this week that the hologram was a possibility.
— Sharon L. Nelson (@Sharon_L_Nelson) February 3, 2018
In a 1998 interview, Prince said he would not want to use such technology to perform with an artist that was no longer living, calling it “demonic.”
— Andrea Swensson (@SlingshotAnnie) February 3, 2018
Twitter reacts to Justin Timberlake
Here is how Twitter reacted to JT’s Super Bowl 2018 performance.
Some people were triggered.
I’m really triggered with this Prince hologram right now pic.twitter.com/qvTt1vgQlk
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 5, 2018
Some said it technically wasn’t a hologram.
Idk if you call that a hologram as much as I would say it’s projecting Prince onto a sheet.
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) February 5, 2018
So Prince said he didn’t want to be used as a hologram after he died, so they went with a projection on sheet?!?!?
— Jonathan Cristol (@jonathancristol) February 5, 2018
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) February 5, 2018
But some still called it disrespectful.
Oh that was as close to a hologram as it got though. He just didn’t sing with him but it was there….Still felt some disrespect.
— Cathy Page (@cathyepage) February 5, 2018
While others called it beautiful.
I think the Prince tribute was tasteful and beautifully executed. No hologram.
— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) February 5, 2018
Some hated his dance moves. (*Gasp*)
— Knox (@KnoxHedrick) February 5, 2018
Others enjoyed his mic stand tricks.
— Whimy (@WhimyArt) February 5, 2018
Some seemed slightly disappointed that there weren’t as many throwbacks.
— Anth (@AnthMelo) February 5, 2018
And that NSYNC didn’t make an appearance.
— theSkimm (@theskimm) February 5, 2018
Demi Lovato even tweeted about missing the band.
But….. *NSYNC…… ?????
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) February 5, 2018
Some literally hated it.
— Luisa Haynes (@wokeluisa) February 5, 2018
Some were inspired.
Justin Timberlake just put on one of the most amazing super bowl halftime shows of all time. He is everything I’d hope to be as a performer and more! Thank you for being such an inspiration and idol of mine @jtimberlake ❤️
— Mara Justine (@MaraJustine1) February 5, 2018
And wanted an encore…
— Jaden Gray (@RealJadenGray) February 5, 2018
…because of his many, many talents.
When God was making Justin Timberlake do you think he realized how unfair it was to the rest of humanity or did he accidentally just pour the vile labeled “everything” in there and shrugged it off
— Mr. Fruit (@MrFruitYT) February 5, 2018
And then there was this…?
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 5, 2018
And for all you NSYNC fans, Lance Bass hinted at a reunion this spring, adding, “Awesome halftime Justin!”
#ToldYa But no worries, we will all be together this spring for the star ceremony. Awesome halftime Justin!
— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) February 5, 2018