INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Madonna won't explicitly say who she's rooting for, but her spot-on salsa dance in honor of the New York Giants Victor Cruz may have revealed where her allegiance lies.
At a news conference Thursday to promote her halftime Super Bowl performance, she was asked what she thought of the wide receiver's touchdown celebration dance and if she had any criticisms of his moves.
"I have no criticism ... actually, he's inspired me. I've been practicing," said Madonna, who lives in New York, before busting a move in front of the few hundred media members in attendance.
"Do you think he'd approve?" she asked after her brief performance. Madonna also leaned toward the Giants when pressed on which quarterback she'd rather have dinner with, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady or the Giants' Eli Manning. While she protested the question was unfair, she allowed: "I'd have to say Eli because he lives in New York and I don't want him to waste gas. "
Madonna's salsa dance was her only performance of the day; she declined to follow the footsteps of other halftime acts who have given a tease of their performance with a mini concert.
Madonna gave few details about Sunday's show, which is being "imagined" Cirque du Soleil and may feature white-hot rapper Nicki Minaj, who is featured on Madonna's new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'." (She promoted her song by announcing it would be available on iTunes Friday, and for those who may not have known her film "W.E." opens this week, a press kit was placed on seats for reporters).
"''I really don't want to blow the surprises," said Madonna, who only promised to sing three old songs and one new one. "I want people to be knocked off their feet.'"
The 53-year-old music icon is perhaps the most edgy Super Bowl performer since 2004, the halftime show that will live in infamy, as Justin Timberlake revealed Janet Jackson's bare breast during a "wardrobe malfunction." Madonna, who is as defined by sometimes racy antics as her music, once again promised no flesh would be seen during her set, and when asked if she was going to be "pushing the envelope," she said: "The envelope I am pushing is for a spectacular show which will, I think, entertain all age groups and will be a feast for the eyes and ears."
Madonna fielded several questions from reporters, some softball, some staid, and a couple bizarre. One person asked if she could confirm that her former companion and rumored boyfriend Alex Rodriguez had a painting in his house featuring himself as a half-man centaur.
"If he does, I haven't seen it but I'm pretty sure he has a rather large painting of me," she said.
Someone else asked Madonna, who admitted that she rarely watches TV let alone games, about the ankle injury to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and whether she'd be able to perform with such an ailment.
"Well, a lot of people would say I'm a bit of a masochist," said Madonna, who said ibuprofen and tape would have her ready to go.
The superstar said she stared rehearsals for the halftime show in December. She also said preparing for her set, which will likely be around 10 minutes, was the most arduous time of her long career, and perhaps made her the most nervous. While Madonna, who has lived in Britain, sometimes affects a British accent, she stressed her Midwestern roots and expressed her love for Indianapolis as well.
"This is a Midwestern girl's dream to perform at the Super Bowl," she said. She added that she'd dedicate her performance to her father.
"I was raised in the Midwest and he is the personification of Midwestern values," she said. "He gave me the work ethic I have so if I am a hard working girl that never stops it is because of him. I am sure of all of the things I have ever done in my life this will be the thing he is most excited about. "
AP Global Entertainment Editor Alicia Quarles contributed to this report.
Nekesa Mumbi Moody is the AP's music editor. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi