Don’t call it a comeback: Britney and the VMAs

Well, that was just wrong on every level. By now, you’ve probably watched, re-watched and texted your friends so they could watch the horror of the big Britney Spears MTV Video Music Awards comeback that wasn’t. For a supposed entertainment event, that was one of the more painful, more inexplicable and more unnecessary displays I’ve ever witnessed. But more than anything, it just made me sad.

If for some reason you missed it and your friends didn’t call to insist you watch it over and over again with them, consider yourself lucky … until now. Britney Spears. “Gimme More.” VMAs 2007. You’ve been warned.




Now, the easy joke here would be “Gimme Less” — a whole lot less. But there is nothing easy about seeing someone so young become such a sad spectacle. There is nothing easy about the desperation and delusion most likely at work here. Looking alternately scared, bored, dazed and in danger of toppling over, Britney was just going through the motions, a mere shadow of her former self, as she lazily lip-synched her way through her new single.

Reaction has been swift and brutal. When even the normally restrained Associated Press calls you “out-of-shape, out-of-touch” and says, “Somewhere, Kevin Federline is laughing,” things have gone horribly awry. Some of the more uncomfortable criticism has been about her weight. Clearly, Brit’s no longer the 18-year-old hard body of yesteryear. But then, who is? To be the mother of two and not have stretch marks and back fat would be the true anomaly. Had she worn an actual form-flattering costume instead of a BeDazzled bra and panties, it wouldn’t have raised nearly as much fuss.

Of course, the second-guessing, finger-pointing and feet-stomping has started already (she was distraught about Sarah Silverman’s planned jokes about her mistakes babies! She had to scrap her disappearing act with illusionist Criss Angel at the last minute for insurance reasons!!) But no excuse can explain away the decision-making that went into getting on the stage in the first place without enough preparation and passion to make it through a simple 3 minutes and 40 seconds.

Living in the vacuum of fame for nearly a decade can skew anyone’s perception. To survive and thrive, you either have to be incredibly smart yourself or surrounded by incredibly smart people. It’s clear from this embarrassing display that Britney is 0 for 2 on those counts. But even worse, she doesn’t have anyone around her she can trust. Someone who could catch a rehearsal and say, “Honey, you’re not ready. Let’s wait. And also, more fabric.” I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: People who love Britney Spears, please help her. Because, clearly, she can’t help herself.

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