Beyoncé's controversial inaugural performance has me wondering about her Super Bowl gig: just how much rehearsing and practice is she doing before the big night?
—Dod Y., San Antonio, via Twitter
Put it this way: Just because you've sold 75 million records worldwide and performed countless concerts doesn't mean you get to parachute into the New Orleans 24 hours ahead of a Super Bowl halftime show and just wing it.
For the record, both Team Beyoncé and the NFL are trying to keep a tight lid on the halftime spectacle, declining to release many details beyond the main lineup.
But we already know, thanks to photos she's Instagrammed, that Beyoncé rehearsed in New Orleans with a team of dancers last week. And Bey was snapped just today heading off to another practice session. That sked is right on target, if the past is any indication; the Black-Eyed Peas practiced twice at the Cowboy Stadium field before their own Super Bowl appearance in 2011.
It's highly unlikely that Beyoncé just started planning over the past two weeks. In general, "rehearsals typically go on for two to three months in advance," including sessions offsite, a source close to the halftime show tells me. The Peas, for example, rehearsed at different high-school football fields before finally touching down at the Super Bowl venue.
Even the scheduling has likely been locked down for a while: negotiations for a halftime show performance begin almost immediately after the previous bowl ends, and most of the time, the final lineup for a halftime show is determined over the summer.
Overall, we're looking at, potentially, months of off-and-on work for Yoncy, though there's even more for the production crew. Before the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007, a crew member told a reporter that "we rehearsed moving the set more than Prince rehearsed the music."
And in case you're curious, know this: Beyonce is not—repeat, not—getting paid by the NFL for any of her Super Bowl rehearsal or performance time. She's only getting reimbursed for production costs—estimated at around $600,000 in some reports—though Pepsi is sponsoring her show as part of a $50 million deal with her.
As for those fabulous dancers that Bey photographed the other day, and the crew members who make them look so good, fear not for them: they do get paid out of the NFL's production budget. And they get the added bonus of working with one of the sexiest singers on Earth.