Second only to M.I.A. and her middle finger, the other Super Bowl halftime performer who caused America’s collective jaw to drop was Andy Lewis, a toga-clad slack line dancer who defied the laws of gravity and wedgies while bouncing to Madonna’s “Music.” He was on the line for about 30 seconds before back flipping on to the stage, but within a couple of hours, he was a national sensation.
In an interview with ABC News today, Lewis, who goes by the stage name Sketchy Andy, called his Super Bowl experience “spectacular.” The California native has been slack lining for more than seven years, and though a YouTube reel of his work shows him nailing death defying stunts – catapulting off a slack line into a canyon (with a parachute) and walking high above cliffs and mountains (without a net) — Lewis called the sport “relatively safe.”
“The thing is when you’re walking over grass lower to the ground, you’re in control,” he said. “You don’t fall off; you don’t fall on your head. When you lose your balance you just step off. Relatively, it’s somewhat safe to learn.”
The Super Bowl presented entirely new challenges. Lewis found out he’d been chosen to join the halftime show in December and rehearsed every day since then, adjusting to his costume, the stage, and the prospect of performing alongside the Queen of Pop.
“It was scary,” he said. “You normally slack line between trees let’s say and you focus on the tree. And on this, all I see are flashing lights and Madonna dancing on the thing so it’s very, very distracting.”
If Lewis had fallen, he would’ve dropped more than 12 feet. “I would have probably broken my leg,” he said. But it was all worth it. “When you have that many people live there’s this energy that kind of gets put in to you that you can’t access any other way and it’s amazing,” he said. “The music, the flashes, the lights, the moment. It’s just a spectacular thing.”