Monday, 23 May 2011

Ain't talking poultry when I say this chicken's friiiiiied...

Britney Spears is an embarrassment. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but I have been questioning my own status as a Britney fan ever since the Femme Fatale era began and here we are.

Last night the Billboard awards took place. Never in my life have I ever heard anyone get excited about these awards before, but last night was a special event as it was rumoured that Britney Spears would be performing with both Nicki Minaj and Rihanna (two of the three most exciting ladies in the music industry today, one might say). It turned out these rumours were very much true, with Britney joining RiRi for a chorus of S&M before concluding Nicki's performance of her single Super Bass with their collaborative effort Till The World Ends. The whole thing was truly a disaster.

For one thing, both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj were performing live while- as usual- Britney relied entirely on pre-recorded vocals. Back in the day it was easy for us Britney fans to defend our idol's decision to lip-sync; she was completely out of practise, her routines were entertaining enough to make up for the lack of live singing while also being exhausting enough that it was impractical for the vocals to be live. All of that was fine as long as Britney was putting on a show. But as time has gone on, Britney's dancing has shown no improvement.

During the Circus era her dancing was "good, considering", but if Britney's team are so determined to convince us that our girl is over all that then she's going to have to start delivering the goods, and right now she quite simply isn't. The woman is 30 years old in December, I genuinely think it is time to stop making excuses for her and accept that performances such as that of last night are simply not good enough. Her dancing itself was barely even average, she even ballsed it up at one point going like this...

...when she should have been going like this...

...and her work on the pole was just nothing. It was nothing. More importantly, S&M really isn't that difficult a song to sing, especially given how basic her dance routine was, and there was really no reason she was not capable of performing it live.

I really don't want to sound like a "hater", I've been a Britney fan for a very long time. Truthfully there's nothing I'd have liked more than for her to have gone out last night and proved the "haters" wrong and shone like the star that she can be. Unfortunately, all she did was prove that she simply can not cut it alongside the new girls on the scene like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. More importantly, how embarrassing for them to have to have someone lip-syncing during their performances when they're giving it their all and doing their vocals live.

Most importantly, though, Britney simply looks like her heart is not in it anymore. When she does her routines it's plainly written on her face that she would rather be anywhere else in the world. As the performance ended, she stood next to Rihanna for about four seconds before turning to walk away not realising the cameras were still on...

It's like she's completely disinterested by the whole thing, which is my main criticism of her most recent output Femme Fatale which is her first album for which she hasn't co-written a song since her debut. During her MTV special earlier this year I Am The Femme Fatale, she said was filmed on her way to the studio to hear her collaboration with for the first time. Could you imagine Lady GaGa or Nicki Minaj strutting into a studio to hear their song for the first time? No, they'd already be there making sure they weren't putting their name onto anything they weren't comfortable with.


1. Get some shoes you can actually dance in.
In the same documentary I was just talking about, Britney was filming her Till The World Ends video and for any shots that weren't full body she wore her Uggs. Back in the day Britney was a brilliant dancer because she was wearing Skechers. She was wearing comfortable shoes. Britney can barely walk in the shoes she wears onstage these days, let alone do full-blown routines and I genuinely think this is half the problem.

2. Get some costumes you can actually move around in.
Similar to my previous point, Britney used to be famous for her belly-tops. More than just showing off her teenage midriff, they were practical given the routines she was doing. There is a bit in the Hold It Against Me video where Britney goes to swish her hair but her dress is so tight that she can not get down all the way. You never see Madonna doing routines in impractical outfits, and whenever GaGa has a routine on tour she's usually wearing next to nothing. Of course, let's get real, it gets attention when you're showing flesh off but it also makes it much easier to dance in.

3. Get some singing lessons.
I was talking to Laura on Twitter last night and she made the point that if Britney did not lip-sync then her voice would be terrible, and that her terrible singing would be much worse than her miming. This is true, but if Britney's voice is not good enough to sing live when her routine involves next-to-nothing then it is time to get some singing lessons.

Yes, this is perhaps a bit of a step back for someone who has been in the industry for 10 years, but at the end of the day Britney Spears is a singer. It is her job to sing. If a mechanic showed up to fix your car and instead only pretended to do it you would not go "hmm you had a rough time a few years ago, I'll let you off" you would go "OH! YOUR JOB IS TO FIX CARS SO YOU HAVE TO FIX MY CAR".

4. Get some decent craic.
Have you heard Britney Spears in an interview recently? My goodness, the woman can barely string a sentence together. I'm not suggesting she take the Lady GaGa approach and raid the thesaurus for ways to dumbfound the next person who dares interview her with her seemingly limitless vocabulary, but when Ryan Seacrest asks what your album's like and you reply "it's good" you know it's time to at least learn a couple of knock-knock jokes to keep your audience entertained. Although perhaps...

"Knock, knock"
"Who's there?"
"It's social services, Ms. Spears, we're here for your children"

...won't quite hit the spot.

Seriously, though, folks. I don't want to hate on Britney. She has so much potential, and in her time she was the brightest star going. Unfortunately, it's not her time anymore and if she wants a future in this business she's going to have to work a bit harder. When you're capable of this...

...and this...'s not quite good enough to deliver this... it?

To sum up. I saw the Circus tour and I got so excited, because I knew that she was a starting point for her to keep improving. And she has not. And, as a Britney fan, it makes me sad. If her heart's not in it anymore- which I strongly suspect is the case- then she should retire. If that's what would really make her happy, then her fans should get over it and want that for her. If she genuinely still wants to be Britney Spears the popstar rather than Britney Jean the wife and mother then she is going to have to step up to the mark.

The I Wanna Go video is coming soon. Watch this space.


  1. She looks so bored in her videos lately, like she isn't 'there' or something? I think this album will be here last tbh.. Shame she won leave on a high if it is!
    Oh yeah, and sketchers were the BEST!

  2. I suppose she's still got a tour to turn it all around with.

    But let's be honest it will probably be more of the same.

  3. I think the only reason she even bothers with trying to have a 'comeback' is because people won't believe she's better until she's making music. So she's trying to force the music comeback before she actually is better...

  4. To be honest, even Nicki Minaj looked bored in that last video there.

    At the end when they've stopped singng you can Britneys face is just completely zoned out. Quite disturbing.