Britney Spears Dances a Lot, Sings a Little in New Vegas Revue
photo: Denise Truscello
On Dec. 27, as Britney Spears kicked off her much-hyped "Piece of Me" residency at Las Vegas's Planet Hollywood resort, descending from the vaulted ceiling in a futuristic gilded cage while wearing what appeared to be her rhinestoned nude bodysuit from the 2000 VMAs, the burning question inside the 4,600-seat theater was: Was she singing live?
The answer: Eh, probably not. Not most of the time, anyway. The relatively intimate setting made that pretty obvious. But then, there was another, almost equally valid question: Did it even matter? And once again, the answer was, well, no. Not really.
Real-time reactions inside the theater to Britney's 90-minute Vegas revue — which included her flying through the air dressed as a snowy Christmas angel for "Everytime"; a reenactment of the Cardio Barre choreo from her "3" video; a totally-'90s, ravey "Scream & Shout" duet with a virtual, Max Headroom-like will.i.am; a rainforest performance of "Toxic" (toxic rain?) during which Britney scaled a giant plastic tree; and several dance routines seemingly inspired by Paula Abdul's "Cold-Hearted" video — were mixed. Some spectators seemed peeved by Britney's apparent lack of actual singing, tweeting their snarky disdain:
Britney Spears may be the only "live" performer with the chutzpah to lip sync to a song where she used AutoTune.
— Mike Prevatt (@mikeprevatt) December 28, 2013
I just watched Britney's show & her lip sync was off by like 5 secs :(
— willam belli updates (@wh0rex) December 28, 2013
Britney would be a perfect contender for RuPaul's Drag Race. No one would touch her in a lip-sync for your life battle.
— Will Carter (@unHuman_2U) December 28, 2013
Other, more supportive audience members championed Britney, showing little interest in any ongoing live-or-Memorex debate and expressing giddy delight that the pop princess, whose famously fancy footwork never was quite as fancy after her 2004 knee injury, was enthusiastically dancing again:
Just because Britney lip syncs doesn't make us like/love her any less. The fans love & enjoy her music. End of story
— 'BritneyIsMyIdol (@LOVEBRITNEY81) December 28, 2013
Britney is the only person I would pay to see lip-sync.
— hatemylyfe (@Cows4Lyfe) December 28, 2013
I could careless if Britney lip-syncs, as long as she KILLS the choreo.
— . (@TalkThatGodney) December 28, 2013
No one really cares that Britney is going to be lip-syncing for her show. We’re all just happy she made it through her problems #yougogirl
— AuBree Burk (@aubreeburk) December 28, 2013
And then there was Britney's number-one fan, occasional duet partner, and possible successor, the one and only Miley Cyrus, twerking up a storm in the front row. Miley certainly seemed thrilled with the show: