independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Sandy Hook survivors perform at the Super Bowl

Survivors of the Sandy Hook school massacre have performed on the field at the Superbowl, giving an emotional rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ with singer Jennifer Hudson.

The 26 schoolchildren wore green ribbons, in honour of the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage at the school in Newton, Connecticut.

The performance had some players on the sideline, and many members of the audience, on the verge of tears.

"We have come to New Orleans to represent the Sandy Hook family and the community of Newtown, Connecticut," a statement from the school said.

"Our wish is to demonstrate to America and the world that, 'We are Sandy Hook and we choose love."

The performance drew a thunderous round of applause from the stands.

Alicia Keys sang the national anthem, and Beyonce, joined by members of her former group Destiny's Child, gave a spectacular performance at half-time. Days after admitting to singing to a pre-recorded track at President Barack Obama's inauguration, Beyonce sang a medley of her hits, including Single Ladies, Halo and Bootylicious, live.

The game, between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, was interrupted early in the third quarter by a power failure at the Super Dome, plunging the stands into darkness. Play resumed after 34 minutes. The final score was Ravens 34, 49ers 31.

While the teams battled on the field during Super Bowl XLVII, advertisers were competing against each other on the industry's biggest stage.

The stakes are high, with 30-second spots costing as much as $4 million this year. And more than 111 million viewers are expected to tune in.

Among the best were Hyundai's "Epic Playdate" advertisement, which showed a family partying with the band The Flaming Lips: wreaking havoc at a natural history museum, getting chased by bikers, going to a petting zoo and playing in a park.

When the family gets back home and the daughter asks, "What are we going to do now?" The father replies, "Well, I think there's a game on," and the broadcast went straight to the kickoff.

Audiences were less impressed by Godaddy.com's advertisement, which showed a close up extended kiss between supermodel Bar Refaeli and an unknown "nerd" called Walter.

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