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Super Bowl XLVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2011 season. The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 21–17. The game was played on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the first time that the Super Bowl was played in the state of Indiana.
The broadcast of the game on NBC broke the record for the most-watched program in American television history, previously set during the previous year's Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVI was watched by an estimated average audience of 111.3 million US viewers and an estimated total audience of 166.8 million, according to Nielsen, meaning that over half of the American population watched at least some of the initial broadcast.
Word had leaked as early as October, 2011 that Madonna would be the performer for the Super Bowl halftime show, with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj performing as well; all three are featured on Madonna's new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" which was performed as part of the show. The league confirmed Madonna as the performer on December 4. Other collaborators on the project included LMFAO, Cee Lo Green, long time Madonna collaborator Jamie King, Cirque du Soleil, and Moment Factory. M.I.A. came under controversy for giving the middle finger during the performance of "Give Me All Your Luvin'", which was caught by the broadcast feed. The gesture was given when she appeared to sing "I don't give a shit," although it was hard to hear clearly if the expletive was said, stopped short, or cut off as the censor unsuccessfully tried to blur the screen to cover the gesture. The setlist included "Vogue," a medley of Madonna's "Music" and LMFAO's two largest hits ("Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It," with the singers remaining fully clothed, unlike in the latter song's music video), followed by "Give Me All Your Luvin'," "Open Your Heart," "Express Yourself" (in a duet with Green), and the finale, "Like a Prayer".On to Ryan Seacrest's radio show on KISS FM she talk about her Super Bowl experience: "Meeting Madonna changed my life. Working with Madonna changed my life. Rehearsing with Madonna for two weeks changed my life," she said. "When you look at these amazing women, you have to realize that a lot of work goes into this. I, for the first time, refused to go to any parties. This performance was it and this is the first performance that I'm proud of in my entire career. I saw how much Madonna sacrificed and how much she rehearses and rehearses and rehearses and rehearses, and everyone there was like, ‘We got it.' But she was like, ‘No, I want you to know this choreography in your sleep.' We did know it in our sleep by the time we got on the Super Bowl stage. But when I saw that, it inspired me so much, the same way Wayne inspired me to start really becoming a beast as a rapper. The Madonna situation inspired me to give it my all and put that work in."
She also talk about M.I.A's bird-flipping stunt: "My first feeling was disappointment, only because of my respect for Madonna. I'm a cuckoo lady too, but I would never be able to do it off the strength of Madonna. There are fines that go into these things, and I just thought, ‘Oh my God. I hope they don't penalize Madonna.' Madonna knows the artist that M.I.A. is and it was her decision to take the risk with all of us. We were kinda all firecrackers and she took that risk. She's done some crazy things becoming the icon that she is, so I think that's why she was able to forgive M.I.A. I love M.I.A. and I don't want to say anything that is the wrong thing, but me personally, I couldn't see myself doing it, just for the respect for Madonna. I wouldn't want any backlash to come back on Madonna."