Did you know that Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl jump from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium at the beginning of Sunday’s halftime show wasn’t performed in real time?
It turns out that Lady Gaga’s awe-inspiring opening number at the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show was entirely pre-recorded. That includes her spellbinding medley renditions of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land,” sung from atop the stadium overlooking Houston’s skyline, and subsequent “jump” off the roof and onto the field below. For Super Bowl viewers at home, the very next thing they saw was Gaga being lowered into the stadium via suspension wires, prior to starting her musical set proper.
It was at this point that Lady Gaga’s live Super Bowl halftime performance began in earnest. Inside the arena, football spectators watched the opening segment via the stadium’s large telescreens. During the pre-recorded opener, Lady Gaga stayed motionless while suspended in mid-air by cables that would lower her to the stage.
Another entertaining aspect of Lady Gaga’s high-up halftime number was the multi-colored exposition from the 300 Intel-designed drones that danced in the night sky behind the performer prior to her pretend plunge. Apart from Gaga’s personal safety during the death-defying sequence, this was yet another reason that the opening segment had to be pre-recorded, as uncertain weather conditions and FAA regulations prevented the drones from being deployed above a packed football stadium with a capacity of 72,220.
In an interesting reveal from USA Today, the daily newspaper disclosed the planning behind the Lady Gaga Super Bowl halftime performance and its unique, drone-assisted opening number. As described in the report by Natalie Cheung, the general manager behind Intel Drones, Lady Gaga’s intense plummet from the roof of NRG stadium was a feat that simply couldn’t be committed in real time.
“From a logistics and creative perspective, it’s a bit hard for her to go from the roof all the way down to the floor of the stadium.”
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On Monday, the Washington Post stated that “it wasn’t immediately clear that the stunt had been pre-recorded” to those spectators inside the stadium. The newspaper quoted a lady who had attended the Super Bowl in describing the initial confusion she experienced upon first witnessing Lady Gaga being lowered onto the field after the opening. Per the paper, the lady said that she “could not tell” where the performer was coming from at the outset.
“She came into the arena on a harness, but you honestly could not tell where she came from. […] I was with a group of 15 and none of us were quite sure where she actually came from.”
Below, watch a fan’s video recording of what Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance looked like from inside Houston’s NRG Stadium during Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
What did you think of Lady Gaga’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl? Were you initially fooled by her opening segment atop the roof of NRG stadium, and her subsequent pre-recorded nosedive onto the field? Did you think that Lady Gaga’s entire halftime show was performed live in real time? Let us know your thoughts on Gaga and the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]