In just a few days, Justin Timberlake is headed to the biggest stage offered to musicians in the world, as he's slated to headline the Super Bowl LII halftime show. He's been in that spotlight before, but it's been a while since he was on the bill, and last time, things didn't go so well. It's been well over a decade since the still-infamous Nipplegate incident, and people will be watching very carefully when he makes his way to the field.
We'll be watching along with much of America, and there are a few things we'd really love to see on Sunday night...
1. Older Material, Less ‘Man of the Woods’
Justin is set to take to the stage just two days after his new album Man of the Woods is released, so there will absolutely be some new music featured on the setlist, but we’re hoping he keeps it to just one track. The three songs the pop singer has already shared from the project have been somewhat hit or miss, and showcasing all three would be a terrible decision on his part.
Sure, people get excited when someone as big as he is drops a new tune or an album, but the Super Bowl is not like a regular concert, and if he wants the millions of people tuning in to enjoy the break, he needs to stick to the biggest successes from his past, like “SexyBack,” “Rock Your Body,” “Mirrors” and “Cry Me a River.”
In addition to being a talented singer, Timberlake has always been known as a dancer, and throughout his career, he’s been able to incorporate some enviable moves into most of his video and performances. While choreography might not be appropriate if he plays a new song like “Say Something,” many of his biggest hits lend themselves to backup dancers and plenty of fancy footwork on his part. The pyro and massive sets will surely be great, but hopefully he doesn’t give up on the dancing!
Of all the things we’d love to see at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, the one that is least likely to happen is an *NSYNC reunion...but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream! The boy band that made JT a star has already performed during the halftime show back when they were still together, and since they went their separate ways over 15 years ago, they have been almost entirely inactive. They did reunite for a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, but beyond that, they have no need to give it another go.
Also, they’ve already made it clear that they will not be appearing during the staging, though we certainly wish they would!
4. Guest Stars
While *NSYNC might not show up, there are plenty of other artists who could pop up and help keep things interesting during the halftime show. While wishing that names like Ciara or Madonna would show up for one song might be a bit too much to ask, it’s not unreasonable to think that perhaps frequent collaborators Jay-Z, Timbaland, or Chris Stapleton could make appearances, given that they are not only superstars in their own right, but they have worked with the headliner on more than one occasion.
5. An Apology
Despite what some are guessing, there is little to no chance that Janet Jackson will make another appearance at the Super Bowl, as she has no good reason to do so. What we would love to see is some kind of an apology for how Justin acted during the fallout that followed the wardrobe malfunction he was a part of back in 2004. While her career took a huge hit and she was largely blamed for what happened, Timberlake mostly got away without issue. Since then, he’s spoken frankly about what he could have done better, but the Super Bowl stage would be the perfect time to show the world that he truly regrets how it all went down, and to apologize publicly.
Before JT takes to the stage, watch his former bandmate Joey Fatone talk to Fuse about how people really didn't know him when he was in the boy band that made him a success.