Back in March after the first unofficial confirmation surfaced that Britney Spears would become a judge on season two of the X Factor, I posted a list of pros and cons about her joining the fledgling show. One of the cons was the inevitable criticism the Queen B could subject herself to with such a daring return to the public eye — after all, before she became a zombified recluse, Britney was the media’s favorite punching bag.
The new season doesn’t hit TV screens until September, but it looks like the Britney backlash has already well and truly begun.
This week both Wendy Williams and Kathy Griffin devoted segments to Britney’s X Factor deal on their talk shows. On top of voicing their own respective opinions on the big move and sharing their love for Britney, both chatterboxes scrutinized photos of the songstress from the recent Fox Network press conference, labeling the Queen B messy and unstable, and only half-joking that she could fall apart at any moment. They also both zoomed in on a photo of one of Britney’s fingernails, which had been picked and chewed to the point of bleeding — a worrying sign of nerves and anxiety.
Wendy concluded her segment by warning Britney to hand back the $15 million dollar pay cheque and to go back into hiding, while Kathy and her cohorts were excited at the prospect of seeing Britney and the troubled Demi Lovato having a meltdown on TV.
It’s not just trashy talk show divas weighing in on Britney. The Hollywood Reporter has already consulted ‘Hollywood Crisis Experts’ to evaluate Godney’s chances of success, while CNN ran an article on the potential impact that the X Factor could have on her career.
“She walks around like a robot. People can’t relate to that,” Rolling Stone associate editor Andy Greene told CNN. “This could prove to be a whole new phase of her career. Britney 4.0.”
CNN were right on the money with their assessment of Spears, stating that the role on the X Factor is most likely more about Britney’s team rebuilding her public image than trying to score a hefty payday.
Britney’s not going to be able to compete with the Rihanna’s and Beyonce’s of the world much longer if her success continues to ride solely off her name and the nostalgic fondness that most twentysomethings have for her. In recent years her music has become more shallow and her creative input has dramatically decreased, she’s grown more detached from her fans and the public, and her performances have continued to get worse. It’s hard being a Britney fan these days when you don’t have any access to the best thing about Britney, which is Britney herself.
Whether she crashes and burns on X Factor or passes with flying colors, this has to be the best thing for her career right now. Either way, it’ll give Britney back some personality and a little edge, whether it’s “OMG BRITNEY IS A HOT MESS DID YOU SEE HER FORGET HER LINES LAST NIGHT?” or “OMG BRITNEY IS SO CUTE AND FUNNY JUST LIKE I REMEMBER HER!”.
It’s a little worrying that the media is already starting to act like it’s 2007 again by analyzing her mental health so vigorously and zooming in on photos of her fingernails to find any signs of self-destruction, but it’s about time Team Britney dealt with reality and released the Princess of Pop from her ivory tower once and for all.