Katy Perry promised good, clean fun and a few surprises in her Super Bowl halftime show, warming up for the coveted gig with a briefing that was as much performance as press conference.
“I think I’m going to play to my strengths, which are humor, incredible joy,” Perry said as she looked ahead to the 12 1/2-minute show that has become a must-see event in the middle of the NFL’s championship extravaganza.
Clad in a football-themed, cheerleader-inspired pink and blue outfit, her black hair pulled back into a sleek tail, an ebullient Perry said she hoped the event would be a “wonderful, fun, not so serious time.”
“I look back at past performers I admire, like Beyonce who brings that incredible strength and Madonna who really brought some incredible graphic design and choreography, I think what I bring is just some light-heartedness.
“I will tell you, I’m probably the only person in Super Bowl halftime history who will bring both a lion and sharks to the show.”
Perry refused to elaborate after that tease, and also refused to be drawn on a surprise guest, although she did say the mystery entertainer who would join her was a woman who would make for “a real female fun night.”
Perry, 30, is known for her flamboyant costumes and such hits as “Firework,” “California Gurls,” “Dark Horse” and “Part of Me.”
– Flaming hot –
Although the show is short, she said her fans could expect to see costume changes and hear at least snippets of many of her hits.
“If I have 12 1/2 minutes,” Perry said, “I’m going to show off a few looks … the opening costume is going to be flaming hot.”
She fudged a bit when asked if she would sing everything live, rather than employing lip-synching to pre-recorded music.
“We have a very short amount of time to get everything out, we have a huge stage, I’m going to be using a lot of graphic effects, so we have to lay out a layer on the field that is almost as big as the field so that the graphic effects will work … but I think a lot of it will be live.”
Perry, a pal of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, says she has a soft spot for Seattle because of the friendship but not necessarily a great deal of football knowledge.
Still, she showed she was up to date on the talking points of Super Bowl week.
“I think I can assure everyone here that nothing in my performance will be deflated,” Perry quipped, a reference to the ongoing controversy over improperly inflated footballs used by the Patriots in a playoff win.
Asked if there was any player from the Super Bowl teams who had particularly caught her eye she took the fifth, in the style of Seattle’s media-shy running back Marshawn Lynch.
“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Perry said to laughter.
On a more serious note, Perry said she felt the responsibility of headlining a show that will be watched by so many.
Past shows have been marred by infamous nipple-baring “wardrobe malfunctions” or crude gestures that provoked ire from some of the massive television audience.
“I am not a self-sabotager by nature,” Perry said. “If there is news about my performance, I want it to be all about the music and female empowerment and that everybody just had a great time.”