Well, MTV, it was a long, hard struggle but you finally did it - you have plumbed the depths of pop culture and won the title of Supreme Trainwreck Transmitter. I don’t know who on earth can top the disaster that was Britney Spears at the VMA this weekend but I’m sure someone out there is already gnashing their teeth in envy and trying hard. However, right at this moment, this instant? You win, MTV, you win.
If any of you've just returned from an extended vacation spent in, I don't know, the Amazon jungle? The Alaskan wilderness? An expedition to the South Pole? Like completely disconnected from the outside world then you might be surprised to know that Britney was the opening act at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Just like a couple of years ago, remember? When she was making hit songs and practiced Kabbalah and Madonna was her make-out partner?
Yeah, this was going to be just like that except she doesn’t have any songs out there, hit or otherwise, she’s divorced, has two kids, there’s no Madonna or Kabbalah in sight and… let’s be real here for a second, shall we? There’s one reason and only one reason why Britney was invited to open the VMA this year and that reason was not to give her a “second chance”. The reason why she opened the show (Kanye “Please Stop Whining” West, kindly pay attention) is because MTV knew people would tune in to watch the latest low in the life of an ex-pop princess. And so they did and the VMA, fighting a ratings slide, won big time.
As a million others have already written in the past few hours, Britney at the VMA was pretty darn awful. Here’s what the Associated Press had to say:
As in most train wrecks, it was hard to focus on just one thing as the Britney Spears disaster unfolded on MTV’s Video Music Awards. There was just so much that went wrong. Out-of-synch lip-synching. Lethargic movements that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor for a nursing home. The paunch in place of Spears’ once-taut belly. At times she just stopped singing, as if even she knew nothing could save her performance.
And that’s one of the kindest reviews out there. I don’t think even Britney bashers, and there are quite a few of those out there, expected things to come to this pass.
Camp Britney was on the defense almost immediately afterwards with fans on Breathheavy and X17 suggesting that she was thrown off her stride when she heard comedian Sarah Silverman (who presented an uncharacteristically boring monologue) riff on her kids during rehearsals. Silverman apparently refused to cut the offending material when she went on air and called the two little boys “the cutest mistakes” she’d ever seen.