Justin Timberlake is about to get a third shot at the Super Bowl halftime show, a record for any performer. While it probably feels like a safe or tired choice to some, I’m really excited to see Timberlake doing his own thing that’s not at the mercy of Aerosmith or MTV. These are 5 of the questions I have in advance of him performing at Super Bowl LII.
Who will his special guests be, if any?
Timberlake brought out Jimmy Fallon for the official announcement that he was headlining the halftime show. With the Super Bowl on NBC this year, a Fallon tie in or cameo of some kind makes too much sense. How about an ‘NSync appearance? People would love it but I’d be surprised if it happened considering their reunion during a similar medley-type performance at the VMA’s 4 years ago. And count me among those who think it would be fair to include Janet Jackson somehow. After all, Timberlake’s career was unaffected by Nipplegate and Jackson’s has arguably never recovered. But I seriously doubt that’s something the NFL would sign off on, plus it was already brought up on Timberlake’s Sunday Night Football interview.
What songs miss the cut?
I’m always more curious to see what songs are excluded from an artist’s halftime setlist than which ones make it. When given only twelve and a half minutes what will Timberlake determine to be his very best material? Which songs will shape the concept and which will be deemed to not fit it? Timberlake has more than enough monster hits and some will inevitably be left on the cutting room floor. Will both “Sexy Back” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling” make the cut? How about “What Goes Around” and “Mirrors?”
Any homages to Prince?
The Super Bowl is in Minneapolis this year and even though it’s a global event, a tribute to the hometown hero would be a nice touch. Besides, so much of Prince’s music lends itself well to the biggest stages.
How much of it will be live?
The days of this answer being 100% are pretty much over given how increasingly intricate the halftime show gets. But Timberlake is a talented guy who clearly prides himself on being able to actually sing, dance, and play instruments. There’s also his kickass backing band The Tennessee Kids who added a lot to the 20/20 Experience Tour (highly recommend the Netflix special) and would be considerably better than just a pre-recorded track.
Will there be any new music?
JT has been in the studio for a while and rumors are there’s a new album coming in 2018. Including brand new material in what’s pretty much a greatest hits medley would be an audacious move, but Beyoncé did it two years ago with good results. Many artists use the halftime show as springboard for a new album and/or a tour so it will be interesting to see how Timberlake tries to capitalize on the opportunity.