Madonna/Gaga/Katy: Really, what’s the diff?

Didn’t watch Super Bowl. Partook of the partay food, but didn’t actually turn on the game until the fourth quarter.

So missed Madonna’s halftime show. Yawn.

Madonna then.

Back in the day, she seemed fresh — in all senses of the word — at first. On second glance, her shocking-for-the-sake-of-shocking persona eclipsed her talent, so I stopped paying attention. And that was a long time ago.

But according to all the buzz, I’d apparently missed quite a Super Bowl show.

Still didn’t care until I came across this review. It blasted those — especially baby boomers — who thought her unabashed attempt to be her old self was empowering at her age.

And talked about how shameful and embarrassing it was that she was lasciviously flirting with guys young enough to be her sons.  How dare she! She’s  … drum roll … 53!

Superbowl 2012/Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

From what I saw on YouTube, there was nothing to be incensed about. Or even excited about. It was just Madonna doing  the same old thing she did when she was a young thing.

Here’s the thing: If I didn’t know her real age, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint it. So she showed lots of leg and a little something extra. Big deal. Her legs looked more toned than some women half her age. Hey I oughta know: I’ve perused enough celeb cellulite tabloid horrors in the checkout line.

To blur the issue even more, she was overshadowed by makeup, pyrotechnics, aerial shots of a blinking electronic floor  and a cast of thousands. She looked like a piece in an elaborate board game.

I’m Madonna’s age, plus some. And I was neither awed nor shocked. I was as underwhelmed as I’ve ever been by her. It was as cheesy as the halftime snacks. But at least they were satisfying.

She did what she was there to do: entertain the football crowd. It was so tame, I saw nothing cringe-worthy about her performance. But I did wince at the admonishment that she shouldn’t be carrying on that way at her age.

Lady Gaga/MTV

How is she really that much different than Lady Gaga, who, I’ll admit, has some depth, but it gets somewhat muddled, IMO, by dressing like a filet mignon. May sound hard to believe, but I could never really tell how old she was, either, with all those trimmings.


Or Katy Perry, a hardened version of Zooey Deschanel. Perry’s a big, fat zero without the musical and visual effects — usually emanating from her chest.

Despite Madonna being old enough to be their mom, they all oddly have one thing in common: All shtick and very little substance.

Adele/AP, Joel Ryan

What would I have preferred? Adele, in a simple setting, simply singing. Given her vocal surgery, she may not have been  up to it. But even if she had, she’s now been proclaimed too fat.


Or — yes I’m showing my age, and I don’t care — Bonnie Raitt. Singing her heart out about love and loss. Just her,  telling a human tale. Minus all the gimmicks. What a concept.

Now that would speak to me.

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