Lady Gaga's performance at halftime of Super Bowl LI technically started with her singing from the roof of NRG Stadium in Houston with hundreds of drones forming an American flag in the background. But the real show started when she appeared to jump off the roof and into the stadium.
Hopefully this doesn't ruin the performance for you, but you should probably know that Lady Gaga's leap was prerecorded. She did not actually jump from the roof during her performance.
This video proves that:
And so does this one:
As Deadspin's Barry Petchesky pointed out, this should not come as a surprise to anyone for two reasons. One, why would anyone risk Lady Gaga's life on a broadcast with so many viewers tuning in?
Two, it wasn't even a secret. This Wired article, written by Brian Barrett and published Sunday, already revealed that the opening segment was recorded before the game:
Student of Super Bowl security measures and FAA regulations may by this point have some questions. The government strictly forbids drones within 34.5 miles of Houston's NRG Stadium, after all, and the FAA limits on how high drones can fly in any circumstance, let alone above 80,000 or so people. How on earth did Intel get away with it?
The short answer is, it taped the show earlier this week.
The show was still awesome and, considering how the rest of the game went, it really served as less of an intermission and more as an introduction to Super Bowl LI. After Lady Gaga's performance, the Patriots went on to complete the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Oh and by the way, it was the second-most watched halftime show ever:
Lady Gaga drew an audience of 117.5M -- the Super Bowl's 2nd best halftime audience behind only Katy Perry, according to Fox Sports.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 6, 2017