The Fifth Anniversary Of Britney’s VMAs Fiasco: Her Rebounds Since The Great MTV Sleepwalk Of ’07
Britney at the 2007 VMAs
Britney at the 2007 VMAs
Five years after that debacle, Spears can walk into this year's VMAs with her extensions held high. Unlike certain other trainwreck celebrities of her generation, Spears has managed to get her career—and seemingly her life, too—back on track. How'd Britney manage to rebound, when troubled contemporaries like Lindsay Lohan are still busy getting banned from nightclubs and playing real-life bumper cars?
You can probably credit it to her reliance on a higher power, or powers. And those powers might include Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and the judge overseeing her conservatorship, among others who've aided her professional or personal recovery.
But first, let's take a look back at the "annus hornbills" that was 2007. Actually, Spears had a run of terrible years, with the legendary umbrella and head-shaving incidents having come in 2007, when she was still terrorizing the streets of West Hollywood as a girl gone wild. But the bad years reached a symbolic nadir when Britney's 2007 VMAs performance proved especially publicly shambolic.
Expectations going into those VMAs were already low, since Spears had done a few club dates in May 2007—her first live appearances in three years—in which she charged fans $125 for what turned out to be a mere 15 minutes of lip-synching and non-dancing. Then she showed up in Las Vegas for the VMAs just two nights before one of the most critical TV appearances of her carer...and proceeded to do more club-hopping than rehearsing in those 48 hours. Not surprisingly, her choreography seemed to mainly consist of being held up and pushed around by other dancers.
The show's host, Sarah Silverman, went for the jugular after Spears's number came to a merciful end, snarking: "Was that incredible? Britney Spears, everyone. Wow. She is amazing. She is 25 years old and she's already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life." Even usually more circumspect fellow musicians expressed disappointment backstage. "I think it didn't seem like she wanted to be there," Common told People magazine after the VMAs. "There wasn't any spark; it didn't feel like life was there." Akon added his two cents: "That could have been better. She needed to focus more." The next day, an Us Weekly writer summed it up on CNN when he said that "she needed about 100 more hours before this thing was ready for prime time."