The New England Patriots may have pulled off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, but Lady Gaga‘s jump into her halftime performance had everyone — sports fan or not — talking. However, it turns out the songstress’ leap into NRG Stadium was truly a perfect illusion.
The start of Gaga’s performance appeared to show her on top of the stadium as she sang a medley of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” while Intel drones created an American flag behind her. However, the millions watching on television were fooled when the performer seemed to leap into the stadium and slowly descend to the stage. Those inside, however, had a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the stunt.
“It was pre-recorded — she wasn’t on the roof,” onlooker Nathan Michaud tells PEOPLE. “She came out on the field at the start of halftime, and they raised her up on cables in the dark as the video played. As soon as the clip showed her jumping, the spotlight focused on Gaga suspended in the air and they brought her down. She absolutely nailed it — before Tom Brady stole the rest of the show.”
RELATED VIDEO: Lady Gaga on Her Way Up to the Roof
(Courtesy Scott Herman)
RELATED VIDEO: Lady Gaga Drops Into the Super Bowl
(Courtesy Jayne Centeno Kelly)
Intel drones’ general manager Natalie Cheung confirmed that the drones were shot over several days, noting that several factors prevented the perfectly choreographed stunt from happening live.
“There’s a lot of weather and environment [issues],” Cheung told USA Today. “In February, you don’t know what it will be like during Super Bowl day. We’d hate to plan all this and, if the wind speeds are too high or if it’s raining and the roof is closed, no one can see this spectacular show. So our creative team as well as the Super Bowl creative team felt this would be best to be filmed. Lady Gaga also was on the roof when this was filmed, and from a logistics and creative perspective, it’s a bit hard for her to go from the roof all the way down to the floor of the stadium.”
Cheung explained that although it wasn’t live, the feat was still an impressive show.
“It’s a different way of merging art and technology, which I think a lot of people haven’t seen,” she said. “We started this effort maybe a year and a half ago, and it started with 100 drones in the sky and showed a simple Intel logo. We caught on pretty quickly that this was more than just fireworks. It could be branding in the sky. It could be an artistic event. There’s a lot of different ways that people could utilize this. The Disney team we worked with used it as a theme park attraction. The Super Bowl team utilized it as a way to emphasize and express Lady Gaga’s music. … It can create and mean many different things.”
RELATED VIDEO: Lady Gaga Announces Joanne World Tour
The singer-songwriter has announced her Joanne World Tour after performing during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night. The global trek will be Gaga’s first proper tour since co-headlining the Cheek to Cheek Tour with Tony Bennett between 2014 and 2015.
The tour kicks off in August in Vancouver and will run through December making stops all around North America and Europe, before wrapping up back in the U.S. for a final date on Dec. 14 in Salt Lake City.