Halftime Wishlist: Six Super Bowl performances that would be awesome but probably won’t happen

Choosing a performer can’t be easy for the NFL.

The majority of us watched as Queen Katy Perry slayed us with her dancing sharks, Wii remote microphone and enormous chrome tiger puppet (“The Lion King” on Broadway, anyone?) in the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show. It was easily one of the better halftime shows I’ve seen in my short lifetime, but it made me think about other performers I would like to see in the future.

Choosing a performer can’t be easy for the NFL. Thanks to past scandals, of course, there must be a balance between popularity of the chosen act and lack of controversial material he or she will produce. There is a very specific formula for choosing artists worthy of a successful halftime performance. They must be family friendly, massively popular, recently relevant, able to pump up an enormous crowd, perform mostly if not all high-energy up-tempo songs and, in most cases, they can dance. They also must have some high profile friends to join them onstage as special, sometimes surprise guests.

But let’s be real, most of the artists we want to see are not necessarily the ones NBC would deem acceptable for children. So here are a few of the artists I see as worthy of the halftime show—and the increased album/track sales that follow the exposure:

1. Justin Timberlake

I think general consensus would consider Bruno Mars’ performance at the 2014 Super Bowl one of the really good if not great ones. So why not hop on a similar bandwagon and bring on Justin Timberlake? Not only is he beautiful, capable of family friendly content and exceptionally talented live, Timberlake could bring along his friends and tour mates The Tennessee Kids for some live tunes. He without a doubt knows how to get a crowd on its feet, not to mention the unlimited guests he could potentially shock us with—a repeat ‘N Sync reunion anyone?

2. Taylor Swift

As long as Pepsi is a major sponsor the halftime show and Taylor Swift is the face of Coke, this is a completely unrealistic choice. But just imagine how perfect a crop-topped, sassy Swift would be strutting around the stadium in front of the largest audience of the year and the thought of any one of her A-list best friends could appear. Her insane album sales for “1989” should be reason enough for Swift to be a top choice—maybe even a major reason Pepsi brought in Swift’s known rival, Perry. But it is unlikely we will ever be so lucky to get the red lip, classic thing that we like in a halftime show.

3. Beyoncé

Yeah, so we’ve seen it before, but no two Beyoncé performances are ever the same. Plus who could complain about the queen? Of course, her material has developed a more adult context, but really it’s just a lot less subtle than it was before. Let the woman bring back Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Let her bring Jay Z. Bring back the true queen of the music world.

4. Kanye West

I know, Kanye West as a Super Bowl performer is more impossible than Taylor Swift. He’s obnoxious. He’s a jerk. He’s the most intentionally controversial artist out there right now. Realistically he could never do a live performance on a broadcast network. But in the imaginary world in my head where anything is possible, Yeezy brings his unmatched production skills to create the most mind-blowing, the most thought-provoking and a little disturbing spectacle to ever appear on a football field.

5. OutKast

Because we need some groups in these shows, who better than the recently reunited hip hop duo OutKast? André 3000 and Big Boi have made the festival rounds, so they know how to amp up a huge crowd. Combined with an endless number of potential collaborators, OutKast needs a Super Bowl show if for no other reason than to educate the children who do not yet know who they are or what  “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” means.

6. Ariana Grande

I don’t believe Ariana Grande, though she had the biggest songs of the summer, is quite ready to take the halftime stage yet. However, she is quite evidently a rising star in the pop world heading straight for the crown. Her smooth R&B, belting abilities and deafening high notes have made her into a major pop act. With a few tours under her belt and maybe a few more major hits (and hopefully she holds onto boyfriend Big Sean) Grande will be able to seal the deal and deliver a halftime performance to rival some of the best.

Honorable Mentions

Some others I would love to see who will never make it to Super Bowl-level superstardom include Pentatonix (football and a cappella, what more could you need?), Charli XCX (she could kill a Super Bowl performance) and Lorde (who is too obscure and nonconventional for the show).

Codi Mohr can be contacted at [email protected]