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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 09/ 8/2008

Comment Box: It's All About You (And Britney)

By Liz Kelly

Gimme more: Britney cradles her VMA Moonmen as manager Larry Rudolph looks on. (AP)

How did Britney do at last night's VMAs? -- Anonymous reader, who may in fact live with me, asking the question that's on all our minds.

Thanks for asking because, as regular readers know, you can't spell Celebritology without "brit" (or "ology," but that's for another day).

After last year's public immolation, the only place to go was up. And, to her credit, Brit appeared to be in full control of her musculature (a camera that followed her from dressing room to stage proved she wasn't wheeled out Hannibal Lecter style), her vocal cords and her newly-subdued image (no pink wig = good day). Sure, the pre-show skit with Jonah Hill was contrived (see clip below -- he went from "Superbad" to super bad in two short minutes) and her 20-second show opener utterly superfluous, but the important thing was that Brit -- who is after all pop royalty, of whom we expect better than last year's lip-synching ker-plop -- was able to stand up to the pressure of live TV and prove that she's ready to own the spotlight again.

That said, the cynic in me wonders how MTV secured Britney's high-profile appearance for a broadcast that would've had a hard time topping last year's show without the Spears factor. Brit, who had somehow never managed to snag a VMA at the height of her career walked away with three last night -- for best video, best female video and best pop video (redundant, you say? For shame!) -- all for "Piece of Me" off of her shaky last album, "Blackout." Meanwhile, the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry and Rihanna sat by, awardless.

Questions of a Celebritological nature? Submit them here.

By Liz Kelly  | September 8, 2008; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Britney Spears, Comment Box, Insta-Polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Mix: Spears Dominates VMAs; O.J. Trial Set to Begin
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So does making a video that almost no one saw for a CD almost no one bought now qualify Britney for the Video of the Year award. The fact she didn't even sing (or lipsync) in her "comback" shows her musical career is over. Mtv is just hyping this because it fits the redemption storyline.

Posted by: Cleveland Brown | September 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Didn't watch. I hate award shows with a passion. From the pics, she looks good. Nice to hear that she has cleaned up her act. Wonder though for how long?

Posted by: hodie | September 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

the definition of 'crazy eyes'
run away...

Posted by: Quintilius Varus | September 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Geez, how creepy looking is that manager guy??

Posted by: Tootsumi | September 8, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I read a comment elsewhere that Christina Aguilera's performance came off like a personal love letter to Britney: "This is how to put on a veteran performance, girlfriend."

Posted by: 23112 | September 8, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Tootsumi. He does have a creepy look. The picture could very well be captioned, "Let's move these silly awards so I can get a better look at your goodies."

Posted by: Brutal | September 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Didn’t watch new hubby wanted to watch football instead but I’m glad Britney took her medication this time around.

Shout-out to prescription coverage.

Posted by: Lisa1 | September 8, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

she's come a LONG way from showing her panties while shopping to last night. her dress was nice, showed off the hard work she's been doing at the gym. good for her. what she does with this comeback - is the next tabloid frenzy.

Posted by: bm | September 8, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm too old for the VMAs, maybe the CPRs, the IRAs or MRIs, CTs are more my speed.

Posted by: Bored @ work | September 8, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm no "luvbritney" but Piece of Me was a terrific song. It was catchy. Its still one of the most played songs on my ipod!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse


What are the chances that Jordan still has her purity and isn't wearing the ring for fashion? There's a little red flag whenever they start boasting about stuff like that.

Posted by: petal | September 8, 2008 11:16 AM

Well, I never! How dare you impugn such a delightful and wonderful young woman. It breaks my heart that such a good person is being attacked viciously for doing such a pure thing. Heavens to Betsy!

Posted by: Nancy | September 8, 2008 11:21 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I'll give Britney some credit, she looked great. However, any personality that existed in her previous years (before the nuttiness) was gone last night. She was playing it so safe that I found her incredibly boring. I don't think she deserved those awards either. That was MTV throwing the poor girl a bone...

Posted by: Kat | September 8, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Kat, I totally agree with you. I think that she just looked terrified that she would do or say something wrong - like Larry Rudolph prepped her to thank her fans if she won and get off the stage. I cannot believe it, but I found myself rooting for her!

Posted by: Betty | September 8, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think this was a smart move in the Brit Brit come-back. No need to go in over your head. While the opening skit was lame it was no more lame than had it been without Brit. Hopefully she will be in shape to perform next year. I do think MTV went over the top giving her 3 of the 8 awards. I mean that just smells way to contrived. 1 award sure but 3?

BTW - what is that host Brand famous for in the UK? I thought he was pretty funny in a Sarah Silverman kind of shock-humor way.

Posted by: sjcpeach | September 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Ya know what?

Rich people can always look great.

Big whoop.

Posted by: Cuarmudgeon | September 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Blackout is the fifth studio album by American pop singer Britney Spears. It was released on October 27, 2007, in Australia, October 29, 2007, in the UK, and October 30, 2007, worldwide. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the album was number 32 in terms of units shipped worldwide by the end of 2007. The album has sold 887,000 copies in the United States up to August 2008.[2] It was ranked at number 50 by Rolling Stone magazine in its publication of the Top 50 albums of 2007. Additionally, as of June 2008, there have been 3.1 million digital downloads of the songs and remixes from the album.[3]

While the above came from the highly unreliable Wikipedia, the numbers can be verified at Billboard magazine, which does that sort of thing. I am no luvbritney either, but before folks start saying things like no one bought the album, maybe a little fact check is in order.

Posted by: just the facts | September 8, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping for an opening ripped from today's headlines.

Britney walks out to the audience (who are holding up "Spears '08" signs), stands at the podium and says

"You know what they is the difference between a pop star and a poodle?

Lip synch."

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | September 8, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there were some people who bought the album....but it didn't even go platinum. Unheard of for a Britney album.

Posted by: to just the facts | September 8, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous reader, who may in fact live with me

Andy or Page? I can't believe that Mr. Liz would care.

Posted by: Nosy Parker | September 8, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before - it's not like I'm a Britney Spears fan - I'm a little too old and a little too much of a former WHFS listener to have gotten into her music.

But it is nice to see that this young woman is looking obviously healthy and sane. If it wasn't exotic or crazy or dramatic, at least she was dressed for her figure and didn't have a thousand-yard stare. It's good to see someone has cared enough to make sure she's heading back in the right direction.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | September 8, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

But it is nice to see that this young woman is looking obviously healthy and sane. If it wasn't exotic or crazy or dramatic, at least she was dressed for her figure and didn't have a thousand-yard stare. It's good to see someone has cared enough to make sure she's heading back in the right direction.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | September 8, 2008 1:13 PM

What medical school did you attend?
I don't give a rat's ass. Darwinism takes its course. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Get a life! | September 8, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

So nice to see that someone who calls themselves "Get a Life" is interested in watching someone destroy theirs and in criticizing those who would rather not see that...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | September 8, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey quark,
no snark taken!
I've been there. My son went through a phase where he would only eat a handful of things for lunch. Some fine -- raw spinach, oddly, he loved. Some that would make your hair stand on end.
We more or less ignored the behavior and let him pack his own lunch, and kept an eye on what he ate before and after school.
Know what put him right? A lecture on nutrition from his coach. Don't know if quark, jr., plays a sport. But every year I put a word in the ear of the coach of whatever to please point out to the kids that they need good nutrition during the day to play well in the evening.
Works for lots, obvy not all, of the kids on the team.

Posted by: mom of teens -- yeah, I know, you're sick of me. | September 8, 2008 1:03 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Britney is almost famous enough for Lance Armstrong. But I still think he's holding out for either Madonna or Sarah Palin.

Posted by: possum | September 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Nuh-uh! I thought that bracelet stuff was an urban legend. Anybody old enough to remember jelly bracelets? I wore them in all colors, so did all my girl friends. We would tease each other about their alleged meaning, but we never took it seriously. And none of could get any even if we had tried! My goodness! Everyone at my high school thought I was a garden implement!

Posted by: other liz | September 8, 2008 12:06 PM

you were probably fat and ugly, thats why you couldnt get any. most likely you still are.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 12:14 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Because I work in a school leaning in that direction, I'm very interested in the comments from those whose schools have gone "nut free", particularly when there's a Crazy Food Nazi Mom involved. I always wonder how much of the nut free craze is really and truly due to the possibility of a child's instantaneous death by exposure to a snack made in a factory that might have had a peanut in it, or is this just over-hysterical helicopter moms? I'm torn...I guess the rationale is "better safe than sorry" for the children with allergies, but really it does seem extreme, and those moms come across as uber-paranoid.

Posted by: AuntieW | September 8, 2008 12:52 PM

AuntieW, I'm right there with you. And I say that as a mom of a child with an allergy to tree nuts that requires whoever's with him to have access to an epi pen, just in case. There are children at his school who cannot touch peanuts and God forbid they get a whiff of peanut butter. It is absolutely terrifying to watch a child have an attack after exposure to a food allergen. I have seen it once with my son, and once at his preschool with another child (a two-epi pen kid, you give him the injection, call 911, and give him another injection if the ambulance isn't there in 3 minutes). My son has been raised to be diligent about avoiding nuts, but some kids are less careful.

There's a mom at school who wants the kids to all wash hands and brush teeth after lunch. This is just silly. I can't imagine how long it would take. If my son's allergy were that severe, he'd be home schooled.

Lunches are allowed to be whatever, and there are peanut/tree nut/wheat/dairy free tables available for the kids. Snacks must be free from all of the above. Basically, fruit, veggies, marshmallows. LOL.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 8, 2008 1:53 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there were some people who bought the album....but it didn't even go platinum. Unheard of for a Britney album.

Posted by: to just the facts | September 8, 2008 12:44 PM


Sure, but it's only a little over 100,000 sales from platinum status AND there have been over 3 million downloads. Digitally downloaded music is not counted for the "platinum" status. Correspondingly, sales of hard copy cd's are pretty much decreasing across musical genres, so it's harder for everyone to hit the magical platinum status. Not impossible, of course, just a little harder - and most performers can kiss diamond status farewell completely. So, all I am getting at is that it's a little silly to say that no one bought this album when in reality, there have been close to 4 million sales (if you count the almost 1 million hard copies and more than 3 million downloads).

Posted by: still not luvbritney | September 8, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh WGAS about Britney?! Now Russell Brand...he is very funny, smart, and entertaining. He's a UK sensation (comedian & talk show host. Russell's been on the Tonight Show a few times (including last week) where his charm and wit show him to be a modern (straight) Oscar Wilde. And he is CUTE underneath the beehive. And tall. Mmmm...

Posted by: Branded in L.A. | September 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Whooooah -- when did Pauly Shore start managing Britney?
I don't care what the caption says. That's totally the sidekick from Encino Man.

Posted by: other liz -- you know, the hottie | September 8, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

My daughter's very slim. I was underweight in high school.

Posted by: mom of teens | September 8, 2008 3:34 PM

Why don't the two of you come on over to my place? I'll give you some special type of "protein"!

Posted by: Jeff Stryker | September 8, 2008 3:43 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but did I miss the memo that declared that winners of VMAs should deserve it? (or any award winners really)

It's all politics and marketing from their reps hyping their performances. Say what you will about Britney, but she has dominated the news the past year and Pieces of Me was a very, very catchy song. For popular music, that's really all it takes.

Posted by: Kim | September 8, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse


other liz, you've taken me way back.

Posted by: Sully had a major crush on Sean Ashton when she was little | September 8, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

it's not necessarily true that allergies build up. a school friend of my son was tested right after he was born since severe peanut allergies ran in the family. it was severe right from the get-go. i mean, severe enough so that if he touches a crumb that has peanut oil in it he goes into shock. his parents are hoping the allergy diminishes over time. some do & some don't.

i remember as a child my mother packing all the things that she thought i "should" eat for lunch. i didn't. i mostly want to avoid that. with my son, if he does not eat then he goes hungry. it's a hard lesson for an 8 yr old but he does tell me now if he tries something. i might revist this issue with him.
the reason he only has cold options is that he doesn't have access to a microwave so it has to be cold or room temp. will those items keep food hot for 4 hours? i'm hyper about keeping the temp of food safe.

Posted by: quark | September 8, 2008 4:28 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I felt that the VMA's was one large pity party for Britney Spears!!! She didn't deserve either one of those awards and deep down, MTV knows it. I refuse to watch the VMA's again if they keep up this kind of crap!!! Other than Rihanna's performance, the show was a bore and I should've watched the Bears game! GO BEARS!!

Posted by: Kstewart | September 8, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

what is UP with the random cross-postings about food?

Posted by: gee whiz | September 8, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"what is UP with the random cross-postings about food?"

pay no attention to those re-posts.

That's just some trolls playing at being clever.

Posted by: Curmudgeon sez not to worry | September 8, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I've always harbored a secret liking for young Ms. Spears, not sure why exactly -- lord knows, she's not got a brain in her pretty little head and conversation with her would be probably be excruciatingly tedious, but she just always seemed to really be enjoying herself. Until she crashed and burned, that is. So I'm glad to see her back and seemingly much better.

Oh, and can I nominate this photo for a caption contest? That leer! Those eyes! That hair! I can think of at least three right off the top of my head!

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | September 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The fix is in, if this didn't prove that these awards are given to those that play MTVs game, then I don't know what will.

As if MTV plays videos anymore...

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