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Review: Thank U, Next: Maroon 5’s halftime show was basic

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  • There are a number of words you could use to describe Maroon 5’s halftime show performance: Empty. Boring. Basic. Sleepy. Skippable. Unfulfilling. Unnecessary.

    And those who came to help save the day didn’t do their jobs: If you blinked you would have missed that Travis Scott and Big Boi performed. Even the gospel choir singer was a struggle — clearly they let the wrong one sing lead Sunday.

    Adam Levine and friends kicked off the performance as fireworks burst from a stage designed like the letter “M,” which should have stood for “magic,” because they needed some.

    It started off on the right note, actually. “Harder to Breathe,” the band’s amazing debut rock song, was rousing as fire blasts shot from the sides of the stage. Levine grabbed his guitar for “This Love,” while other bandmates also strummed away.

    It was all going well until a joke was uttered: “A true musical genius who needs no introduction.”

    That’s when Scott rocketed to the stage. He tried to rap — most of it was bleeped out — in a circle of fire, but his inclusion felt more like an interruption. Scott performed his No. 1 hit, “Sickomode,” and Levine awkwardly danced beside him, which looked almost as bad as Katy Perry dancing next to Missy Elliott at Super Bowl 49.

    But there was one Scott highlight: He fell backward into the audience and faded away.

    The rest of the performance went downhill like Scott’s body did. Maroon 5 performed the very terrible hit “Girls Like You,” making the already bad song sound worse by mixing in a gospel choir, led by a singer whose voice would make you walk out of church (sorry, girl).

    Each transition during the halftime show didn’t feel smooth, and Big Boi appearing on top of a car in a thick mink coat added to the bizarreness of the night.

    When he performed “The Way You Move,” it just made you wonder what Andre 3000 was doing at the moment. Watching? Sleeping? Probably sleeping while watching.

    You probably had similar thoughts when Scott was onstage and Drake’s vocals played at the beginning of “Sickomode” — wishing the show had a real superstar like Drizzy to give an epic performance.

    Those thoughts lingered again when Levine sang “Moves Like Jagger.” WHERE IS MICK JAGGER RIGHT NOW AND CAN HE PERFORM? Any of the Stones would do, actually.

    Who probably should have headlined the halftime show? Gladys Knight.

    She scored a touchdown with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”: The legend’s voice shined brightly as she hit all the right notes ahead of the big game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.

    R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle were also in top-notch form: They harmonized like a veteran girl group as they sang “America the Beautiful” at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The group, nominated for two Grammys at next week’s show including best new artist, are signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment.

    Noise and controversy surrounded this year’s Super Bowl since some have boycotted the NFL over treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback who protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. Some performers declined participation in the Super Bowl as a result.

    Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press











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    National Entertainment

    Loughlin, Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam

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  • BOSTON — Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in the sweeping college admissions bribery scam, according to court documents filed Monday.

    Loughlin and Giannulli said they are waiving their right to appear in Boston federal court for their arraignment and plead not guilty to the two charges against them. The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear.

    The couple is charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

    Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and Giannulli haven’t publicly addressed the allegations against them.

    They are among 50 people charged in the nationwide scam, which authorities say also involved rigging college entrance exam scores.

    It’s the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot.

    The couple and more than a dozen other parents were hit last week with a money laundering conspiracy charge on top of the mail fraud conspiracy charge they were already facing. Several other indicted parents have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

    Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and 12 other parents have agreed to plead guilty . Huffman is scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21 to enter her plea.

    Rick Singer, the consultant at the centre of the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-called Operations Varsity Blues investigation.

    Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press



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    National Entertainment

    Guess who’s moving?Burton Cummings complained of noise from dance studio

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  • MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A Saskatchewan fitness studio is moving after multiple noise complaints from Canadian rock legend Burton Cummings.

    Kyra Klassen, who owns Dance Fitness with Kyra in downtown Moose Jaw, says she’s ready for a fresh start and the studio is changing locations May 1.

    “It’s disappointing it had to escalate to this. However, we are super thankful and feel blessed by the outpouring of support from our community,” Klassen said in a message Friday.

    “We are excited to be able to move forward and get back to doing what we love to do: serving the fitness needs of Moose Jaw and area.”

    Klassen said she moved into the mixed-use building nearly one year ago. The Guess Who singer lives in a neighbouring residential building.

    There were no problems for the first five months, but then Klassen said she started to get messages, complaints and visits from Cummings himself.

    Klassen has said she worked with her landlord to add soundproofing to the studio and didn’t think she was breaking any laws.

    Police eventually laid six noise bylaw charges. She is to appear in court April 18.

    The dispute also led city council to look at zoning in the area. During a council meeting March 11, a motion was unanimously approved to prepare a report re-evaluating how business licences are issued in areas of the city’s commercial district where there are also residential properties.

    A manager for Cummings has said the musician had no comment on the situation.

    Klassen said she was shocked the dispute went so far. To keep everyone’s best interest at heart, she realized she couldn’t share the land with the singer.

    “We are moving and super excited about it,” she said.

    “Moving forward and starting fresh!”

    Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press


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