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J.Lo’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance Is an Obvious Oscars Play—and We’re Here for It

The ‘Hustlers’ star will join Shakira on the big stage one week before the Academy Awards

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

You want an absurdly flashy Oscars campaign? Jennifer Lopez will give you an absurdly flashy Oscars campaign. On Thursday, it was announced that J.Lo and Shakira will perform at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 2, and while this will not, in strict geographical terms, provide what Adam Schefter described as “a Miami flavor”—Shakira is from Colombia; Jenny, from the Block—that lineup already beats the RC Cola out of your 2019 performers Maroon 5, and that is all a grateful Super Bowl–viewing audience really requires. Well, that and a cameo from Pitbull, or Gloria Estefan, or Wyclef Jean, or Ja Rule, or George Clooney, or A-Rod, or preferably all of those people, plus French Montana. (“I Luh Ya Papi” is a top-five J.Lo song.)

This is probably going to kick ass. While the context in which Lopez performs is often surreal to the point of nonsense—it feels like a very, very long time ago that she anchored a daffy Motown tribute at, indeed, the 2019 Grammys—basically nobody is unhappy to see her, ever. (Ditto Shakira, who is globally famous to an extent that much of America still struggles to grasp, and who has performed at the last, like, 12 World Cups, though some of those appearances have been better than others.) J.Lo’s career-spanning Video Vanguard performance at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards is a helpful clue as to how she will approach the Super Bowl, which is to say with a bonkers, brute-force charm offensive light on live vocals but heavy on everything else, including the delight of discovering that you know way more J.Lo songs than you might think you know. (I refer you once again to “I Luh Ya Papi.”)

What this means, furthermore, is you won’t have the Super Bowl Halftime Show to kick around this season: This is a choice that somehow feels both forward-thinking and inevitable. The NFL’s habit of leaning on either classic-rock dinosaurs (see: the Who) or affable wedding-pop doofuses (see: latter-day Justin Timberlake) makes the Halftime Show a reliable target for internet schadenfreude, and the alternatives to this bill—Imagine Dragons? Post Malone? Queen? Hootie & the Blowfish?—are distasteful to imagine indeed. (Hootie & the Blowfish would kick ass also, actually.) But the Super Bowl can’t get it wrong every year, and the Super Bowl didn’t get it wrong this year, and in a few months, when the Browns are up 35-3 on the Cowboys at the half, and you are subconsciously crunching a mouthful of Cheetos to “Hips Don’t Lie,” you will thank whichever Pepsi executive whipped this up, and also thank me for telling you in advance to take the Browns and the over.

Alternately, though, you can read the replies to this tweet and note, amid all the emoji and all-caps delight, the occasional reminder that performing at the Super Bowl in 2019 is inherently a political act in light of the theoretically concluded but de facto neverending Colin Kaepernick situation. Remember also that Jay-Z is now serving as the NFL’s “live entertainment strategist,” and his Roc Nation has officially partnered with the halftime show, and he’d be both the flashiest and the strangest Super Bowl cameo of all, given his previous thoughts on the matter. But the megawatt excellence of J.Lo may very render both the halftime show’s rocky past and the NFL’s arguably rockier present meaningless, and doubly so given that her performance will also serve as the glitziest- possible “for your consideration” play as she campaigns for an Oscar for Hustlers, which opens up a whole new avenue of cameo possibilities. Best-case scenario is that the giant posterior from Lizzo’s appearance at the 2019 VMAs is being airlifted to Miami as we speak. Good luck, J.Lo. You’re welcome, America. Go Browns.