We fed a bunch of figures into a machine and came out with straight odds.
As you're all well aware, Noisey launched its comprehensive Beyoncéwatch coverage after our Queen Bey's inauguration lip-sync fiasco. Since that crisis, attention has shifted to Beyoncé's upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance, a performance which may or may not include Jay-Z and her former Destiny's Child underlings. Forget whether or not she's singing live: which hits will she pluck from her vast catalogue for America's eager ears? Would you like to bet some money on those selections? If your answer to the latter question is "YES," we're happy to help by providing the odds that Bey performs some of her biggest hits and worst bombs.
"Crazy in Love"—Ten years later, this is still Beyoncé's signature song, her "Born to Run," her "Purple Rain." I also can't see Beyoncé passing up the opportunity to bring up Mr. Knowles himself for his verse so that Bey and Jay will remind just how crazy in love they really are. ODDS: even
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)"—If "Crazy in Love" is Beyoncé's "Born to Run," then "Single Ladies" is probably her "Born in the U.S.A.," the second peak single that's a little more pissed-off and even more successful than its predecessor. This is the best way to shoehorn her alter-ego diva cyborg Sasha Fierce into the show, and with luck she'll convince Joe Flacco and Randy Moss to join her on stage for a spirited rendition of the Single Ladies Dance. ODDS: 3:2
"Run the World (Girls)"—Beyoncé failed to find a breakout single from 4 she way she did on previous albums. "Best Thing I Never Had" peaked at #16, and this, the lead single, only reached #29 before falling off the charts. (But hey, #8 in the Netherlands!) The huge visibility of the Super Bowl could temporarily resuscitate one of 4's singles, resulting in a big digital sales boost and a one-week chart position worth bragging about, and "Run the World (Girls)" is appropriately huge and militaristic for the halftime show of a climactic, violent battle between two forces. It would also be subversive and awesome to detail just how girls run the world in the middle of an event that's basically devoted to celebrating the physical prowess and tactical minds of a bunch of sweaty, overmuscled dudes. ODDS: 5:1
"Get Me Bodied"—"Get Me Bodied" can be thought as the ultra-percussive, really intricate dry run for "Single Ladies," which took over the world a few years later. Since then, it's become the centerpiece of Beyoncé's campaign with Michelle Obama encouraging kids to become more active, albeit in a slightly rewritten form as "Move Your Body." A halftime performance would greatly increase the visibility of the campaign, and it would seal her status as Michelle's #1 citizen bestie. Who could blame Bey for going after that title? ODDS: 20:1
"I Was Here" - Beyoncé subjected the United Nations to this, the most overblown celebration of Beyoncé by Beyoncé you could ever imagine, so you're damn right she'll drop this goop for 100,000 hardcore football fans and 100 million people watching at home. SHE WAS HERE. ODDS: 30:1
"Upgrade U" - This song bangs at a Super Bowl-appropriate levels, and it's another chance to involve Jay-Z in the proceedings, but given the recent PED controversy swirling around some of the game's key figures, it might not be wise to perform the one Beyoncé song with a titular focus on performance enhancement. (With that said, Beyoncé could absolutely be a steroid maven administering Ray Lewis various injections from her robot Sasha Fierce arm. That's totally plausible.) ODDS: 40:1
"Ring the Alarm"—An integral part of this song's beat is an extended howling siren; it is the scariest song in her catalogue by a wide margin. I can already see the mad, confused scramble for the exits by thousands of terrified fans if she launches into this one, so it's safe to conclude that it's staying on the shelf. ODDS: 100:1
"Signs"—This is the worst song Beyoncé has ever recorded; its big hook is Beyoncé reading a list of every astrological sign and then announcing "I love all y'all!" There's a part with backwards vocals, a repeating section, and poor Missy Elliott is tangentially involved. If she performed this, a gaping pit of doom spewing hellfire and birds of prey would open up at the 50-yard line and swallow the stadium whole. ODDS: 1,000,000,000:1
At this point, no one's really sure whether or not Destiny's Child is actually joining Beyoncé for part of the show. It was assumed that their presence on the heels of a compilation and new single was almost guaranteed, but third banana Michelle Williams—the R&B girl group game Chris Bosh—shook up those plans by revealing that her commitment to the musical Fela! would prevent a potential Super Bowl appearance. For fun's sake, let's assume that Williams is put in her place by the Queen Bey and shows up for a quick DC reunion. I'm betting that the group will perform a medley, because there's no way Beyoncé is coughing up more than one full song for Kelly and Michelle. I'd also bet that these are the songs they choose:
If I'm being totally honest, I don't really care what Beyoncé performs on Sunday night—I'll be mucking on some taco dip with my homemade tin foil Sasha Fierce robot arm no matter the setlist. Enjoy the game, folks.
Jamieson Cox tweets on Twitter - @jamiesoncox