Twelve thousand dollars for a single seat; three million for a box; 1.4 million chicken wings; Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Ben Affleck selling donuts; It can only be one thing: the Superbowl.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also made fun of us. At one point we were told they might be “in the building” (the building was Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas), but neither hair nor hair made it there.
It’s not like them to miss the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of America’s biggest players, both on and off the court. It must have been a prior commitment, or perhaps a childcare emergency. Surely they couldn’t be NFI for the NFL?
It doesn’t matter. The night was a glorious reminder that, despite being led by a man who can’t tell the difference between Egypt and Mexico, the United States is still very good when it comes to putting on a show for the watching world.
Some 115 million viewers, including yours truly, tuned in to watch the Kansas Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in a thrilling showdown. That’s more than the monthly bill for Swift’s private jet.
The Super Bowl win certainly went to Swift, whose blinding star power is such that she seems to obscure everyone around her, writes Sarah Vine. She hugged her Chiefs star boyfriend, Travis Kelce, at the end of the game.
Taylor Swift, 34, was accompanied by her friend Blake Lively, 36, as she cheered on her boyfriend Travis Kelce, 34.
At one point, the public was told that Harry and Meghan might be “in the building” (the building is Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas), but that didn’t appear to be the case.
I must confess that I had never heard of either team before last night, and was only vaguely aware of the existence of one Travis Kelce, boyfriend of the aforementioned.
Having never seen a single American football match, I was also a little taken aback by the action on the field, which seemed much more like rugby than soccer, but I guess that’s just semantics. As for the rules, they seemed even more baffling than cricket.
If the British have Wimbledon, the Americans have the Superbowl, both in their own way as expressions of national culture and as sporting events.
We like to show the world what we stand for in a polite context of strawberries and cream, rain and soft applause on the court; Americans go all out with Dunkin Donuts, dry ice, scantily clad dancers, and a headache-inducing soundtrack.
Last night’s show began with the somewhat bizarre performance of rapper Post Malone, complete with face tattoos and metal teeth, singing a staccato version of ‘America’ on an acoustic guitar.
This was followed by veteran country and western star Reba McEntire singing the national anthem (cut to Taylor clutching her chest), a task she performed admirably given her entire face seemed almost unable to move.
We’re told Swift’s presence would bring a whole new audience of ‘Swifties’ into the game, intent on checking in on their idol. Her legions of fans aren’t too happy about her romance with Kelce and, given her general demeanor, it’s not hard to see why.
At one point in the first half, frustrated with how the game was going, he pushed his 65-year-old coach in the most unsportsmanlike manner. Up in his box, Taylor downed her drink in one go and the crowd went wild.
Ever the gamer, she took the opportunity to network on her own, fangirling over Paul McCartney (who wouldn’t?) and debunking rumors of a breakup with Lana Del Rey, whom some thought she had recently snubbed at the Grammys.
As a result, there’s been quite a bit of conflict online between Lana and Taylor fans, so it was smart of her to be seen arm in arm, despite supporting opposing teams.
No wonder Kanye West, in attendance with his new ‘wife’ Bianca (for once wearing some clothes) arrived wearing a face mask, presumably to protect her eyes from his power rays, writes Sarah Vine.
Also among the stars in the audience were Beyonce and Jay-Z, pictured, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Ben Affleck.
Aside from ‘football’, the big event of the night is the half-time show. Last year it was Rihanna, in an iconic performance in which she revealed her latest pregnancy; A couple of years earlier, Dr Dre, Eminem and Snoop Dog put on a truly memorable performance.
Last night it was R&B star Usher’s turn, and I’m afraid he wasn’t in the same league. There were quite a few sound issues and despite his impressive dance moves, it all seemed a bit flat.
Yes, he took off his sparkly tank top to reveal his pecs, yes, he skated in sequins, yes, he made all the right noises and moves, but even with Alicia Keys, Will.I.Am and a whole circus troupe. artists to support him, he still couldn’t win the night.
That victory undoubtedly went to Swift, whose blinding star power is such that she seems to obscure everyone around her. It’s no surprise that Kanye West, in attendance with his new ‘wife’ Bianca (for once wearing some clothes), arrived wearing a face mask, presumably to protect her eyes from her power rays.
If the presence of her one-time nemesis disturbed her, she didn’t show it. She ended the night in the arms of her new lover, kissing him passionately after her team narrowly stole the trophy from the 49ers in a move that will have sent her fans into a frenzy.
He was clearly a gladiator: he, the undisputed champion in the arena, mighty in victory; she his muse, his inspiration, his lucky charm. Honestly, his own agent couldn’t have written it better. Once again, Swift makes history by becoming the first woman to win the Superbowl.