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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Super Bowl 2011: The non-football-related winners and losers

By Jen Chaney

Mini-Vader, using "The Force" for Volkswagen. (AP)

It's the day after Super Bowl 2011 and everyone's talking about Christina Aguilera and Eminem. What year is this, 2000?

Seriously, like all big, heavily advertising-oriented sporting events, Sunday's Super Bowl produced some obvious winners and losers. And I'm not talking about any of the players or coaches from the Green Bay Packers (who won) or the Pittsburgh Steelers (who lost).

I'm referring to the celebrities and/or pop culture moments that either took the metaphorical Super Bowl ball and ran with it, or totally fumbled. And by fumbled, what I actually mean is forgot the words to the national anthem.

Here are your non-football-related winners and losers from Super Bowl XLV.

Related links:

Christina Aguilera botches national anthem

Assessing the Super Bowl movie teasers

Best non-football moments from Super Bowl Sundays past

Winners: The Black-Eyed Peas

The Peas don't possess even a fraction of the musical credibility owned by recent Super Bowl halftime performers like The Who, Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But the abundance of Tron-esque effects in their performance, not to mention the trademark Peas spunk, managed to make this halftime spectacle more entertaining than expected.

Losers: Guns N' Roses

By singing "Sweet Child 'O Mine" with Slash -- not the first time these artists have teamed up, by the way -- the Peas' Fergie again did a better Axl Rose than Axl Rose has done in years. Which is sad. And by appearing during a Super Bowl halftime show, Slash made his recent judgmental comments about "Glee" seem even more ludicrous. Dude, people who live on stadium stages with the Black Eyed Peas should not cast stones at Chris Colfer and co.

Winner: Eminem in the Chrysler commercial

Bridging the "Lose Yourself" rapper's Detroit roots with the automaker's brand worked brilliantly. Not sure if it will sell any cars, but it was an inspired piece of advertising.

Loser: Eminem in the Brisk commercial

A Claymation version of Eminem in an ad for Brisk, especially one in which he claims to not do commercials after appearing in two during this Super Bowl alone? Not quite as brilliant.

Winner: Gen X sci-fi nostalgia

Two of the most enjoyable moments of the night -- the genius Darth Vader Volkswagen ad (dubbed "The Force") and the teaser for "Super 8," which immediately shot the J.J. Abrams movie into Google-trending territory -- proved that nostalgia for the late '70s/early '80s Spielberg/Lucas era is anything but dead.

Winner: Alf

The NFL commercial that paid tribute to various TV icons was well done, honoring everyone from Fonzie to Urkel. Yet somehow it was Alf that emerged most victorious, briefly becoming a topic of conversation on Twitter. And honestly, when was the last time Alf was a topic of conversation on any platform? (Although, as at least one tweeter pointed out, would Alf really be a fan of the Carolina Panthers? He eats cats, for God's sake.)

Loser: Christina Aguilera

The person who has been roasted most savagely in the wake of this year's Super Bowl is undoubtedly Miss Aguilera, who got her ramparts all mixed up while singing the national anthem. Are online commenters overreacting just a wee bit considering that Aguilera has sung the song correctly on previous occasions and clearly just had an off night? Probably. But this is not only America, but America on the Internet, where no mercy is shown to honest albeit unfortunate "Star-Spangled" mistakes.

Winner: Lea Michele

Because of Aguilera's error, Michele's on-point performance of "America the Beautiful" looks even that much stronger by comparison. Hmmm ... was this all part of Rachel Berry's plan?

Loser: The overall "Best Buy" commercial with Justin Bieber and the Osbournes

After all the hype beforehand, this promo for the electronics superstore -- featuring some incredibly stale comedy about that feeble-minded Ozzy, not to mention even more Tron suits -- was kind of a bust. Except for...

Winner: Justin Bieber in disguise at the end of the "Best Buy" ads.

The barely recognizable, bearded Bieber cameo that closed the ad almost compensated for the rest of its blandness. But then, I can't resist the Biebs in cognito.

Loser: The "Thriller" dance on "Glee."

After all that advance buzz about an awesome performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the "Glee" version didn't give us funk that was worthy of two minutes of our time, let alone 40,000 years. Those famous prisoners from the Phillippines, not to mention hundreds of flash mobs captured on You Tube, have all done this better than the Gleeks did. Compare last night's Thriller dance to the Thriller from Manila and see if you agree.

By Jen Chaney  | February 7, 2011; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Pop Culture  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Lindsay Lohan facing felony charges; Shia LaBeouf in bar brawl
Next: James Franco as the Wizard of Oz?


I wish the Star Spangled Banner could be sung as it was written. It is disrespectful to put your own 'flair' to the National Anthemn. Please, no more screaming females 'interpreting' a song that belongs to all of us.

Posted by: amac3 | February 7, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Back to the BKD two posts ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 7, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Oy vey.

I'll comment on the commercials instead.

LOVED the Ozzy/Bieber commercial but without that end cameo it would be a fail.

I can't say I'm a Bieber fan, but at least he seems to know enough to not take himself or his image too seriously.

Give him a few years of experience in music & life in general & he'll be giving Timberlake a run for his money.

Posted by: wadejg | February 7, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

amac3, I agree!

Honestly, the only thing we're interested in is if the singer(s) can hit the note at the end of "land of the free." Whether someone can do the scales during OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM is not our interest.

Lea Michele: respectful, talented, appropriate performance.

Posted by: cfow1 | February 7, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Loved, loved, loved the pint-sized Darth Vader. Mostly because of the ending after the car lights came on.

Also enjoyed the Chevy Tahoe commercial where the Tahoe was Lassie. "I didn't even know we had a volcano." "How do you wind up in the belly of a whale?"

The Doritos commercials turned me off Doritos forever. Why would I want to eat something that makes creepy office guy suck my fingers? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Posted by: epjd | February 7, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? Fergie did a better Axl Rose than Axel Rose? In a halftime performance that was absolutely horrendous, that moment was the signature piece.

Posted by: SeanSF1 | February 7, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow! AutoTuning completely messed up people's definition of music.
Fergie's version of Sweet Child of Mine was so horrendous that Usher was saying OMG.
Slash's expression during his solo was 'god damnit, not even my awesome solo can save this!'

Posted by: CharlieFoxtrot | February 7, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

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