Entertainment

Justin Timberlake Resurrected Prince to Save the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Justin Timberlake showed up for what the NBC crew insistently called "music's biggest night," and while the former 'N Sync-er's Super Bowl 52 halftime show didn't exactly enter into the pantheon of all-time great halftime performances.

With the game taking place in Minnesota, speculation swirled about whether JT would pay tribute to the state's most famous musical son: Prince, who passed away last year. The Mickey Mouse Club vet did not disappoint, whipping out a version of "I Would Die 4 U," to wild approval, as a gigantic video (not a hologram, at least!) version of the late artist billowed on a curtain behind him.

While the sound quality seemed like it was more "blasting out of blown-out car speakers" than "music's biggest night," the show picked up steam as it went on, with a marching band punching up the latter half of the performance. Despite the screaming fans around the stage, however, reports from inside the stadium were decidedly less enthusiastic: 
 

Most of Timberlake's set list contained his own songs, of course, starting with "Filthy" off his less-than-well-received new album, but it also included classics like "SexyBack" and "My Love," along with Trolls hit "Can't Stop the Feeling." Here's the complete list of songs he performed: 

  • "Filthy"
  • "Rock Your Body"
  • "Señorita" 
  • "Sexy Back"
  • "My Love"
  • "Cry Me A River"
  • "Suit and Tie"
  • "Until The End of Time"
  • "I Would Die 4 U"
  • "Mirrors"
  • "Can't Stop The Feeling"

Did JT earn his keep as the Super Bowl halftime star? Well, considering he got paid nothing to perform, it's difficult to criticize him too much -- and what do you really expect out of a 12-minute show that's not even the main attraction of the night? 

He could've at least shouted out Janet Jackson. 

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Anthony Schneck is an entertainment editor at Thrillist. Follow him @AnthonySchneck.