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Madonna: 'I Was Relying on Gladiators from Indiana'

Mercifully losing the British accent (for good?), Madonna spoke with--of all people--Ryan Seacrest in what is actually a very fun, informative conversation on L.A. station KIIS-FM about her Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, Indianapolis, and more.

Here, a few amusing and notable quotes from their chat, as she also addresses the M.I.A. controversy:

On the Indy residents who aided her: "All of the people, the gladiators, the choir, the drum liners, they were all locals that volunteered. And they were so amazing and so generous with their time. But one never knows what they're going to get, right?"

Upon coaxing Seacrest to join her onstage sometime: "Hey, those gladiators had skirts on. And they didn't complain, and they were local dudes from Indianapolis, okay?"

[Meet one of those Indy gladiators, Ben Snyder, here.]

About docking her chariot to the stage at the halftime show's start: "We had a few rehearsals where they didn't get close enough, and if I would have taken a step, I would have fallen to the ground."

Pertaining to her performance nerves: "I was more nervous doing this show than for any show I have done in my entire life."

>> See halftime show PHOTOS exclusive to IndianapolisMonthly.com

Her feelings after those 12 minutes were over: "It was actually very emotional for me. I almost started crying. I felt an incredible sense of--I know it sounds cheesy--warmth, love, support. ... To see an entire stadium lit up like candles, with the video mapping over us and the choir singing around me, it was like a religious experience. And then, of course, it was the end of the show, and I didn't want it to end. Why, why did the Giants and the Patriots have to come back on and play? I let them open up for me. Isn't that enough?"

About our city: "[My children] loved Indianapolis. They thought the JW Marriott was the best place in the world. My daughter is in love with Tom Brady, and the list goes on and on. They couldn't believe that they couldn't stay there all night."

[Get to know one of Madonna's local stage crew members, Lora Popov, here.]

Madonna also calls Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. "bad asses" before M.I.A.'s "sneaky" middle finger comes up: "When I left, I found out about it in the elevator, actually, on my way to the car to go to the airport. I was really surprised. I didn't know anything about it. I mean, I wasn't happy about it. I understand that it's kind of punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy and positivity. It seemed negative. It's such a teenager, irrelevant thing to do in one respect, and on the other hand, there is such a feeling of love and unity there. What was the point? It was out of place."

[See one IM Super City contributor's take on M.I.A.'s "spontaneous gesture" here.]

>> YOUR TURN: What did you think of her Super Bowl halftime show?