Will Her Superbowl Performance Be Controversial?

by Kadeen Griffiths

It might still months away, but it's never too soon to begin wondering who will be performing at the 2015 Super Bowl. After all, these things get decided in advance to make sure there's enough time to set everything up — and give people something to talk about until then. Rihanna, Coldplay, and Katy Perry were potential Super Bowl performers, but now they've allegedly narrowed it down. Neither Perry nor the NFL have commented on the news just yet, but Billboard is reporting that Perry is confirmed to play the Super Bowl according to their sources.

Whether or not Perry will end up performing has been in doubt ever since she gave an interview denouncing the idea that she would ever pay to play a Super Bowl. Rumors that the NFL was asking potential performers to pay them for the honor have been flying around since August, so if this story is true, then Perry either swallowed her pride or the rumor about celebrity payment was just that. While we wait for confirmation to come from a source that's a little more official, the only thing left to do at this point is speculate about the kind of show that Perry will put on. After all, her performances in the past have been largely hit or miss.

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

There can be no doubt that Perry is most likely to perform "Roar" as part of her set. The inspirational anthem was nominated for two Grammys and is one of the best-selling singles of all time, likely because of the sheer amount of young fans who identified strongly with its message. However, Perry has been plagued with accusations of cultural appropriation throughout her career, most recently when she dressed up as a Jewish caricature for her "Birthday" music video. At this point in her career, Perry's Super Bowl performance has an equal chance to be amazing as it does to cause controversy almost on a Janet Jackson–Justin Timberlake level.

But surely Perry knows that? Despite the upset over the NFL allegedly asking performers to pay to do the halftime show, Perry knows as much about the past performances at the Super Bowl as we do. Surely she understands that now is not the time to try "honoring" any other cultures by dressing up in their traditional garb for the purposes of entertaining other people? I'm not saying that her performance should be tame, but Perry is more than capable of putting on an amazing show that isn't mildly offensive to other cultures. We've seen her do it and, hopefully, at the 2015 Super Bowl we'll get to see her do it again.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Personally, I'm willing to give Perry the benefit of the doubt here. If she's really performing the halftime show, then obviously she's already willing to compromise with the NFL and meet them halfway, despite her interview putting them on blast. That shows the kind of maturity that will hopefully translate into a mature performance that's buzzworthy more for how good it was than for how offensive it was. Like her or not, Perry is a great performer, and any show she puts on will be worth tuning in to. Since the pressure might be on for Perry now, it will certainly be interesting to see what she delivers.

Image: Getty Images