I’m a sucker for a good diva comeback especially when it happens to one of our fallen much beloved gay icons. I know I’m not alone. We all cheered wildly when Cher, after putting us all to sleep with her hair care info-mericial mess, made us all “Believe” again. And then of course there’s Ms. Kabbalah herself, Madonna, who seems to stage a comeback every other year.
So of course the minute my cell phone chirped with the text message confirming Miss Hot Mess 2007 Britney Spears had secured the much coveted opening number of this year's MTV Video Music Awards, I was positively giddy. I live for these kinds of career altering moments. I would, for the sake of supporting another well-loved diva whose stock has plummeted, of course clear my schedule and tune in. With all this girl has had to contend with this last year or so, surely it was the least a fan could do. And yes, I’m not ashamed to admit it either; I am a huge Britney Spear’s fan.
I still remember the first time I heard “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. It was the summer of 1998 and my then twenty one year old self was completely blown away by this ambitious sixteen year old girl dressed up as a slutty school girl, singing her hear heart out and dancing her ass off. But it has not always been easy. Have you seen Crossroads? Gay fan boys can be a prickly and judgmental bunch when pressed. We hold our idols on very high pedestals and not surprisingly, our expectations of them are just as high. But we are also extremely loyal and will defend our divas with every ounce of our beings, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness (guilty). We make excuses for their questionable behavior with statements like, “She’s under so much pressure! It’s so hard to be her”, with the same conviction someone might say, “He didn’t really mean to hit me. My face just got in the way!” With the Brit becoming more associated with the phrases loser ex-husband, bad mother, and train wreck, I was looking forward to seeing her put all the nastiness behind her, give a big screw you to the critics and nay sayers, and remind the world what multimillion album selling and metric butt load earning star power is.
So, there I was that Sunday night, 8:59pm, sitting on the edge of my seat.
The clock struck 9:00pm, I held my breath, and the show began.
"It’s Britney, bitch!"
And as we all know, the world did a collective, “what the hell was that?”
At approximately 9:03pm, my cell phone rang. My eyes were still glued in horror to the television screen and I was too numb to answer. About an hour later, when I regained the use of my limbs, I finally checked the awaiting message. It was my best friend Shannon.
“Hey. I just watched Britney’s little comeback there and I have one very important question. Did Kevin Federline fuck the dancing skills right out of her?”
Oh no. Here we go. This was not going to be pretty.
The headlines and news stories the next few days were all vicious. My diva loving defenses immediately kicked in overdrive.
“A drunk-looking Britney Spears bombed in her comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.”
I don’t think she looked drunk. The poor thing looked nervous. Of course…a lot of people do drink they’re nervous.
“The ex Mrs. Federline aimed to bring the house down when she opened the MTV VMAs, but instead, she just looked like a house.”
Now that’s just mean. Okay, so she did seem a little thicker around the waist and she was sporting some extra junk in the trunk, but come on! She’s not a teenager anymore and she has had two kids in the last three years. People make it sound like she blew up like Aretha Franklin or something (no offense to the Queen of Soul). And seriously, if that girl is fat, then I’m a goddamn school bus.
“Spears poorly lip-synched her way through her show-opening performance of her new single "Gimme More”, wearing an ill-fitting sparkly black bikini and even more ill-fitting blond weave. Cuts to the audience revealed fellow artists rolling their eyes. 50 Cent looked like he might have just thrown up in his mouth, and Rihanna was flat-out laughing to a table guest.”
Heartless bastards, I tell you. So it wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t that bad either. Okay, except the hair. Her extensions were really, really bad. I can say this because I personally know the woe that can be frightful looking fake hair. I have on more than one occasion (okay, often) sported some pretty fugly looking ones myself. But I digress. The amount of hateful criticizing and shredding she is getting over a three minute performance is a bit much. What ever happened to rooting for the under, ahem, dog? And on a side note, as far as Rhianna is concerned…go ahead and laugh, girlie. You’re weave may be fierce and your song may be catchy, but you’re not Beyonce. So there!
I know. I’ve reached crazy. I do that a lot. It’s just that I want so badly for Britney to climb back to the top of her game. I want the media to be kissing her ass again, like they used too. This is what I expect from my divas. If they can rise above it, turn it around, and work it until they are loved and successful, then maybe the common folk, like me, stand half a chance to make it in this world filled with competition and disillusionment.
Just in case, perhaps I should save some energy for Mandy Moore’s musical comeback. She’s not gone off the rails, has she?
Essential Download: "Gimme More"
Artisit: Britney Spears
Available On: Britney Spear's Forthcoming Untitled CD, to be released November 13, 2007.
Originally published in the October 2007 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.