If Melanie Amaro was pinning her post-X Factor career hopes on her Super Bowl night Pepsi ad, then we probably weren't the only ones who were disappointed. The most iconic element of her $5 million prize package, this supposed showcase (airing early in the game's first quarter) instead found her playing diva-licious second banana to Elton John's queeny king, a royal Simon Cowell taking great pleasure in plunging sub-par performers through a trap door, crowing "No Pepsi for you." No such fate awaited Lady Melanie, who shattered the throne's stained glass window while wailing a section of her cover of Aretha Franklin's classic "Respect."
Her high note was also the ad's high point, because then she was called upon to speak. As the Pepsi Nazi approached her with a "Pepsi for you" reward, she flatly responded, "No. Pepsi for all," throwing the can so it trips a lever sending His Royal Elton-ness into the dungeon alongside Flavor Flav. Melanie's singing was fine, but her overall performance and presence instantly forgettable — much like the majority of the night's overblown ad lineup.
The impact of even the better commercials was largely blunted by so many of them being leaked and disseminated online in advance. What used to be a shared and eagerly anticipated communal experience on Super Bowl night, much like the game itself, has now been diminished, the Internet once again trumping TV on one of TV's biggest nights. An evening that should feel like the climax of the Ad Bowl instead came off as anticlimactic and as old-hat as Madonna's stubbornly stiff halftime performance. So kudos to the Giants and Patriots for delivering a game that had us glued to the last play. If only the advertisers were as committed to putting on a great show for their captive audience.