1. Madonna’s Halftime Show
It’s about time: The biggest pop star in the world performing at the year’s biggest televised event. Presumably, Madonna will be bringing along M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, both of whom guest on the “Give Me All Your Luvin'” single. And, if Will.I.Am is to be trusted, LMFAO might stop by too.
2. Kelly Clarkson Singing the National Anthem
Based on the concert we just saw, we’re pretty confident Kelly Clarkson will nail this. She’s even got national anthem experience, having sung at the 2011 NBA Finals. At the very least, seeing Christina Aguilera flub the lyrics at last year’s game should’ve scared Kelly into some extra practice time.
3. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Performing “America the Beautiful”
Chalk this one up to promotion — Shelton is a co-host of NBC’s The Voice, the second season of which will premiere on the network’s post-game slot. He’ll be performing with his spitfire wife, the great Miranda Lambert. Her participation pretty much guarantees this’ll be a lively performance of the song. For something more than that, watch this video right now.
4. Lenny Kravitz and the Fray During the Pre-Game
NBC is showing six hours of pre-game coverage. They have to fill it somehow. But I’m wondering whether or not the Patriots’ offensive line be able to withstand the vaunted Giants’ pass rush? How will Gronkowski’s ankle injury affect Tom Brady’s aerial attack? And why don’t more people realize that boneless buffalo chicken wings are far superior to bone-in?
5. Elton John Being Is the King of Pepsi
X Factor Winner Melanie Amaro and Flava Flav also feature in this elaborate ad, which will air during the game, and which features Elton John dressed in royal finery as a monarch who’s stingy with his Pepsi. Question: Did Elton dig into his own closet for his wardrobe? The ad has already premiered online.
6. John Williams Goes Dubstep
The composer of epic soundtrack anthems (including Indiana Jones and Star Wars) will see his 2006 piece “Wide Receiver” wub-wub-ified at some point during the game.
7. Mötley Crüe Schilling for KIA
This cock-rocking ad has also launched online. In it, a mischievous elf (or something? Gnome? Fairy?) causes some some Joe Schmo to dream about Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima and burning rubber in a Kia Optima while the Crüe play in the middle of a racetrack. Ah, the sophisticated techniques advertisers employ to reach the coveted “male” demographic.
In all seriousness, enjoy the game! I’m going Patriots 27 — Giants 20, but only because I’m trying to incur a reverse jinx. Look back at five of the Bowl’s best halftime shows — including Michael Jackson, U2, and the Boss — in our super roundup.