The Britney: PIECE OF ME residency announcement had all the ingredients of a religious cult assembly. On September 17, 2013, thousands of the faithful made a midnight journey, miles into the deep desert, hoping for a chance to see their goddess. The lady of the moment spent $100K of her own money to bus 1,350 school-aged girls into the madness, tasked with holding up a giant cardboard likeness of her. Naturally, she was late, uttered a few lines without singing, then hopped back on the chopper, leaving her followers in the dust. Press reports later revealed that the ride, combined with extreme nervousness, had made Miss Britney Spears nauseous. Others suggested that she had vomited all over the copter.
Just fifteen months earlier, Spears had accepted a $15 million dollar payday to be a judge on X-FACTOR. Once again, she was so nervous that the pop star chewed her fingernails until they were bloody. There was another awkward media event to announce her addition, and Spears barely uttered a few sentences, before deferring back to Simon Cowell.
Despite her popularity in the music world, "Britney the Judge" was a flop, and she was let go after one season. According to insiders, Cowell was paying for "crazy Britney" but instead got "boring Britney". "I kind of booked someone who couldn't talk, which is a bit of a problem when you want someone to judge." Cowell later explained.
Britney Spears joins X Factor USA judges on stage
So why would a performer, whose home is the stage, be so nervous when standing on one? Because she clearly wasn't ready. Only four years had passed since Spears was taken to a mental facility on a gurney. A 2007 performance on the VMA awards in Vegas was an absolute disaster, so it was unclear at the time if she wanted to be back in the public eye in order to prove something....or if her father was forcing her to do all of these shows.
Circling back to our starting point, PIECE OF ME had a contract for two years but was such a success that another two years were added on. Britney rarely spoke to the audience, and there were numerous complaints from fans who'd purchased a $1,500 meet-and-greet package that she wouldn't talk to them either...they were also told not to touch her during the photo. And of course, she lip-synced throughout the show. Is that the behavior of an enthusiastic professional?
Just as it seemed Britney was ready to live the quiet life and upload videos of herself making a sandwich, MGM Resorts swooped in and signed her for another residency. This one was doomed from the start. Ticket sales were reportedly anemic, and there was yet another bizarre media announcement via live stream, in which the pop tart walked down a red carpet and hopped into a limo, once more without speaking to fans who'd waited for hours.
So, I ask you again...is this the behavior of a celebrity who enjoys what she's doing? No, absolutely not. Sure, Jamie Spears had put all the parts into place for his daughter's continued schedule, but it was made possible by ever-clamoring fans. If folks had just allowed her to live her life, the shows would never have gone on. But you guys wouldn't give her a break.
Now fans and other entertainers are waving their #FreeBritney signs and posting endlessly about her fate. Instead of protesting, you could have just stuck to listening to her songs and watching concert videos. So in a big way, Britney's fans have contributed to her misery. Now that she's taken a stance and refuses to perform again, everyone seems to forget that they are the ones who made her work in Vegas.
In a recent public testimony, Spears said she once attempted to refuse the residency in Las Vegas, and within days, she was told by her therapist that she was "not cooperating" in her rehearsals and not taking her medications. She told the judge that the therapist then immediately put her on lithium, which made her feel like she was "drunk" and scared. She still exhibits bizarre behavior, body language, and speech, and would do well to get off Instagram and retire to a lakeside home.
"I'm not gonna be performing on any stages anytime soon with my dad handling what I wear, say, do, or think," the singer wrote last week on her Instagram page. "I'd much rather share videos YES from my living room instead of onstage in Vegas... I'm not gonna put on heavy makeup and try try try on stage again and not be able to do the real deal with remixes of my songs for years," she added.
Whatever your opinion of Britney Spears, it's clear that she just wants to be left alone. So, stop with the #FreeBritney posts and switch to #LeaveBritneyAlone. You aren't helping her at all. “I haven’t done anything in the world to deserve this treatment. It’s not OK to force me to do anything I don’t want to do,” she said.