Beyoncé, Coldplay and Bruno Mars' Super Bowl Halftime Show — Grade It

Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé, oh my!

Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show included not one, not two, but three musical heavyweights — but did the concert live up to your expectations?

Ushered in by Janelle Monáe’s latest Pepsi spot, Chris Martin and Coldplay kicked things off with a performance of hit songs “Viva La Vida” and “Paradise,” accompanied by an ensemble of violinists and a psychedelic, colorful stage. (Admit it: You totally went “Oooooh!” the first time colors popped underneath Martin’s feet.)

On the heels of Coldplay’s most recent single, “Adventure of a Lifetime,” Bruno Mars and his leather-clad band took the stage for a reprise of “Uptown Funk,” which might just have the most longevity of any pop song, ever. (Fortunately, Mars did not have curlers in his hair this time around.)

But Coldplay and Bruno Mars merely served as opening acts for Beyoncé, who — alongside a troupe of remarkably synchronized dancers — performed “Formation,” the single Bey dropped on Tidal with no warning Saturday. Decked out in outfits that marked the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers’ formation, Beyoncé and her ladies popped, locked and twerked their way through the number, before joining Mars for a mash-up of their respective singles — and an incredible dance-off.

On the heels of a video montage highlighting memorable halftime shows from years past — featuring performers from Michael Jackson to Sir Paul McCartney — Martin rejoined the reigning R&B royalty for a rousing rendition of Coldplay’s song “Up&Up,” which ended with a shot of the Levi’s Stadium crowd spelling out “Believe in Love.” (Honestly, we’ll do whatever Beyoncé tells us to do. Believing in love FTW!)

What did you think of this year’s halftime show? Grade it below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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153 Comments
  1. Eric says:

    This made me weep. It was beautiful, but also a lot of fun. Very colourful, lovely performance.

  2. KC says:

    The sound quality was terrible.

  3. Phun says:

    Very nice performance!

  4. Pat says:

    All I can say is that it was FANTASTIC!!!!!!

  5. BrightLight says:

    Random question: Why do they make the video quality for the halftime shows now look like they are a music video? It honestly didn’t even look live even though I’m sure it was.

  6. Brandy says:

    Tears. Chills. Dancing. This seriously rivaled the Aerosmith/Britney/nsync show for me. So good.

  7. ninamags says:

    Well. that was total crap.

    That’s the best you could do, NFL? Really?? For your 50th Anniversary???

    Wow, that was bad.

  8. gloria says:

    AWESOME!!! So nice when music brings everyone together.

  9. Bryce says:

    I just cried like a baby. Bravo.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I wish I could have heard any of the singers singing. Could hear the bands and the screaming fans crystal clear. Chris Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars? Maybe a line or two.

  11. valeriel40 says:

    Coldplay was ok, Bey & Bruno stole the show! Love the “love” theme!!!

  12. Brian says:

    Loved it! And i’m not even a fan of those artists.

  13. Linda says:

    I must have watched a different halftime then some of the other commentators. Cried? Really?

  14. big cheddar says:

    You know you’re a boss when you get to perform what is possibly your most controversial song ever – that you just released 24 hours ago – at the biggest televised event of the year. And when will bruno & beyonce perform together again?

  15. poodleshark says:

    Beyonce stole the show really??? My husband said her “dancing” the deep bends and twitching reminded him of when our tea cup poodle is trying to take a dump and is shaking it out. But seriously, Bruno was the consumate showman as usual and Coldplay was great with their Psychedelic, hippy trip love theme. Show is over time to return to DVR binging.

  16. MGL says:

    Thought Coldplay was great!

  17. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give it an A. One of the best halftime shows I’ve ever seen. Don’t know which is better – Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars or Katy Perry’s performance last year.

  18. it was meh for me just like it has been for years

  19. teeveenerd says:

    Beyonce and Bruno were amazing. Coldplay was boring and Martin’s mic was too low (or he’s mealy-mouthed).

    • OhMy says:

      Wasn’t just him — the mix was awful for all three.

      • KLS says:

        He’s like this all the time. The sound mix was awful and reaching for the fans constantly was not good. Bruno was the best, but even his mike didn’t work initially.
        Liked the paper flowers. Show was a B-

  20. PDiddy says:

    Newest green screen controversy? No way Bruno Mars and Beyonce’s solo segments were at the stadium, right?

  21. wrstlgirl says:

    That was fantastic!! Loved how they use so many kids, it really added a nice family tone to it.

  22. TJ says:

    Puppy Monkey Baby grows on you. The first time I saw it …. disturbing…. but now I’ve seen it a few times and I giggle.

  23. That was absolutely amazing! Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno were all brilliant!

  24. Ruth says:

    It seemed Chris Martin’s mike needed replacing. You could hardly make out what he was saying, and the poor man was shouting. Bless his heart!

  25. Rebecca says:

    Best part about it was Queen Bey. Everything else was ‘meh’.

  26. Annette says:

    Best show in awhile loved it!

  27. Spignejr says:

    Missy’s surprise comeback last year was MUCH more iconic than this crapfest. The only reason I marked “ok” was Coldplay. But really… I feel like the producers tried too hard to make it iconic and it just fell flat.

  28. Tony says:

    So you have your choice of 3 acts as headliner: Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Coldplay. And you pick Coldplay? Terrible choice.

  29. Purty_gyrl says:

    Bruno Mars stole the show! It was better than the actual video

  30. Archiderp says:

    Opening acts?? Seriously? Beyonce got to perform ONE song. This was Coldplay’s show! Coldplay were the headliners.

  31. Celeste Franklin says:

    Not worried about sound. The performances were awesome.

  32. Diz says:

    This review is a joke right? She was the worst out of the 3. The Beyonce ladies must not be too brilliant. How many times did they have to be told to get in formation? I’m sure they had plenty of rehearsal time logged too…Not a log. I don’t have a log…not in the sence that you think I said I did. Good golly ;-D

  33. Adam says:

    It was a bit too much. Heck, I forgot that Coldplay was the star of the show but instead it was Burno and Beyonce. This was a real mislead halftime show to be honest.

  34. Bah says:

    Bruno Mars, will never be second best to Beyoncé or any one else.

  35. Denise says:

    That Bruno Mars… Gotta love him!!

  36. TVRocks says:

    Beyoncé has no friends. Friends don’t let friends dress like that. Not a good look for her.

  37. Phillip says:

    It was fairly good. The sound wasn’t that great and it was pretty short. Am I the only one who thinks it was a lot shorter this year?

  38. not a coldplay fan. would have liked more beyonce and bruno. their danceoff was the best

  39. Imagecrafters says:

    Uptown Funk all the way. Was that Mark Ronson at the beginning?

  40. Kate says:

    Best ever?? You’re joking ,right? Bruno Mars was fine, the rest was amazingly awful. . Lady Gaga upstaged them all – she should be the halftime act next year.

  41. Bounce ruined the half time show. Bruno was great. Coldplay was ok.

  42. J says:

    They were not dressed in band uniforms. They were paying homage to the 50 year anniversary of the formation of the Black Panthers (get it – Formation?!?!)

  43. keenen says:

    Just ok. I thought Bruno was really good

  44. Dude says:

    Great show. Coldplay was great. Beyonce was great. Bruno was great. Coldplay kind of felt like the opening act at their own show but that was my only problem. They chose great songs to perform and it was handled really well aside from the terrible sound issues.

  45. aram says:

    coldplay … awesome … bruno ..awesome …but did someone tell beyonce she needed to beef up like a lineman … to sing … she made the ground shake

  46. Jill says:

    Would’ve been better without that pesky Coldplay opening.

  47. Mak says:

    Incredible performance

  48. Lady GAGA did a terrific job! Also the half time show was great as well !

  49. Timmah says:

    Easily the worst halftime show I’ve seen. The sound mix was terrible, the performances phoned in.

  50. Connie says:

    Parts of it looked like it was green screened in. It looked fake!!