And we’re down to three. The NFL has reportedly narrowed the pool from every musician in the world down to 2 solo acts and 1 band in the race to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The eventual winner and the two finalists/ soon-to-be losers are, in no particular order, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay.

The first choice is, of course, the dangerous one. Rihanna has a string of hits, but she also tends to do whatever she wants. So, when it comes to performing at the Halftime Show, you’d like to think she’d stay on script, but she could just as easily drop an f-bomb or pull out her thong.

Katy Perry is a nice middle ground. She’s got a lot of younger fans. She has a ton of hits, and she’s pretty safe. She’ll probably wear a few outfits and gyrate a few times, but it’s hard to imagine she’ll cause a big fuss with the PTC or any of those other organizations that love to complain.

And Coldplay… Well, Coldplay would probably put on a nice enough show. They would probably go over well with the average viewer, but I’m not really sure it would create any real buzz. It’s one thing to pick a Tom Petty or a Bruce Springsteen whose audience overlaps quite a bit with hardcore football fans. It’s quite another to be conservative and yet still not please your mainstream audience.

There might be more prestigious gigs for a musician, but there are none that come with more publicity or a bigger audience than the Super Bowl. Every single year, a band or performer gets chosen to entertain fans between the second and third quarters of the NFL’s final game and good, bad or accidentally x-rated, the performance is always discussed to death. It’s really an incredible opportunity, but whether or not it’s an opportunity worth paying is an entirely different matter.

The NFL has long said it pays the performers in publicity. In turn, the act pays the NFL in increased hype and media exposure. It’s long been a mutually beneficial backscratch, but apparently, that’s no longer good enough for the League. Representatives reportedly approached final contenders Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay and according to The Wall Street Journal asked for a percentage of their upcoming tour grosses in exchange. All three allegedly threw up their middle fingers at the ridiculous request.

We’ll keep you updated on the situation as it develops and a winner eventually emerges.

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