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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Feb. 13, 2023: It was supposed to be the half-time show to top all other Super Bowl half-time shows. Caribbean born super star Rihanna, returning to the live stage after a six-year absence and choosing to make that return in the most coveted of time slots – The Super Bowl!

Rihanna’s fans were so confident she would bring it that they forced ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith to back track and eat, what now seems like prophetic words, three weeks ago.

Rihanna and her team also sold the hype and cashed in big time. From football shaped sponges in make up packages to silly t-shirts that screamed: “Rihanna Concert Interrupted By A Football Game. Weird But Whatever.”

Rihanna in her own pre-game interview with Apple Music seemed in that moment to understand the big responsibility that she carried on her shoulders – as the first Caribbean immigrant, the second immigrant and the 7th black woman to perform in the Half-Time slot at the Super Bowl.

The Caribbean and most of the world of football and music fans were hyped. After all, the 34-year-old Barbados-born dance-pop icon turned beauty billionaire has earned 14 No. 1 singles — more than Michael Jackson, Madonna and Stevie Wonder.

Many who were not even football fans tuned in – just to see the show. Everyone expected spectacular. A Bad Bunny Grammy performance with a dash of Rihanna. Something that put her Caribbean heritage front and center while still keeping the pop flair she had made her name on.

Rihanna performs at the Apple Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show held at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

Shockingly, the performance on what is undoubtedly the biggest stage of her life, fell flat, way flat. Flatter than Maroon Five at the Super Bowl.

Sadly, it was a major missed opportunity by Rihanna that could have topped all other Super Bowl Half Time shows. Unlike Bad Bunny’s embrace of his culture, Rihanna, who spends a lot of time talking about hers, failed to incorporate the vibrancy of that culture into her performance Sunday night.

That would surely have put her performance over the top and landed her into the Super Bowl Half-Time history books. Instead, what we saw was a half-hearted, half-assed performance – with the biggest news out of the night – was – oh by the way, she is pregnant again – some nine months after giving birth to her first child.

So, let’s talk about the costumes. Whoever came up with those costumes should be fired. It’s one thing to begin with those, but what about shedding those for Caribbean Carnival costumes and incorporating “Pon De Replay?” And why not switch to dance hall dancers as we came into ‘Rude Bwoy’ and invite other Caribbean stars like Shaggy, Spice and Sean Paul to join her in that set?

What if Rihanna herself shed that horrid space like suit and morphed into the sexy phenom she is? Ok, so yes, we learnt after the fact she is pregnant again, but so what? She has been sexy throughout her first pregnancy. Why be shy now?

While the ‘Shine Bright Like A Diamond’ ending added a little dazzle to an otherwise low energy snooze fest, what if she had ended with a shiny, Caribbean carnival costume and headpiece, shining bright like the Caribbean diamond she is?

There was so much more that could have been done with this performance and so many more ways it could have gone. Sadly, it looked more like a last minute, pulled together after thought or like the rehearsal gone live.

Sadly, Stephen Smith was right – even if he now claims diplomatically that Rihanna did a great job.  The truth is many preferred to get back to the second half of the football game. Weird, but whatever indeed!

Digital Marketing by Hard Beat Communications