This is who Britney Spears is now: a Las Vegas performer who's ripped off some Cirque de Soleil productions so she can tread water in our collective pop culture consciousness with a show called "Piece of Me." Are you sad? Do you feel old? Or did you somehow always know things would go down like this for Britney, even before she announced her Vegas semi-retirement back in September?
At 32, Spears is younger than other huge Vegas headliners like Elton John and Celine Dion, which means that her typical audience is a lot younger than the average Vegas show-going crowd. She's signed on to do 50 shows from 2014 to 2015 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, and could do more if all goes well, if being the operative word: production values are reportedly much higher than those of an ordinary Wayne Newton hormone exhibition, and it's not yet clear if Spears's young(ish) fans will flock to Vegas to see her career recede under the sands of time. Also, the show sounds incredibly depressing:
Still, the show is not immune to nostalgia, one of the prime currencies in Las Vegas entertainment. It includes several callbacks to the 1990s and early 2000s, including plaid shirts tied around dancers' waists and a recap of the barely-there sparkling costume Spears wore in the "Toxic" music video.
Spears' younger self haunted the show, with clips of her early performances playing on huge monitors. Notably absent from those monitors, to the displeasure of some fans in the cheap seats, were any live close-ups of what was unfolding onstage.
A live SPCA adoption show scored by Sarah McLachlan and starring a three-legged cat named Snippets actually sounds more upbeat. [AP]
- The Great Miley Cyrus $100K jewelry heist appears to have been an inside job, according to police investigators who are all still really bummed that Clive Owen wasn't selected to be the next James Bond. [TMZ]
- "This is the king of asses right here. I got all that support over asses." That was Big Freedia on her secret ass-based formula for success. [Salon]
- Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum of ascending and descending celebrities, Jon Gosselin is still around and garnering the attention of journalists who write article synopses like this: "As part of the headlining duo of Jon & Kate Plus 8, he ruled the reality-TV roost. Then his life crashed and burned, and five years later he's working as a maître d' and living in a cabin in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania." [Draws a hot bath with his own tears] [Languishes for days] [Philly Mag]
- In other news of woodland dwellers, Alan Robertson is super glad that his homophobic papa will be returning to Duck Dynasty even though he was also intrigued by the idea of A&E replacing his dad with Sweetums. Write a letter to your congressperson — we can still make Sweetums on Duck Dynasty happen. [E!]
- Albert Hammond, Jr., the guitarist for The Strokes, married Justyna Sroka, and now the happy couple will run the dinosaur amusement park Hammond's grandfather founded on Isla Nublar. [E!]
- Everyone wants to pirate Beyoncé's album. [Billboard]
- Nobody wants to hear about Jenelle Evans drinking heavily during her latest pregnancy. [ONTD]
- The Pitt-Jolie family went to the movies to support the hard-working, underprivileged laborers of Hollywood. [Just Jared]
- This guy from Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice — a television show, apparently — kind of looks like a version of Jensen Ackles that never left Texas because he got a girl pregnant in high school and he knew he didn't love her but dammit he was gonna do the right thing so he got a job at the local Texaco station and worked his way up the management ladder until he could buy a ranch house for his young family and wouldn't you know that things were going swell until the second kid came along and bizarro Jensen Ackles, still dreaming of a bigger life, slipped off one night, just meaning to drive until he cleared his head, and wound up shooting himself in the cab of his F-150 on a dark and deserted stretch of East Texas highway instead. [TMZ]
- And here is a video of Miley Cyrus getting fresh with one of Britney Spears's "Piece of Me" backup dancers, because if you believe that Britney would always end up as a headliner in Vegas, than you have to believe Miley will end up as the old lady who does nothing but attend the same Vegas shows in between marathon slot machine sessions. [YouTube]
Image via AP, Denise Truscello