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Britney BOMBS at MTV awards


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MTV Awards flourish despite Britney bomb

LAS VEGAS - As in most train wrecks, it was hard to focus on just one thing as the Britney Spears disaster unfolded on MTV's Video Music Awards. There was just so much that went wrong.

Out-of-synch lip-synching. Lethargic movements that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor for a nursing home. The paunch in place of Spears' once-taut belly. At times she just stopped singing, as if even she knew nothing could save her performance.

Designed to drum up excitement for her upcoming album, Spears' kickoff to the Video Music Awards on Sunday night became another example of how far she has fallen. It would have been understandable if MTV's show had been crushed under the weight of the opening fiasco — yet somehow it rebounded, and even flourished.

The show banked heavily on its own reinvention. After poor reviews and a decline in ratings over the last few years, MTV moved the show to Vegas, shortened it from three hours to two, went to a hostless format and focused more on performances than awards.

Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, Kanye West, Fall Out Boy and the Foo Fighters hosted separate suite parties where most of the performances took place.

But the performance most people will be talking about was Spears'. And unlike her last appearance at the VMAs, when she locked lips with Madonna in 2003, this time it will be for all the wrong reasons.

"It definitely could have been a lot better," the hitmaking singer and producer Akon commented afterward. "She seemed nervous ... you could tell by the expression on her face. Instead of just blocking everybody out and doing her thing, you could tell she was thinking about it."

After that, though, the changes to the show worked, leading to several exciting performances and some watercooler drama. An off-camera fight between Pamela Anderson exes Kid Rock and Tommy Lee led Jamie Foxx to quip: "Stop all this white-on-white violence."

Timberlake's suite was flooded with revelers, alcohol and eight lingerie-clad stripper types on raised platforms. Before Timberlake accepted the Quadruple Threat of the Year award at his suite, the DJ summoned the partygoers to watch the monitor and go crazy if Timberlake won. He did, they did, and Timberlake said: "I want to challenge MTV to play more videos!" Then he was whisked away by bodyguards and disappeared.

Timberlake was the night's big winner, with four trophies. After accepting the award for Male Artist of the Year, he jabbed at the video issue again: "We don't want to see the Simpsons on reality television." Apparently he's not a fan of either Jessica or Ashlee's MTV shows.

Rihanna won the coveted Video of the Year award, plus Monster Single of the Year for "Umbrella." The Best Group was Fallout Boy, and Gym Class Heroes won Best New Artist.

Beyonce and Shakira won Most Earthshattering Collaboration for "Beautiful Liar." Beyonce's shimmering gold dress barely contained her top; immediately after she picked up her trophy she asked an assistant backstage to help fix her dress, apparently to prevent a wardrobe malfunction.

Other performers appeared on the show's main stage, in front of an industry-only audience seated at tables, like at the Golden Globes. Chris Brown gave one of the evening's most extravagant performances — hopping from table to table in a dance spectacle that channeled Michael Jackson, right down to a brief "Billie Jean" imitation.

Alicia Keys had the evening's most rousing performance, debuting her new song, "No One," and then an inspired, choir-backed cover of George Michael's "Freedom."

While performances like Keys' and Spears' were delivered on the main stage, others came in snippets: Akon crooned a bit of his "Smack That" before an award was announced, while the cameras zoomed in on Fall Out Boy and the Foo Fighters mid-performance in their suites, giving viewers the sense that they had happened upon an intimate concert.

Cee-Lo delivered a rocking version of Prince's naughty classic "Darling Nikki" in the smoky Foo Fighters suite (where a beer bong was in operation as Dave Grohl danced, sang Cure songs, played air drums and posed for snapshots); Soulja Boy was showing Kanye West his "Crank That" dance in West's suite.

Though the suites appeared to be chaotic parties, the MTV-cast revelers were carefully organized, strategically placed and encouraged to imbibe for the cameras.

Choreographed or not, Timberlake and Timbaland's suite looked the most exciting — T.I., buffeted by pole dancers, delivered a rousing version of "Big Things Poppin'" while 50 Cent stopped by to perform "Ayo Technology" with Timberlake and Timbaland.

Not to be outdone, T-Pain and West danced high atop Las Vegas in a balcony suite as they celebrated "The Good Life." And Lil Wayne, doing double duty in the Fall Out Boy suite after opening the pre-show with Nicole Scherzinger, was particularly animated.

TV viewers never got full views of those shows, though MTV promised more via its Web site and other "remixed" versions of the show. That might have been the purpose: to whet appetites for repeat viewings by promising glimpses of what they missed during the traditional broadcast.

Unlike in recent years, there was plenty reason to come back for more.

IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeAUgCJFC0g

___

AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen and Associated Press Writers Kathleen Hennessey and Ryan Nakashima contributed to this report

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Yeah, I think it's cold and superficial for people to comment on her figure. Common, she looks good (I think) she's had a couple kids, lets see someone try that and look like her. Not bad.

But her performance was not "nearly" the energy that she has shown in the past. Very sluggish, lack-luster.

But hey, she's wearing underwear! Kudos!!

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I saw it on the news this morning and couldn't believe it. I mean,of course I have never thought Britney could sing,but she usually put on a pretty good show as far as shock value during award shows,like "The Kiss" with Madonna a few years back. It's going to be interesting how this will affect her singing career since those exploits on those shows in years past helped propel album sales. This may have the opposite effect. And as far as her performance last night,she looked like somebody doing a bad audition for American Idol. The difference being of course,those who audition actually sing. Not lipsync.

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It's my understanding that lipsync is nothing new to awards shows. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But talent means - rehearsing, practicing and and AT LEAST appearing to be singing.

C'mon. She's got that "I'm here, aren't I? I'm moving a little and stuff, aren't I? I just want my paycheck so I can go shop s'more" - attitude going.

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It's my understanding that lipsync is nothing new to awards shows. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But talent means - rehearsing, practicing and and AT LEAST appearing to be singing.

C'mon. She's got that "I'm here, aren't I? I'm moving a little and stuff, aren't I? I just want my paycheck so I can go shop s'more" - attitude going.

I do remember in the early days of the MTV awards and similar shows,performers like Aerosmith and others performed live.

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It looked to me like she forgot there were cameras. A live audience probably wouldn't have noticed the bad lip synching as much. Her dancing however... very wooden. It looked like she was surrounded by so many others to disguise that fact. The audience looked so bored!

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Yeah, I think it's cold and superficial for people to comment on her figure...

When a career is solely based on sex appeal, they reap what they sow. Compared to the sex kitten look that made her a pop star, she is pot-bellied and sluggish in her movements. This is something you'll seldom hear being stated of artists such as Astrud Gilberto, Kate Bush, Joan Jett, Diana Krall, et al... you know? Women who are talented. Anyway, how is a lackustre performance by spear britnay considered "news" of any kind? One doesn't need to be Nostradamus to be able to foretell it's gonna blow.

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This has always been the problem when talent is second to appearance (beautiful or odd) as a platform for stardom. Genuine talent normally increases with age until health issues become apparent late in life. Natural beauty (not plasticized to the point of caricature) in most of us begins the waning process somewhere in the 30's; and if the talent does not come to the forefront by that time, the best the "star" may hope for is doing infomercials or appearing in travelling circuses. Think Suzanne Somers and Tiny Tim.

I see a Marilyn Monroe/Anna Nicole Smith type cloud over Spears.

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It appeared to me that she was thinking way too much. She seemed to have to think before every movement - even when she just stepped down the steps, she looked like she was concentrating on not falling. As opposed to years before when this type of performance has looked second nature to her... I think she was extremely nervous and let it get the best of her.

Or maybe it was the prozac cocktail that propelled her into a state of catatonia.

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Well , If the gossip is true , she spent the week before in Vegas just partying her a*s off . If true , she more likely than not was just going through the motions as only a party animal can - slowly and carefully .

I don't get her at all ! Pack it in . She likely has enough dough to live a quiet and fun life now . Why risk that ? What 'more ' can she contribute to pop ? It's for girls younger than her now ( like tennis , in a way ) ... ?!

Those 'awards ' are all BS anyway , and no one who has any sense of music ( but not the industry ) takes them seriously . Justin Timberlake was ' the big winner ' for Chri*st's sake !

The Lost Years - 1995-200? : Rock /pop had few , if any decent representitives ... how many songs will you really remember fondly ?

"Ever feel like you've been cheated ?!?! " - Johnny Rotten at the last performance by The Sex Pistols

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