Bowl-Watching Celebs (Mostly) Gush Over Beyonce, Alicia Keys

Chris Willman
Stop The Presses!

Most of the big names weighing in on Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance loved it so much, they would gladly have put a ring on it. Or even volunteered to personally hold the giant fans that kept the Grammy-winning diva's flowing locks in perpetual motion.

The miming-to-tracks "scandal" of the inauguration appeared all but forgotten, except to note how little it mattered in the wake of the corset-clad queen's friendly takeover of Planet Earth. Here are some of the instant reviews from celebrities and pundits that came in via Twitter and other media:

Samuel L. Jackson: "I'm in the DON'T GIVE A F--- IF IT'S PRE-RECORDED OR NOT club!! B's putting' in WURK!!!!"

SNL's Seth Myers, after her strutting opening: "When they invented walking they never dreamed it could ever look that good."

Neil Patrick Harris: "I thought Beyonce crushed it. Amazing. Though I did feel a bit bad for the poor person getting flogged by her hair at the end…"

Former halftime performer Justin Timberlake: "Yes, B. Yes. Roasted that... #KINGBEY"

Josh Groban: "If the 49'ers are smart they're watching Beyonce during their halftime. #brilliant" And then, a few minutes into the second half, a followup tweet: "They didn't."

Bette Midler had a slightly mixed response: "Good for you, Beyonce!! That was great!... But I would have liked to hear 'Bills, Bills, Bills.'"

Bill Maher: "I saw an ad for Scientology, i joined, and then Destiny's Child reunited! That s--- works--thanks, Tom Cruise!"

Anna Kendrick: "Beyonce = everything. I'm dying. I've died. I am dead. #IRegretNothing"

Comedian Doug Benson: "This is so much better than watching the Rolling Stones die!"

Speaking of whom, another former halftime performer, Ronnie Wood: "Go on Beyonce!!!"

Kelly Clarkson, who last month was hailing for singing live at the inauguration while Beyonce didn't: "Okay so .....Beyonce just killed it at the Super Bowl! Holy cow she is so hot and sang her tail off!! Destiny's Child, SO GREAT!!"

Piers Morgan: "I'm calling it—best halftime Super Bowl performance EVER."

Nelly broke out the exclamation points in a big way: "WOOOOW!!!!!!!!! halftime show my AZZZ that was a concert!!!!! They killed it!!!!! CRAYYYYYYY!!!!!!"

Adam Lambert: "Beyonce just SLAYED THE WORLD w/ that show. Wow. Classy Sexy and Powerful. THE Diva."

Rapper Witness's attention was focused on a tertiary character: "Was Kelly Rowland always hot?"

Was the entire world ready to bow down to their queen and ultimate ruler? Not quite. Among the dissenters:

Carson Daly, of all people, went negative in a series of tweets: "Please nipplegate come back"... "Play the hits beyonce play the hits My dad just left the room"... "Are those 2 giant female faces gonna make out or what? #bored"... "Where's your husband?"... "Best part of the Beyonce halftime show was that Jeep commercial."

Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham: "Very family-friendly dancing S&M by Beyonce. What every girl shd aspire to. #waronwomen"

National Review/Fox News pundit Jonah Goldberg also joined the dissent from the right: "This is like the bad opening to a Bond movie."

Not-so-conservative bestselling author Anne LaMott spoke on behalf of at least a few boomers: "I know I'm getting old and will be retired soon; that there'll be sedation & leather restraints, but God I loved the Paul McCartney halftime."

New York Times columnist David Carr also wasn't so much into the glitz: "Think this infomercial for Beyoncé: The Video Game will go down as one of most effective pieces of marketing in Super Bowl history."

Country star Martina McBride wasn't down on the performance, just the murky sound mix, which did seem to de-emphasize Beyonce's live vocals, deliberately or inadvertently: "Hey audio guy. Turn the vocal mics up!!!!"

Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris seemed to think the Destiny's Child reunion was overblown: "I can't believe it's [name?] and [name?]!!"

Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot: "Destiny's Child advertising for their new dominatrix-boutique franchise."

Scribe Rob Tannenbaum noted that the other two Children disappeared almost as quickly as they'd literally popped out of the stage: "Back into the dungeon, Kelly and Michelle."

New York Times critic Jon Caramanica made light of Michelle Williams' (apparent) lie two weeks ago—that her ongoing acting gig would prevent her from taking part in the rumored DC reunion—tweeting: "Shouts to everyone at that regional theater performance of 'Fela' tonight."

But off of Twitter and on to the New York Times' official blog, Caramanica was more effusive: "So Beyonce sang live, which, well, of course she did. She promised she would during her news conference on Thursday, and one of the most striking aspects of her explosive performance at the halftime show was its tactile quality, its humanity. Beyonce is an overwhelming stage presence as a performer, but she’s also a warm and flexible singer. In the most intense moments of the halftime show – the runs near the end of 'Crazy In Love,' the chanting of 'dutty wine!' during 'Baby Boy,' the exhausted prayers of 'Halo' – what came across was the sweaty sound of working hard. A voice that sounded real."

Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson also drew raves for their show-opening patriotic standards.

Kelly Osbourne: "Alicia Keys just brought every queen at this Super Bowl party to tears!"

Samuel L. Jackson cited a legendary performance of the national anthem from a soul legend in the 1970s that Keys's performance seemed to recall: "J Hudson slays it as usual!"... "Alicia brings it too! Marvin Gaye's still da Dopest!!!"

Spike Lee: "Alicia Keys Is Sangin' Da National Anthem. Sing It. Sing It. YES LAWD."

Steve Martin seemed impressed by the epic length of her anthem, tweeting after the game started: "Alicia Keys is still on the field with piano."

Los Angeles Times writer Joe Flint also found Keys's performance rather, well, leisurely: "I think I have time for a quick three mile jog before the game starts."

Jon Caramanica of the New York Times issued a split decision: "J. Hud: range, power, defiance, slight instability; Alicia: precision, smoothness, calculation, zzzzz"

Industry blogger Bob Lefsetz thought Keys had been too overexposed by multiple ad campaigns to have any impat here: "Alicia Keys is the new Sheryl Crow. Showing up everywhere. Hey Alicia! There's a supermarket opening around the corner!"

AP music writer Nekesa Mumbi, like many viewers, found the applause that greeted shots of players distracting, as Keys must have, too: "Kind of awkward when the fans cheer when they show folks like Ray Lewis on the jumbotron during the anthem."

Miley Cyrus, perhaps jealous at not getting the invitation, had her attention trained elsewhere: "You know the puppy bowl is killing me softly."

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Did Beyoncé Need To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl Press Conference?

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Destiny’s Child And Other Girl Groups, Then & Now

The Worst Super Bowl Halftime Performers

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