So there we were, the three amigos, hanging out on the Super Bowl XLIV sidelines of Sun Life Stadium: Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and yours truly. Okay, there might have been a few others in our vicinity, and neither actor had any idea I was there.
But as the paparazzi jammed Nikons up their noses — poor Demi is so little, so wee, who knew? — I tried to bogart the snaps, leaning in, grinning big.
And why not? The pregame sidelines of the Big Game are utterly ridiculous, stuffed with cheerleaders and journos and lookie loos. Oh, and stars. Lots of stars. All standing next to the players themselves. Nuts, I tell you.
While waiting to get onto the field, I was passed by Brad Pitt, who cried out "Saints, baby!" to the slobbering press. Gloria Estefan buzzed us in a golf cart. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes took the most thrilling escalator ride ever.
It was so much ridiculous, stoopid fun, I pretty much forgot why I was there in the first place. Oh yeah, the singing. Here are a few dizzied thoughts on the pregame music. Why dizzied? Because as I write this, Playboy star Kendra Wilkinson is in the suite next to the press box. She's purrrty.
A ROYAL MESS: When it was first announced that Queen Latifah was hired to sing God Bless America, my initial hope was that she would rap it. Crazy? Maybe. But that would have been a lot more inspired than her hammy, clunky take on Sunday. It obviously caused her such discomfort, the 39-year-old ripped her earpiece out almost instantly. Was she lip-synching? Probably. But while her vocal was fine, her gesticulating bordered on the mime-ish.
UNDERWOOD UNDERSTATED: Dressed like an extra from a 1970s sci-fi flick, Carrie Underwood kept things simple and spare with her rendition of the national anthem. I thought I heard her hitch her breath. Was she singing live? Probably not. The NFL leaves little to chance save the final score of the game itself. Carrie was probably prerecorded. Whatever the case, kudos to her for relying on subtle inflection instead of belting. Or, you know, miming.
DAUGHTRY'S HOT 'DO! Wallet-chained rocker Chris Daughtry and classic-rock soulster Steve Winwood performed hourlong pregame sets outside the stadium at the NFL Tailgate Party. Daughtry's show was particularly interesting, if only because the former American Idol-ist is now Chia-headed. Yep, the Bald Wonder is sporting dark brown fuzz on his infamously smooth melon. At one point, Daughtry complained of the gusty weather, "This wind is messing with me!" It wasn't clear, however, if that was because he's now far less aerodynamic.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.