The Super Bowl XLVI halftime show occurred on February 5, 2012 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis as part of Super Bowl XLVI and featured American entertainer Madonna with special guests LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and Cee Lo Green. Madonna's performance broke a record as the then most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history, garnering 114 million viewers. She also set a new record as the most tweeted about subject on the social network Twitter with 10,245 posts per second and was the most-searched term on Google during the event.
In December 2011, it was announced that Madonna would perform at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Madonna collaborated with Cirque du Soleil in producing the show, and was chosen in lieu of American recording artist Lady Gaga. Rehearsal for the halftime performance accumulated to an estimated 320 hours. The show was visualized by Cirque Du Soleil and Jamie King.
Madonna's performance was broadcast on NBC on February 5, 2012, from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The performance included twenty dancing dolls, seventeen main dancers, a two hundred membered church choir, and a drumline consisting of a hundred percussionists. Thirty-six image projectors were utilized to create a spectacle of lights, while Madonna wore 120 individual prosthetic eyelashes. The show began with Madonna being carried into the stadium by 150 bearers, who wore pairs of black underwear designed by Calvin Klein. She arrived atop of a golden throne, which weighed over 1,200 pounds, and sported a long golden cape designed by Givenchy; completion of the cape happened over an approximate period of 750 hours. Madonna performed "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (joined by Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. dressed as cheerleaders), during a medley of her past hits "Vogue" and "Music" (performed with LMFAO along with excerpts from "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It"), then an "Open Your Heart"/"Express Yourself" interlude followed by "Like a Prayer" (performed with Cee Lo Green). Once the show concluded, a group of 250 volunteers dismantled the stage in six minutes.
The performance gained widespread attention from the media, after M.I.A. extended the middle finger to the camera near the end of her verse of the song instead of singing the word "shit". The incident prompted broadcaster NBC and the National Football League to issue apologies. Madonna's performance broke a record as the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history, garnering 114 million viewers. This record was later broken in 2014, when Bruno Mars' performance at Super Bowl XLVII halftime show attracted 115.3 million viewers. Other records set by Madonna included being the most tweeted about subject on the social network Twitter with 10,245 posts per second and was the most-searched term on Google during the event. Madonna was not paid for the performance, as previous performers at the event have not been paid. However, a Forbes analysis said before the event that, with 30-second commercial spots commanding over $3 million apiece, the 12 minutes of free television exposure had a considerable promotional value to Madonna's multiple enterprises coming to market at the time of the event.
Reviews for the performance were positive. MTV commented that Madonna ensured that all anyone would be talking about around the water cooler come Monday morning was her, whether or not you completely loved what she did during the show.Billboard reviewed it as "It's Madonna Louise Ciccone's world, we're just living in it...The pop icon took to the world's biggest stage to rock three-and-a-half older tracks and a playful new song during the Super Bowl halftime show."Los Angeles Times said "Madonna was defiantly unconcerned with the more conservative red state wing of the football fanbase who'd never be caught dead singing along to one of her songs...and her halftime show was pure spectacle by the Cleopatra of the game."Chicago Tribune commented that "This was Madonna's party, and besides breaking off bits of her greatest hits to remind people of a time when she was the biggest pop vixen on the planet, she had important career-advancing work to do," the review noted. "Madonna, after all, never does anything unless she's got something to sell, and with a new studio album due out in March and a tour to follow, she had plenty on her to-do list."