Justin Timberlake is poised to take to the stage for a record third time at the Super Bowl half-time show in Minneapolis on February 4. Some may be surprised that he got the nod to provide this year’s entertainment after the infamous Nipplegate incident that occurred during his last performance. Back in 2004 the term “wardrobe malfunction” became part of the national lexicon when Timberlake ripped off a portion of Janet Jackson’s outfit to expose her breast. But 14 years later the singer-songwriter is preparing to take centre stage once more at the greatest show on Earth and excitement is soaring among fans.
The sportsbooks are even getting in on the action: take a look at Betonline for prop bets and you will see that a range of them surround Timberlake. First up, there is a line on whether the word “Nipplegate” will be uttered during the broadcast. No is the -900 favorite, but you can get +500 on yes if you think the temptation to say the famous portmanteau is too great for the commentators. Other bets surround whether a wardrobe malfunction takes place, and the sportsbooks stipulate that an intimate part of the anatomy has to be exposed.
Even now Timberlake says he simply cannot escape Nipplegate, but hopes to “move forward and learn from it”. He said: “Naturally, that’s something we talked about [ahead of this year’s performance. To be honest, it wasn’t too much of a conversation. It’s just one of those things where you go, like, ‘Yeah, what do you want me to say? We’re not going to do that again!’”
Jackson was hit with a raft of negative publicity in the aftermath of the show, which resulted in her videos being blacklisted and her invitation to the Grammys rescinded. Timberlake has spoken out of the unfair share of the blame she got, and says he has now made peace with Jackson, leading fans to speculate that she may be set to join him on stage this year. Sources close to her have denied her involvement, and she is 200/1 outsider to make a half-time guest appearance. You can, however, get -140 on her name being mentioned under 1.5 times, and better odds on it being mentioned more than that.
Other fans are hoping for an NSYNC reunion as Timberlake performed with the band at the 2001 Super Bowl, but that rumor has also been quashed. Most likely to make an appearance is T.I., according to the sportsbooks, followed by Jay-Z, then Beyonce, Jimmy Fallon – who is friends with Timberlake – and then Timbaland. Another friend of Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, is next at +900, followed by Rihanna, Drake, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Ciara and Madonna. Great speculation also surrounds the shoe color Timberlake will opt for. White is the -125 favorite, with black next in line at +175. Then it is brown/beige (+700), blue (+1000), green (+1000), red (+1600) and yellow (+2000). Timberlake is also +350 to be wearing a hat at the start.
It is an exciting time for Timberlake, who has just released two singles, with an album due out on February 2, two days before the Super Bowl. The 13-minute set at half-time of the big game will be the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his star talent to the world. It is choreographed by his long time collaborator, Marty Kudelka. “He has his own style of movement that complements the way that I like to move onstage, said Timberlake. “It’s crisp without being showboat-y. If the ethos can be like, hey, for 12 or 13 minutes we’re gonna have a really good time, I think if everything spawns off of that, I think it will be fine.” If having a really good time means wearing white shoes and making nipples pop out, some bettors could be in for a profitable afternoon.