The world cup opening ceremony was positively underwhelming in my opinion. After witnessing the spectacle that the London Olympics gave us two years ago, the Brazilians seemed a tad underprepared.
Looking back to 2010’s opening ceremony, this performance looked like half time entertainment. Compared to a giant dung beetle kicking a giant football, the organizers efforts were a giant disappointment.
I think the organizers had the right idea about showcasing Brazils “people, nature and football” (in their own statement) but the execution was all wrong. What they managed was a trippy, herb garden experience.
The ceremony started with a big disco ball (are we in the 1970’s?) flashing the participating nations flags. Lets overlook the fact that they displayed Niger’s flag instead of Nigeria’s.
Then came nature – as a Lord of the Rings fan, all I could think when I saw those walking trees was “Ents!” Shortly afterwards came the local Indians being carried around in their canoes surrounded by the “broccoli people” and canon looking devices which turned out to be giant whistles.
Then the dancing. Oh how I imagined something like the vibrant, energetic Rio carnivals. What we got was “acrobats” (since when is kids jumping on a trampoline classified as acrobats?), a giant lady floating around, and couples doing some folksy romantic dance. No samba! It was uninspired to say the least.
Then there were human footballs, throwing each other in the air and then laying assembled in what was NOT a football shape and didn’t do anything,really. The kids playing keepy-uppy with the attached footballs were cute. But really? That’s all they could muster to represent the most successful footballing nation?
Then the Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte appeared out of a giant disco ball (how original!) which now opened up into a flower. Only, when it was JLO and Pitbulls turn to make their grand appearance, there was a slight malfunction and the platform didn’t rise completely and they had to jump onto the stage from the platform. The performance was probably good if you were sitting in the stadium. But at home, where I was watching from, the sound was horrific. And judging by peoples reactions all over the world, nobody could hear anything. You’d think from the USD$9million spent, they’d get proper sound or at least someone could be paid to turn JLO’s mic on! In fact I could hear the crowds screaming more than Pitbull’s err.. “rapping.” (Don’t even get me started on his Capri’s!) JLO looked fabulous though.
The worst: the promised first kick of the tournament was to be by a paraplegic boy in an exoskeleton controlled by his thoughts. This DID happen but no TV stations the world over got to broadcast it. Boo!
The best: No speech from Sepp Blatter, the president or any minister.
Atleast the game that followed provided more entertainment…
(Images courtesy of wikimedia commons)