I had two immediate problems with the divine Ms. Perry's opening act. First, her hair. Katy Perry has lovely hair. So why was it styled so that she looks like a Stasi agent from the gritty reboot of Rocky and Bullwinkle? Second, her outfit, which looked like someone gave a Kindergarten class a bunch of shiny orange construction paper and a staple gun.
Each of these problems, of course, is easily outweighed by the fact that she came in riding the lion from Voltron. B+.
I kind of forgot about this, which is a shame when you think about it because it was quite visually striking. The chessboard motif was very nice, and I was impressed with Katy's dance troupe -- it's hard enough to do standing flips when you're not wearing a white knight headpiece that must throw one's entire sense of balance to hell. B.
I Kissed a Girl
This was Lenny Kravitz's appearance, and he was used to good effect to create a grimier reboot of Katy's original hit. The song doesn't quite work with a man singing it, unless it's a gay man and he sounds particularly mournful ("I kissed a girl and I liked it ... hope my boyfriend don't mind it."). B.
Teenage Dream/California Gurls
Much more of Katy's aesthetic, right down to the beach umbrella bra. Most people have focused on the dancing sharks, which are amusing until you remember that all of them probably attended Julliard. The overall visual effect for me resembled the opening to a Katamari game. I can't decide if that's a compliment or not. B-.
Get Ur Freak On
Missy Elliot kind of stole the show here. Her dance moves made Katy's team look like amateurs, and she seemed to know it -- I won't say she was half-hearted during this segment, she just knew well enough that trying to keep the spotlight on her would not turn out well. The main Katy-related takeaway from this segment was her oversized football jersey outfit, which made her look like she was doing a walk-of-shame after sleeping with the Oakland Raiders' offensive tackle. A.
Firework may be my favorite Katy Perry song (again, no shame here. Not one bit). But this felt a little too on the nose. Sparkly, star-laden dress? Floating on a shooting star? And the fireworks were in the air? Now if they had shot out of her chest like in the music video, then we might have had something. B.