Poor Britney. The day after the MTV Video Music Awards, talk of her less-than-stellar opening performance prevails. If you missed it, you can watch the performance here. Some reviews have been unenthusiastic, while others have been downright mean.
Life hasn't been kind to pop princess Spears in the last few years. Imagine how you would feel if you were constantly in the public eye, stressed out from the entertainment industry, dealing with a deadbeat husband and a divorce, mothering two kids and having your competence as a mother questioned by tabloids and social workers, estranged from your family, recently admitted into rehab...the list goes on and the scandals are countless. Now imagine knowing that everyone you interact with outside of your immediate social circle is either a photographer hounding you, or someone who remembers you from your glory days and looks at you pityingly. Like I said, the past few years have not been easy for her--which is why everyone was rooting for her comeback and hoping it would be explosive, exciting, dynamic, entertaining. Instead it fell as flat as her singing voice.
Things might have gone better if...
She'd practiced more. Spears looked uncomfortable and unsure of herself onstage when she should have exuded charisma and confidence. Once noted for her dance moves, she seemed to forget the choreography and her execution lacked a lot of the sharpness the other dancers had. Also, she looked like she was lip-synching in some parts.
The stylist had given her a different outfit. Although she still looked good, it was clear that Spears wasn't in shape. She didn't try anything too strenuous on the dance floor, and her stomach looked (I'm sorry to say it!) a bit flabby. The stylist who dressed her and her dancers should have given Spears the dancers' outfit and vice versa. The female dancers were all in leggings, stockings, and corsets. A corset, garter belt, and stockings would have maintained Spears's sexy image while making her middle look more toned. (On a side note, she should've taken some style tips from celeb moms like Nelly Furtado and Jennifer Garner, who were more covered-up but still looked gorgeous.)
She'd waited until the Grammys to make her comeback. Spears clearly wasn't ready for the strenuousness of performing live, both physically and mentally. That's not to say she wouldn't have been ready in a couple more months. If she had waited until, say, February, she probably would have felt more confident and fit, and ready to take on the world. As it is, after bombing a high-profile gig like the VMAs, she might've undergone an emotional setback she won't recover from for weeks.
Nobody ever expected profound, life-changing music from Spears. Her appeal as a pop star lies in her entertainment value: she could put on a good live show and her past VMA performances stirred up controversy. That was probably what the MTV producers who booked her were banking on, but this time she stirred up controversy for all the wrong reasons. "Give me more, give me more," she sings in her new single...ironic given how lacking her comeback was.