I could say that Beyonce slayed haters, dominated the stage and made all your faves mad during tonight’s Super Bowl Halftime Show.
I could say that there was a great degree of wig snatchery. I could say that she was fierce, ferocious and shined bright like a Beysus. But there are about a bazillion and one bloggers who are singing the praises of Bey out there right now, and I’m not trying to be yet another voice of approval. (For the record, it was amazing.)
I’m trying to tell a story. A story of truth. Tonight was not about Beyonce’s performance. It was about the return of Tenitra Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. And here’s how it all went down.
“Give it to me, you bitch!” Michelle roars, striking Keri Hilson hard against the head. As a woman of faith, Michelle already knew firsthand what it was like to look the devil right in the eyes, and she knew for a fact that Satan knew how to do the Pretty Girl Rock.
“I’MMA BAYOU SOME MANNERS!” Miss Keri shouts back in her face, adjusting the furry earring that was briefly caught her mouth. “Only Keri Hilson sings at the Super Bowl! Keri! Hilson! MISS KERI BABY!” she roars, shaking, winding and losing all control. She quickly reaches into her shirt and produces a No Boys Allowed promotional gold chain, whipping it hard at Michelle’s face, who just manages to sidestep the attack.
“NEVER!” roars Williams. But before she can return another blow, a Louboutin comes sailing across in from behind and smacks Keri against the temple. Miss Hilson falls with a grunt, as Michelle looks behind her shoulder incredulously. “I got you,” a familiar face smiles warmly. It was Kelly.
They embrace for a moment, before Michelle wrestles the microphone out of Keri Hilson’s hand. “You might want to put some ice on that,” Kelly chuckles at Keri’s limp body. “Yeah, that’s ice. I-C-E.”
“Kelly! Tenitra! You’re up next!” a PA shouts from the side of the stage. “What?” Michelle frantically turns to Kelly–but it’s too late. Kelly’s already up on stage. “Oh fuck!” Michelle thinks to herself. “Oh fuck, OH FUCK!” There was never any time. There was never any time.
It was time for the percolator: With no time to compose herself, Michelle races to her spot underneath the stage. “It’s just like the Hunger Games,” she reminds herself. She breathes.
And in a split second, she busts forth from the trap door like “Hello Heartbreak” just broke into the Top 20 on the iTunes Chart. She flails manically mid-air, panicked and flustered. But she sticks it in the last second, wobbling into a defiant pose. So unexpected, she confidently smirks to herself.
And with that, everything goes by like a blur: The world feels connected and alive. Michelle catches Beyonce’s eyes for just a moment. They smile at one another. It had been at least five years (or was it more?) since she was last allowed to look at Beyonce in the face without getting backhanded. Granted, Beyonce did threaten to crush Michelle’s larynx upon suggesting a medley of “We Break The Dawn” during rehearsals last week, but right now, in this very moment, she feels love.
Charlie’s Angels. Destiny’s Child. The worldwide phenomenon. The unstoppable trio. True sisterhood. True friendship. Empowerment. Independent women.
And just as quickly as it had begun, King Bey spins around and glares back at the two of them: “Thanks,” she scoffs curtly, commanding Kelly and Michelle away. The two shuffle offstage quickly, knowing well what destiny would have in store for them on the other side of the stadium.
Sitting together in the backseat of the unmarked white van, the two hold hands and stare at the back of Tina Knowles’ head, not speaking or moving–just allowing the performance to marinate inside their mind. Did it all really just happen? The screams. The excitement. The laughter. The joy of Pepsi. The 3-hour drive passes by in what feels like a single blink’s worth of time. Quickly, they’re shuttled inside the House of Dereon back to their sewing stations to continue working on their The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour outfits.
Several hours pass. Michelle looks up at Kelly, then back down at her dress. Then up again. It felt like the right time. “We were good tonight, right Kelly?” Michelle yells across the room over the loud moans of the sewing machines, her bloodied fingers working quickly against the stitches. The flickering lights from the stadium still gleamed in the back of her mind. “Weren’t we?” she urged, less sure the second time. Was it a sweet dream or just a beautiful nightmare?
“Yes, Michelle,” Kelly murmurs quietly, a hot tear falling down low onto her lap. “We were beautiful.”
But Michelle doesn’t hear Kelly’s response. Only the sound of the machines whirring manically, droning louder and louder in her head with each passing minute. Only that, and nothing more.
GIFs 2 & 3 via RealityTVGIFs.