Fans and critics around the world have been taking to blogs and message boards wondering if it is time for Britney to retire.
The speculation comes in the wake of the superstar’s duo of lacklustre performances at yesterday’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old opened the proceedings by teaming up with Rihanna for a rendition of their US number one hit S&M, but it turned out to be a showstopper for all the wrong reasons.
Rihanna was slightly out of key and looked bored but was at least praised for her sexy dances moves, while Britney was ridiculed for her miming and lack of coordination.
Things went from bad to worse when the pop star joined future tourmate Nicki Minaj on stage, looking stiff and confused – with many critics questioning the Gimme More singer’s motivation, work ethic and even her mental health.
“Britney really shouldn’t be put in front of the public until she sorts out whatever issues seem going on behind the scenes,” mused Robbie Daw from Idolator. “It’s a cheat to her fans.”
Michael K from D-Listed was more blunt, quipping “S&M must stand for sedated and motherfuckingoverit.”
A surprise addition to the chorus of disapproval came from Chris Crocker of “leave Britney alone!” fame, who released a YouTube video suggesting his idol avoid performing until she’s in better form.
There’s no denying that the performances were woeful, but Britney has always mimed and come across poorly on stage – at least she looked hot and appeared to be enjoying herself.
Is this an overreaction to a particularly bad night or should the original teen queen exit stage left and come back when she’s more lucid?
Millions of people still pay top dollar to see Britney’s big budget drag act “live” in concert, so more power to her I say.
Watch both performances below and let us know what you think.