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Madonna’s Halftime Show Has Lovers And Haters Taking It To The Web

Go ahead … go onto your facebook and say you loved – or hated – Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime performance. Then prepare for the barrage.



Go ahead … go onto your facebook and say you loved – or hated – Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime performance. Then prepare for the barrage.


It’s actually somewhat surprising that is was Madonna’s first time performing at the Super Bowl this year – given her long career. But it was well-timed. She has a new single out, and one might also argue that she has recently been called to defend her title as the reigning queen of pop – as Lady Gaga continues to solidify her own reputation a music icon. Also interesting to note, it’s the first time that a woman has headlined the halftime show since Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction in 2004. (Can you believe that its been that long?)

But back to the subject at hand. Madonna, who in interviews prior to the big event spoke of how nervous she was about the performance – didn’t appear to be nervous at all on the 50 yard line, the star attraction on an elaborate stage that her team only had seven minutes to set up.

The heavily produced, choreographed, and effect laden show resembled something you might see at the opening ceremonies of an Olympic Games…. or Cirque Du Soleil… or, well… a Madonna concert.


Certainly, always a hot topic online and at water coolers at the office is the subject of lip synching, which Madonna was doing a lot of. (Much like a lot of artists these days, I might add.) But what she also was doing was a LOT of dancing that would have made a live song a little tough. The issue is one that has its supporters and detractors, so that alone will divide the critics from the fans.

Those fans and critics took to the web almost immediately to voice their support – or dissent.

The show opened up with Roman gladiators approaching the stage, and when massive shimmery fabrics unfolded, Madonna revealed herself on a throne – launching into her iconic hit Vogue. Background dancers mirrored her while the stage itself served as an enormous television monitor, changing imagery with each song. She then segued into Hey Mr. DJ  which included a tightrope dancing performer.

The performance took an unexpected turn when she segued into a song from another artist: Sexy and I Know It, with LMFAO on hand to sing their portion. As the stage turned into a staircase, she and a gaggle of cheerleaders launched into Give Me All Your Luvin’, her new single, which features Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.’s appearance. (Again, both on hand for the show.)

Give Me All Your Luvin’ moved into Express Yourself, with a guest appearance from Cee Lo Green, (who will appear on NBC’s second season of The Voice right after the game) before moving into Like A Prayer. As Green and Madonna rose up on an elevated stage, a gospel choir sang the background vocals. An image of the football field under the stage, complete with it’s yardline markers, suddenly folded up like fabric, disappearing under the stage (thanks again to technology that rendered the filed into a massive TV monitor) as she began the first verse.

As the song reached its climax, Madonna walked up to a platform, and as white light and smoke shot into the sky, she quickly descended underneath the stage, vanishing from view.

Suddenly everything – from the people to the massive set – disappeared, revealing only sparkling lights revealing the words “World Peace” to remain.

With that, Madonna was a trending topic on twitter… from radiant reviews to critical pans.

I like Madonna but I don’t belong to the school of “she can do no wrong” like so many fans of pop stars. But I did find it entertaining. I would never turn to Madonna for a stunning live vocal performance – but I would turn to her to be entertained. And I was… more than I have been during many other halftime shows.

So was Madonna’s Super Bowl half time show a hit – or a miss?

Vote below! And for more viral videos, music and entertainment news, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter!




Watch Brian Balthazar and Wendy Williams Talk About What’s Trending Now



Always SO much fun going on the Wendy Williams show to talk about what’s trending! In this case, the best part (for me at least!) was wearing a creating by art director Michael Lee Scott, who recreated the iconic hat worn by Billy Porter at the Grammys! What a recreation!

Brian Balthazar Billy Porter Hat



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Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!



Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.

Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.

You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!





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All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male



“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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