O Britney! My Britney! Your dreadful act is done.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated performances this year was to be known as “Britney’s comeback” on the stage of the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. I haven’t had any contact with Spears’ reps, but I don’t think the comeback went as planned.
The 24th-annual VMAs opened Sept. 7 with “Gimme More,” the ‘hit’ single off Spears’ new album due out Nov. 13. But as the performance progressed, few were asking for more.
Out walks Britney in a skimpy bikini outfit with fishnets and stiletto boots. The problem was that she looked completely uncomfortable throughout the entire performance. Whether or not her choice of clothing affected her routine isn’t really up for debate. It would have looked the same if she were in sneakers and sweats.
Spears, 25, has proved to be a never-ending Christmas gift for the paparazzi in recent years.
On Jan. 3, 2004, she married childhood friend Jason Alexander (not the Seinfeld alumnus, unfortunately) for an infamous 55 hours in Las Vegas. She followed that up with a “real” marriage to backup dancer Kevin Federline on Sept. 18 the same year.
After two children and two years, Spears and Federline began divorce proceedings last November.
But this latest performance is the climax in a story of unfortunate events for Spears.
Watching Britney walking around dazed and confused on the Las Vegas stage reminded me of her opposite performances on VMAs past.
In 2000, Spears satisfied the audience in an exciting and literally revealing rendition of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Oops . . . I Did It Again.” People were talking for weeks about the nude-colored suit she was wearing as she provocatively danced around the stage.
The next year, the song gets trashier and the performance gets wilder. Spears performed “I’m a Slave 4 U” on stage with a live snake and white tiger. Spears knew how not only to shock the audience (and PETA), but also to keep their attention on her.
Then come the 2003 VMAs. A 22-year-old Spears was seen lip-locking with the 46-year-old Madonna. For what reason? None, of course other than winning constant headlines on CNN.
But after that last ground-breaking performance, the attention has been kept on her, but in a different light.
As I was watching the performances from years past on YouTube, I caught myself smiling. I was watching Spears during her highlight years when she could gyrate and grind around the stage without effort. She truly was a great performer.
This past time, it seemed like she could barely walk. The dancing was mediocre at best. The enthusiasm was not radiating as it had in past performances.
Soon after Spears’ head-shaving incident, Craig Ferguson dedicated a monologue on The Late Late Show to speaking against the unfair media coverage of celebrities needing help. He called Spears “vulnerable” and said people should not attack her based on her personal actions.
I do not disagree with Ferguson. I greatly respect him and his opinions. But celebrities realize that when they enter show business, their lives become an open book. Celebrities are an American guilty pleasure, and the paparazzi aren’t going anywhere.
The 2007 VMAs were supposed to be Spears’ comeback. It was a failure, but I truly hope a successful one is in her future. History shows fallen starlets like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera bounced back after their own troubles.
O Britney! Dear Britney! It’s here that I campaign, With patience and help, we hope that, Oops . . . you’ll do it again.
Chris Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.