The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime Show: What You Didn’t See On TV (Exclusive)

With a full choir, dancers, and a custom stage inside Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, it’s clear that The Weeknd’s Super Bowl LV Pepsi Halftime Show presentation on Sunday was unlike anything he’d ever done before. Fans tuning in to the show over the weekend were able to witness the 30-year-old singer in his true element, performing a mix of his biggest hits on the world’s biggest stage.

While there were many incredible moments from the live performance, a lot happened behind the scenes as well. Now, ET is breaking everything no watch on TV!

Jesse Collins, executive producer of this year’s halftime show, told ET’s Kevin Frazier on Monday that The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) simply wanted to “start a show” with his epic entry. Any fan who speculated there was an underlying message would have to ask the singer directly, he said, as he was not aware of any Easter eggs in the performance.

“Abel wanted to start with a high production value. He came up with the idea for that opening,” Collins said. “It was something that had never been done before and he solved it with Pepsi.”

“It was this really cool concept of him getting out of the car and then taking it to the stadium by placing it in the Jumbotron,” he continued, adding that his “next step” was to reveal the choir and the city. “That was just a beautiful city skyline. I’d have to ask The Weeknd if there was any subliminal messages. [there] because he didn’t pass it on to me. “

Collins also revealed that the shiny hand-embroidered Givenchy jacket that The Weeknd wore during his performance (reminiscent of his signature After hours-was) weighed approximately 40 pounds.

“It was made with real rubies,” he told ET. “That was probably one of the most challenging parts of the whole thing, because rubies aren’t the most flexible things in the world. So wearing that thing, running, going up and down, singing live and dancing, it was really amazing how it was. able to do it. “

When asked about the millions of dollars The Weeknd allegedly invested in his own show, Collins joked that some of the money “probably” went for that jacket.

“I don’t know how much the 40 pound ruby ​​jackets cost … but I think it was a very expensive piece,” he said. “And for him, [The Weeknd] he had a very clear vision of what this performance should be. So he was willing to spend whatever it took to get every bell and whistle that was necessary to execute his vision. “

One of the most talked about moments of the performance, that the internet naturally turned into an instant meme! – was when The Weeknd did some dizzying camera work while performing “I Can’t Feel My Face.”

Collins confirmed that The Weeknd was in control of the camera at the time, taking it just to make that part of the show “feel different.”

“Obviously there is a camera guy on the other side, but that was something that he and our director, Hamish Hamilton, solved,” he revealed. “Like, ‘Let’s do something different. Let’s put a special lens on it, give it a fisheye feeling. ‘ Abel grabs it to make it theatrical, you know? It just felt like something completely different. “

A host of fans at home also had mixed reactions to the dancers swinging the bandaged helmet throughout the show. I specify it After hours-The look of the era (symbolizing Hollywood’s “absurd” culture) is one that The Weeknd has previously talked about, and has used himself, for the past year while promoting his fourth studio album.

“I definitely wanted to complete that thought,” explained Collins. “Those bandages also had KN95 masks built into them, so it was a great way to stay safe from COVID-19 while also telling the artistic story The Weeknd wanted to tell.”

It turns out that the use of dancers and choreography from The Weeknd was also a secret in itself.

“That was the first time The Weeknd used dancers in a show, and the first time he participated in dance rehearsals. As if he had never done anything related to choreography,” revealed Collins. “As the story goes, his manager, Sal, saw Kendrick lamar [2018] GRAMMY open with U2 and found out that Charm La’Donna was the choreographer for that. “

“Abel says, ‘Someday, we’re going to need dancers, and Charm will be the choreographer for this,'” she continued. “That was a couple years ago. Now we have the Super Bowl halftime show and Sal calls Charm in London. He’s like, ‘We have the halftime show, and I know you’ve never worked with us, we’ve never worked up'”. with you, but we want you to be our choreographer for halftime. ‘

Collins said he believes this being the “first” moment for The Weeknd also made the performance even more special.

“For him, having dancers and going to dance rehearsals and all that, this was all new. It was nothing he had ever done before, and he kind of shied away from it,” Collins said. “For a guy who’s never done that before, doing that on one of the biggest stages in the world and having fun and not feeling forced is pretty amazing.”

Lastly, Collins also shared how The Weeknd celebrated as soon as the performance ended: “We were on it. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers] Pirate ship just jumping up and down like we won the game! “

“I found him in the trailer afterwards and he said he just passed out.” “He said it was like before he knew it, he was on the field and he was like, ‘Oh my God, this is almost over,’ and then there was no time to think about that because that was it.”

Hear more in the video below.

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