By Emma Campbell

Elm Staff Writer

On Sunday, Feb. 3, the Los Angeles Rams lost against the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl that fans described as “excruciatingly boring.” In what turned out to be a  national disappointment, Adam Levine and Maroon 5 headlined the Super Bowl 53 halftime show. They performed alongside Travis Scott and Big Boi.

Most will be unsurprised to learn that Adam Levine was not the NFL’s first choice for the halftime show. Rhianna was reportedly asked to headline but refused because of the league’s disgraceful treatment of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Rapper Cardi B turned down an offer to appear alongside Maroon 5 for the same reason.

The NFL probably hoped to avoid more boycotts by recruiting Adam Levine, who only performs music that is “soulless and inoffensive,” as stated by SBNation.

There are many words that can be used to describe Adam Levine’s performance, but perhaps the most fitting one is “bad.”

In the span of roughly 13 minutes, Levine gyrated his way around the M-shaped stage, emitted a series of feral shrieks in lieu of singing actual notes, tossed a garishly patterned tank top into the audience, and danced awkwardly beside Travis Scott in a way that one Twitter user described as “your typical white boy bumping as he’s pregaming to go out with the boyz.”

The multitude of criticism has not gone unnoticed by Levine and his bandmates. “We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better,” Levine said via Instagram.

If anyone who hasn’t seen Adam Levine’s performance wishes to view it online for the sake of entertainment, they would do better to skip ahead to the six-second Spongebob clip. Spongebob fans campaigned for the song “Sweet Victory” to be performed at halftime in honor of the show’s late creator Stephen Hillenburg, who passed away from ALS in November.

Instead of a proper tribute, Maroon 5 only played a seconds-long clip from the song as a transition into “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott. Fans who were hoping for a more heartfelt display were outraged.

A Twitter account called “Justice for Spongebob & Maroon 5 Boycott” has dedicated itself to getting justice for Spongebob fans. “Maroon 5’s first mistake was underestimating how seriously Millenials and Gen Z kids take their memes. Especially the meme king himself…Spongebob,” they tweeted on Super Bowl Sunday.

But was it the worst Super Bowl performance to date? Not quite.

Yes, watching a lukewarm band perform a repetoire of radio hits that are barely relevant anymore was obnoxious, and witnessing the disappearance of a different layer of Levine’s clothing every time the camera cut back to him was exhausting. However, Levine (as well as Scott, Big Boi, and the rest of Maroon 5) kept it apolitical and unobtrusive. If the NFL needs anything in the midst of the Kaepernick blackmail scandal, it is performances that are devoid of controversy.

The Elm

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