Sunday's Super Bowl started with pop star Christina Aguilera bungling the words to the national anthem, and according to many critics and the "Twitterverse," the halftime show's featured performers, the Black Eyed Peas, didn't do much better. (See their performance below.) The foursome — Fergie,,, and Taboo — were the first contemporary act to play the Super Bowl halftime since Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" with Justin Timberlake. Did the Black Eyed Peas drag the storied halftime show down to new depths?

The Peas bombed: "What the hell was that hideous Super Bowl performance about?" asks Paul Cashmere in Undercover. The Black Eyed Peas have not only "completely run out of musical ideas," but their "awful" stage show demonstrated that they've "totally lost track of where they came from and who they once were." The Peas of yore wouldn't have come out "dressed like some sort of comic book sci-fi superheroes targeting a 12-year old audience."
"Watch Black Eyed Peas awful performance at the Super Bowl"

They weren't bad, just boring: "The Black Eyed Peas brought the youth," something that's been lacking in the "string of safe, near-geriatric icons" that have played the halftime show since 2004," says Nekesa Mumbi Moody in The Associated Press, but they brought "little else." Surprise guest Slash "seemed bored" and the "normally frenetic" Black Eyed Peas' "surprisingly stale medley" only came alive when Usher descended from the ceiling.
"The Black Eyed Peas underwhelm Super Bowl halftime"

Critics don't understand the group: The band's "more thought-provoking early days" are clearly in the past, says Todd Martens in the Los Angeles Times. But today's Peas "approach partying as if it's some sort of battle cry," and that made them "quite possibly the most perfectly suited contemporary group for a Super Bowl halftime show." Was their spectacle "absurd" and "corny"? Yes, but gloriously so, and unlike last year's "out of gas" turn by The Who, the Peas didn't have to pretend to still matter these days.
"The Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl: Pop absurdity at its finest"

The halftime show sucks the life out of every band: The Peas' lackluster performance left me "thinking I had just eaten some bad mushrooms," says Gabe Zaldivar in Bleacher Report. "But this is what always happens at halftime at the Super Bowl," when great groups have to "polish their act for the masses." The results are never "surprising" or "eventful." I say the halftime show "should just be axed altogether," and if it isn't, I may just hit mute next year.
"Black Eyed Peas: Perhaps a moment of silence"