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The top five Super Bowl performance entrances since 2014

John Simon
Anna Maxwell ranks her top five Super Bowl entrances from the past decade.

After watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, 2024, many viewers were disheartened with Usher’s performance during halftime. While it wasn’t the worst I‘ve seen,  I soon realized that the entrance itself is crucial in winning over the crowd during the performance of the year. Without a strong capture of the audience’s attention at the beginning, performers can sometimes lose rapport with their fans watching both in the stadium and at home. In the spirit of the recent Super Bowl and its supposed lackluster performance, I decided to rank the top five entrances of the Super Bowl performances from the last decade. 

  1. The Weeknd (2021)

At the beginning of his performance, The Weeknd could be seen through technicolor signs while sitting in a sports car and then entered the stage through a movable set. Choir singers were standing on it in rows, singing the chorus to his song, “Call Out My Name,” while the stage lights flashed during the high point of the choir singing. The Weeknd then began his set with “Starboy.” Overall, the entrance was captivating and powerful, especially with the inclusion of the choir. However, it was not quite iconic, which is why it is ranked at number five. There are others in the past decade that topped this well-done entrance by The Weeknd. 

  1. Katy Perry (2015)

It is not every day that people get the chance to see Perry riding into the Super Bowl on a massive electronic tiger while singing her famous song “Roar.” She wore a fun, flame-filled outfit and was surrounded by light-up beach balls that were most likely an ode to her song “California Girls,” which she performed later during her set. The entrance was unconventional, which is why it is ranked this high compared to others. The audience felt surprised and in awe at Perry’s ability to stay on the electronic tiger while performing, and remained in a constant state of anticipation throughout her performance to see what else she planned to do. 

  1. Rihanna (2023)

I think most can agree that this was a great entrance, and also an even better pregnancy announcement. Rihanna entered the stadium on a suspended platform while surrounded by dancers on other platforms, and slowly was lowered onto the stage as her set continued. She started off strong with “B**** Better Have My Money,” and continued with many of her other hits. Overall, Rihanna did not let her pregnancy stop her during her entrance, as she wowed the audience with a fantastic beginning that almost felt like an ode to Lady Gaga’s 2017 iconic entrance onto the stage. 

  1. Bruno Mars (2014)

Mars’ entrance was similar to The Weeknd’s, as it began with children on a stage singing “Billionaire” while hand-in-hand. The lighting was perfect to start, keeping the stage dark and intriguing the audience to see what Mars was going to do next. Mars then appeared on stage while mastering the drum set, following close with “Locked Out of Heaven,” including a jazz ensemble behind him, all in matching suits. The overall vibe of the entrance was very playful and set a tone for the audience to have fun throughout the powerful performance from Mars. 

  1. Lady Gaga (2017)

Lady Gaga never disappoints and she amazed the crowd with an entrance that no one has yet to rival. The singer began at the top of the stadium while singing “God Bless America,” and then proceeded to jump off the edge into the stadium and onto the stage to begin with her famous song, “Poker Face.” No one could have prepared for this entrance, but everyone in the audience felt extremely excited to watch what else Gaga would do during her performance. This is the number one entrance because I have yet to see one that rivals Gaga jumping onto the field with only a harness to protect her. 

Honorable Mention: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent (2022) 

Although I would not say the entrance itself at the beginning was good enough to be in the top five of this list, the show itself was insanely iconic, and due to this, I had to mention it. Many famous rappers were all together on the stage, and each individual’s entrance was done very well, especially including the separate rooms of the “house” that was the set of the stage. Due to each iconic entrance, the audience was intrigued and invested in the performance the entire time, especially to see which rapper they would bring out next. Overall, if the original entrance had been better, this performance would have most definitely been in the top three. 

No matter whether or not Usher’s performance excelled this year, there have been many wonderful Super Bowl performances and entrances, and it can be argued that the performances can only get better with time. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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