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Twice in the clip below from today's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Madonna refers to her Indy-based helpers at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show as "villagers." She appears to use that word when referencing both those who set up her staging in all of eight minutes, and also when speaking to the aid of 150 gladiators she "employed." (Truth be told, she paid them in the currencies of Panera and Papa John's, relative pigspittle for the help they gave this self-loving "Cleopatra" with her ballyhooed entrance. But then again, they are peasants, right?)
Madonna: ... And you only get two rehearsals. Local people from the village set up your stage.Ellen: From the village? I see. [smiling]Madonna: [laughs] From the village of Indianapolis.
And later:Madonna: That was the most nerve wracking, just trying to get those gladiators to walk in time to the music, also local villagers.Ellen: Right. Right.Madonna: I was in my platform, I was channeling Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. And I was talking to them like I was a drill sergeant in the Marine Corps, like, 'Come on, guys, we can do this. Let's get out there!' Honestly, they were into it. A hundred and fifty gladiators.
See the exchange with Ellen DeGeneres here:
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Reaction via social media from Indianapolis residents was predictably swift. Says Troy Farmer, a lawyer and friend to a few of those dutiful vil—err, gladiators—on Facebook: "So Madonna on Ellen calling the local volunteers for the Super Bowl 'villagers' and saying it with some disdain.....again, honey, they were volunteers and without them you wouldn't have had a show." One response to Farmer's post: "My sister is a villager. I knew it!" Honestly, The Artist Colloquially Known as Madge comes off about as well here as she did in another sadly honest episode about a year ago. Lest any fan dare present a bouquet to her, know now that she "absolutely loooathes hydrangeas."
Also, no "snafus" to speak of in that 12-minute Super Bowl show, dear Material Matron? This little episode begs to differ.
The dichotomy between exceedingly kind and gracious Ellen and the self-exalting Madonna couldn't be more glaringly obvious here. And so be it. The entertainer, certainly with some great songs over time and looking amazing at age 54, may go from beloved locally to painfully annoying within a matter of ... minutes. As the lyrics to one of her own hits go—Bob Dylan she's not—"Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock."
Photo by Tony Valainis
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