UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 15, 2024

DJ got us fallin’ asleep: why Usher was the worst part of his halftime show

Eliza Hansen, a freshman general education major from Syracuse, and Lauren Mainord, a sophomore biology major student from American Fork, watched the 58th Super Bowl halftime show together. Usher was the headlining performer along with artists Alicia Keys, wil.i.am, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri and H.E.R. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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We all know what was missing from Usher’s halftime performance, and that was a duet with the one and only Justin Bieber

As far as Super Bowl halftime performances go, this year’s show was boring — except for the collaborations with other artists. 

What would’ve made Usher’s average performance memorable is millennial and Gen Z icon Bieber singing “Somebody to Love.” It was definitely a missed opportunity, especially considering Bieber was in the crowd

Usher began his halftime performance by singing “Caught Up,” which is a poor introduction song. He needed a song to get the crowd going, but instead, he chose an average song.

His performance was immediately bombarded with backup dancers and performers who took away from his performance instead of enhancing it. It came across as clustered and chaotic.

I did enjoy the trumpet band playing when Usher sang “Love In This Club.” However, that was one of the few positive notes I took away.

Usher’s incredibly cute shout-out to his mom at the beginning and the collaborations he had on stage with artists Alicia Keys, H.E.R., will.i.am, Lil Jon and Ludacris were the highlights of his performance.  

Many people across social media platforms are talking about the chemistry between Keys and Usher, specifically that moment during “My Boo” when Usher wraps his arms around Keys. 

I understand the context of “My Boo” allows for some level of performance. However, the census is it came off as awkward and uncomfortable, which I have to agree with. It felt unnecessary.

With other collaborations in past years, like Beyonce and Bruno Mars, the collaborations are respectful and don’t come across as inappropriate. Beyonce and Mars did a dance-off, which is far more entertaining than Usher cuddling up next to Keys. 

There was little to no excitement in Usher’s show. Dances were chaotic and nothing stood out. There were no exciting props, extravagant moments or showcasing of Usher’s talent. However, we did see his dedication to performing when he roller skated on stage, which I was very impressed with because roller skating is not easy.

Everyone else stood out more than Usher himself, which is disappointing when I know his performance could’ve been better with a little more pizzazz. When H.E.R. ripped on the electric guitar, I felt all the exciting emotions one is supposed to feel during the halftime show. 

With halftime performances in the past, we’ve seen fireworks, numerous outfit changes and spectacular performances of the headliner’s talent. Usher didn’t even sing “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love.”

I would’ve loved seeing him perform that, especially considering it’s one of his most beloved songs. I remember dancing to it during my senior year of high school at homecoming. I remember feeling overjoyed and carefree. Every time I hear that song, I think of that moment.

Usher lacked the excitement and rush of adrenaline most performances have. Like when Prince played “Purple Rain” while it was literally raining, or when Lady Gaga came flying down from the sky, or when Katy Perry was singing on an enormous gold tiger

Usher’s performance should’ve featured some kind of attention grabber, something exciting that kept the audience’s attention. He could’ve had fireworks, a dance off or anything exciting at all for that matter.

Usher’s performance was subpar at best. He could’ve had something amazing, but instead, he had an average Super Bowl halftime performance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t memorable compared to halftime shows in the past and was underwhelming in terms of grandeur.

I know it could’ve been a better show and Usher has immense talent, but the performance fell short this time. He is more than capable of putting on a show-stopping performance, so whoever decided to not pull out all the stops for this made a huge mistake. 

His collabs stood out, but Usher’s performance did not have us shouting “Yeah!” at the top of our lungs.