The low-down on an imaginary 12-minute lip-sync bonggang-bonggang extravaganza. Let’s play fiction, shall we?
The biggest sporting event of the year is also, for approximately 12 minutes, the biggest stage for some of the greatest names in music. LGBTQIA+ sheroes like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry, JLo, and most recently, Rihanna have done it, giving us plenty of YouTube time as we keep replaying their performances when we need a workout playlist, nothing else to watch, be gay with friends or simply for a picker-upper.
In a perfect world, RuPaul and her legions of queens who have had a significant impact on pop culture would have a great chance of sashaying into the football field, purse first. After all, by entertaining audiences around the world with their unique and creative performances, these legends have done their fair share of promoting greater acceptance of the queer community
Now, let’s play make-believe like we used to do as kids in front of a mirror with blankets and a hairbrush, shall we?
The lights dim, and only the sound of heartbeats can be heard. Suddenly, a four-beat drum pattern and a funky guitar riff begin to thump through the speakers. The crowd (this is a utopian world, so everybody knows their Drag Race references) goes wild as soon as they recognize the song—it’s 100% Pure Love by Crystal Waters. The lights are dancing to the beat when Denali appears on the stage with about a hundred backup dancers. They launch into the song with precise moves and mix voguing into the routine.
Denali exits the stage when the dancers start to whip their hair back and forth to the song Whip My Hair by Willow Smith. The dancers begin to form a whirlwind of hair where Roxxxy Andrews will reveal herself wearing a Martin Margiela Spring/Summer 2009 wig coat-inspired costume in gold tinsels.
The song abruptly stops, and we hear a loud “wait a minute” from Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry as Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly make a surprise entrance by shooting into the air and landing heels-first onto the stage. The classically trained ballet dancer and eccentric performer engage in some playful back-and-forth while the backup dancers are giving Cirque du Soleil realness. Monet X Change follows with Pound The Alarm by Nicki Minaj, then a showstopping number by the incredible Alyssa Edwards and Tatiana, where we get a cutaway shot of Rihanna herself having the time of her life.
As the song fades, smoke quickly fills the air following a green laser light show. And then we hear, “Oh, y’all wanted a twist, eh?!” The crowd goes bananas as stunt legend Laganja drops from the highest point of the stadium. A loud stomping sound effect accompanies her landing, and then she says, “Come on, Super Bowl, let’s get sickening, okurrrrrr!” She proceeds to eat the stage, every inch of it, to the song Physical by Dua Lipa.
Season nine’s Miss Congeniality turned fan favorite, Valentina, opens her performance with Greedy and ends with a sultry and turn-heavy Into You, both by Ariana Grande. Latrice Royale takes over with Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in a Swarovski encrusted anatomy bodysuit reminiscent of a Jean Paul Gaultier. Wristband lights turn the audience into a giant LED display showing the likes of Aretha, Serena Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Kim Petras, Leni Robredo, and many others lip-syncing the song.
The song ends, and the lights go out. And then we hear the familiar pulsing rhythm of the intro to the song Dancing On My Own by Robyn as we see dancers running to the stage as if one with the beat. The lights flicker with the music and the beating of our hearts. With our fists in the air, we sing like it’s our national anthem as the incomparable duo of Jujubee and Raven slays the stage.
Right after the chorus, we hear the iconic “I’m the one!” from RuPaul’s Read U Wrote U. At this point, people worldwide have already lost their voices. The dancers take their places, and we see Alaska, Detox, and Katya launch into an impressive number that mixes impeccable comedy and a stunning dance routine. They are the only acts using live vocals.
As the song ends, Sasha Velour addresses the crowd wearing a vintage Dior couture with an armored sleeve from 2006. “To dream of a world free from discrimination and prejudice. To celebrate the pillars of individuality. Here’s to freedom. Here’s to liberation. Here’s to love.” A rain of rose petals descends on the stadium as we suddenly hear the mother herself exclaim, “You better work!” RuPaul, like magic, ascends from the ocean of rose petals in a custom, larger-than-life Valentino creation. We see people curtsy as a reaction to such a glorious sight. Mother performs the house down with the 90s pop-house anthem Supermodel. All the queens join RuPaul for a final act that’s giving a lot like Gayvengers: Endgame.
The crowd roars. Fireworks. Light show.
A gay boy can dream.