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Katy Perry's Trees Reveal the Secrets Inside the Super Bowl Halftime Show

The dancing background trees dish out the details on Katy Perry's Super Bowl spectacular.
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Katy Perry's colorfully costumed backup performers have grabbed the attention of the internet including our sister site, Noisey, through GIFs, memes, and now a very informational Reddit AMA, courtesy of some of the dancing background trees. Redditors Prathios, asumello61, and Jdawgg92, all performed in the show, and afterwards helped contextualize some of the show's most viral moments. Here are some things you may not know about the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show:


Most of the costumed dancers were students at local colleges—except for the sharks:

"The sharks were originally supposed to be dancers from Mesa Community College but 2-3 days before the performance Katy decided she wanted her own people in costume…The worst part is the MCC dancers had been practicing it for much longer and definitely knew it better at least in my opinion." - Prathios

The costumes' lip-syncing mouths were operated through surprisingly low-tech puppetry:

"We had to use our hands to flip the upper lip to simulate singing along to the chorus. For the sharks they would actually pull one hand out of the fin to operate the mouth." - Prathios

Here's how the giant lion was controlled:

"The lion was supported by a huge steel frame on wheels that went up into the structure of it. The outside of it was made by what I think was fiberglass covered in that gold foil… It was closer to being a shell than anything. It was mounted on a huge steel frame with wheels. The lion itself was a lighter but strong material. It wasn't exactly mechanical because it had four guys pushing it and another four operating the legs." - Prathios

There was no contingency plan for a tree falling over:

"[I was thinking] 'please don't fall, please don't fall, please don't fall,' the costumes were very top-heavy and took a while to get used to. Surprisingly, no one ever fell during any of the rehearsals." - Jdawgg92

"There was absolutely no way to get up if we fell down. I'd probably just lay there and cry." - Prathios


That actually came dangerously close to happening:

In a separate Reddit thread, Scott Myrick, who played a shark, admitted, "The visibility was… Terrible. I ran into a palm tree but the camera missed it. [sic]"

Replied Jdawgg92, "That was me! It was a struggle to keep from falling over, but luckily nobody ended up on the ground."

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Most of the dancers only had about one week of rehearsals:

"We started on January 22nd. We had two sectionals on the 22nd and 23rd. Then on Sunday we had a put together rehearsal with the orbs (both opening and closing orbs). That Monday and Tuesday were another sort of sectional put together rehearsal. Wednesday-Friday were the full dress rehearsals in the stadium. The sectionals were shorter but the put-together and dress rehearsals were usually 3-4 hours long." - Prathios

Katy Perry had a massive team to help her with rapid costume changes:

"There was an entire wardrobe crew dressed in white haz-mat-like outfits devoted to sprinting on/off the stage and changing her clothes, which were, for the most part, snap-on." - asumello61

None of the dancers got to meet Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, or Missy Elliott:

"Unfortunately, we didn't get to formally meet any of them them. The 'talent' was isolated on stage and they walked around with an entourage of bodyguards whenever they weren't in performance mode. The most we got was a 'HI GUYS!!!' from Katy Perry." - Prathios

Post your Super Bowl XLIX secrets in the comments below:



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