Music Article

In Defense of Britney Spears

One EW writer thinks the pop star deserves a break

Am I the only one who doesn't think she was that bad? Britney's performance at the VMAs wasn't tight, or sexy, or even particularly good. But a career apocalypse? Give the girl a break. Her hair's just starting to grow back. Are you trying to make her shave it off again?

Look, I'll be honest — I didn't watch the show on Sunday night. I'd like to say I was busy tackling The Aeneid, but the truth is, MTV awards shows haven't been worth watching for a while now. The first I heard about ''the Britney train wreck'' was the next morning, when the flood of schadenfreude hit the blogosphere. I downloaded the clip and waited for the disaster. Would she fall down? Slur her words? Rip up a picture of the Pope? I'm still waiting.

I guess my biggest question is, What did you expect? The same schoolgirl of 1998? By Monday morning, Britney was being slammed for her zombie choreography, lousy lip-synching, hooker-like wardrobe, and apparently the worst crime of all, looking out of shape.

I thought her choreography looked more nervous than narcoleptic. But the lip-synching beef is absurd. Spears has never hidden the fact that she does this. She's not trying to perpetrate some Milli Vanilli fraud. And anyone who was offended that she was mincing around in fishnets...did you expect her to wear a burka? She's Britney friggin' Spears. Her moneymaker literally is her moneymaker. At least she had her hoo-ha covered up.

As for the ''fat'' thing, call Britney a talentless pop robot all you want, but you can't say Nicole Richie's too thin, then turn around and smack Britney like a pi´┐Żata because she doesn't have a six-pack. I thought she looked pretty good for someone with two kids. In the end, Britney's biggest misstep wasn't her dancing or singing (or lack thereof), it was agreeing to the gig in the first place. It seemed rigged for her to fail from the get-go. And in that regard, a lot of people got exactly what they wanted.

Originally posted Sep 14, 2007 Published in issue #955 Sep 21, 2007 Order article reprints