“Let’s show the world what two little Latin girls can do,” Jennifer Lopez told Shakira, shortly before playing the Super Bowl Half Time Show in Miami.
In the event, the duo showed they could sing, belly dance, crowd surf, knee slide, pole dance and even play drums.
It was a kinetic and sometimes dizzying set, as the Latin singers raced through 20 songs in just 12 minutes.
And after two years of under-cooked half time shows, their vibrant, kitsch spectacle was a breath of fresh air.
Unlike Justin Timberlake in 2018 and Maroon 5 last year, the two performers thrashed out a focused and upbeat set-list that concentrated on their biggest hits, offset by breath-taking choreography and fistfuls of Vegas glitter.
They mostly heeded Lady Gaga’s warning that “I better hear no lip-syncing” at the Super Bowl, proving themselves to be accomplished live vocalists even while spinning around the stage like marionettes.
“Hola Miami!” shouted Shakira, opening the show with the disco strut of She Wolf before segueing to the grungy rock of Empire, and throwing in a few bars of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir as she wigged out on a black sequinned guitar.
She brought out Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny to duet on a cover of Cardi B’s I Like It, and wrapped up six minutes later with her biggest hit, Hips Don’t Lie, while being carried across the audience on her back.
Throughout her segment,the Colombian singer, who was celebrating her 43rd birthday, looked like she was having an absolute blast.
At one point, she leaned into the TV cameras, waggled her tongue and trilled. Although some viewers made fun, others pointed out the singer, whose father is Lebanese, was performing a traditional Arabic vocal celebration known as the zaghrouta.
Lopez arrived next, perched atop a replica of the Empire State Building while singing, somewhat incongruously, that she was “still Jenny from the block”.
Dressed in a studded leather body suit, the singer showed off her punchy, staccato dance moves; as well as the gravity-defying pole dancing skills she learned while playing Ramona in last year’s box office smash Hustlers.
She was joined by Colombia’s J Balvin to play Que Calor and Mi Gente. Later, her 11-year-old daughter Emme Maribel Muñiz, sang the club hit Let’s Get Loud.
During the show’s only moment of political frisson, Emme sang the chorus of Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA while Lopez draped herself in a Puerto Rican flag, a not-so-subtle dig at the Trump administration’s handling of aid for the island after it was devastated by two hurricanes in 2017.
Lopez, who is of Puerto Rican parentage, previously donated $1m in proceeds from her Las Vegas residency to the relief effort.
But overall, the half time show was conceived as “an all-inclusive party, a party that integrates cultures and diversity,” said Shakira at a pre-game press conference last week.
It certainly managed to incorporate more than half-a-dozen musical styles, from salsa and reggaeton to hip-hop and Afro-fusion; although the break-neck pace meant several songs were over before you could sneeze.
The singers only appeared together for the finale, a celebratory version of Shakira’s Waka Waka which, confusingly, was the official anthem of an entirely separate sporting event – the 2010 World Cup.