Britney at MTV's Video Music Awards: Did She Blow It?
The last time I remember seeing Britney Spears onstage at MTV's grandiose awards celebration, she stuck her tongue in Madonna's mouth and made the front page of newspapers all over the world.
Sunday's appearance, hyped for weeks by the music channel, was supposed to be another momentous event -- evidence that Brit had shaken off her personal demons and was ready to make us dance again.
But that's not how many critics saw it. The Washington Post called her "not ready for prime time" and thoroughly underwhelming." The Associated Press noted "An out-of-shape, out-of-touch Britney Spears delivered what was destined to be the most talked about performance of the MTV Video Music Awards — but for all the wrong reasons."
ABC News simply called her "bleary and out of shape." Reaction shots of bewildered rappers trying to figure out what happened during her performance didn't help much.
It was so bad, VMA host Sarah Silverman tore Britney a new one before the show ended: "Wow. She is amazing. She is 25-years-old and she's already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life. It's mind blowing." Later, Silverman called Brit's kids "the most adorable mistakes you have ever seen."
Watching from afar, it's always seemed Spears current comeback was happening too soon -- that she was implying recovery and redemption when she hadn't even been off the tabloid covers for a month. Now, she's lodged another self-destructive milestone in a year packed with them.
All I felt watching this was a great swell of pity. Spears is going through some seriously challenging stuff -- a public divorce, custody battle and substance abuse problems, for example. So, in the middle of it all, she decides to release a "comeback" album, go on the VMAs and spend the weekend partying before the paparazzi in Las Vegas?
It's long past time that the industry stop enabling her increasingly desperate disintegration. And there's a special place in hell reserved for those among her managers, agents and entourage who are willing to let her continue along this self-destructive path.
Of course, its possible we media vultures are just jumping on the beat Britney bandwagon. Check the clip out for yourself and let me know what you think...