Easily the worst kept secret in the media-scape, today saw Britney Spears‘ role as a judge on The X Factor USA confirmed. Finally.
An undeniable coup for Fox and Simon Cowell, the move ensures the show is a cemented hot topic pre, while, and post-airing. A relative stroke of genius given NBC’s decision to air season 3 of rival show The Voice at the same time this Fall (instead of next February).
After all, if the ratings follow the competitive patten of both shows’ key players, Spears and Christina Aguilera, the big X looks poised to come out on top. Yet, at what price?
Almost 7 years have passed since Britney could perform or remember a simple 8-count. A tragic far cry from the air of “show-stopper” that defined her early-mid career. And that’s not to mock the 30 year old. Indeed, well-documented are the emotional and mental strains that have plagued her personally. Strains only those who’ve reached such dizzy heights of stardom could even begin to fathom. Strains, that for all the milking of her “brand”, are still overwhelmingly apparent (see: stunt doubles, lack of spark, hyper-controlled interviews, and the like).
One has to wonder, then, if The X Factor as an apt platform to rehabilitate her image – especially given the fragility of her “everything” at present. As the likes of Nicole Scherzinger learnt last year, public scrutiny is a guarantee on such a show; and while Spears’ hefty $15 million pay-packet is certain to include all sorts of clauses to ensure she come across “present” courtesy of the producers, there’ll be no hiding once the live shows commence.
Unlike many, our gripe comes not from her inability to sing live. It simply stems from the question of why is Spears signing on to look for the X Factor in others when her own has been missing for years?
From this vantage-point, Spears simply needed a lengthy break to re-discover “self”, with her performer “spark” following organically thereafter. How doing that in front of the public will help her remains to be seen. What is palpable, though, is that her stint on the show has all the makings of car-crash TV. And while we’re hoping to be proven wrong, like many we’ll be watching expecting the worst. Sigh…