Does Britney Spears lip-sync in concert? Is the pope Catholic? Is the sky blue? Duh. Apparently Australia didn’t get the memo because some fans Down Under are freaking out over Brit-Brit’s performances in Perth, Australia, this past weekend.
Britney kicked off her 14-date Australian tour with Friday and Saturday shows at Perth’s Burswood Dome. Australian media such as Adelaide Now reported that “disgruntled fans walked out [in the middle] of her first Australian concert in Perth, upset by her lip-syncing.” Reporter Rebekah Devlin wrote that some fans left after only three songs with ticketholders saying the show “was not worth the $200 they had paid.” The article noted Spears lip-synced most of her songs, excluding the ballads, and also criticized the show’s lack of big screens. Perth Now reported that a “security guard said he had never seen so many people walk out of a concert.”
On the other hand, WAtoday.com wrote that although Friday’s show “underwhelmed some fans disappointed by an act seemingly heavy on miming and light on audience interaction,” the crowd came prepared for Spears to lip-sync. “Forgive and forget the lip-syching and you will love it.”
Spears’ manager, Adam Leber, took to the singer’s Twitter account and posted the following message Friday night: “Its unfortunate that one journalist in Perth didn't enjoy the show last night. Fortunately the other 18,272 fans in attendance did.” Britney’s fans quickly sent in their own messages of support and adoration for the star and her performance through Twitter and Spears’ website.
Australian tour promoter Paul Dainty told The Australian that reports that hundreds of fans walked out of Spears’ show was “the biggest lie” he’d ever heard.
"I'm so angry. We can take heat if there's something wrong and people can review shows badly – that's something you have to live with – but to say people stormed out of the show was an absolute fabrication."
Dainty said that Britney was “extremely upset” by all of the criticism.
“She's a human being. I'm embarrassed, with such a big international entourage here with Britney, to be part of the Australian media when I see that kind of totally inaccurate reporting."
He explained that Spears isn’t trying to keep her lip-syncing a secret.
"It's been all over the Internet for nine months," Dainty said. 'The inference is that we tried to hide this. It's been the opposite. This show is about an incredible spectacle, which it is.”
The venue also released a statement calling Friday’s concert a huge success and denying that a large number of fans walked out.
“Early media reports that hundreds of fans left the concert early cannot be substantiated and Burswood has received no complaints about the concert,” a Burswood Dome representative said in a statement, according to Perth Now.
Century Tel Center, Bossier City, La.
September 19, 2009
Although Dainty claims Britney isn’t trying to hide anything, the singer’s lip-syncing controversy has inspired a few politicians Down Under to start brainstorming a new lip-syncing law.
The Fair Trade Minister for the state of New South Wales, Virginia Judge, said concert tickets should include a disclaimer warning fans parts of the concert are pre-recorded and mimed, according to Reuters.
"It is Britney's 'prerogative' to lip-sync, and it is my job to make sure consumers know what they are paying for up front," Judge said in a statement released by the government, according to People.
What do you think about all this drama? Would you like lip-syncing performances to come with a warning label? Personally, I agree with Spears’ Australian promoter who said the concert is “about an incredible spectacle.” Britney’s show isn’t really about singing but more about showing off dance moves, multiple sexy costumes, an impressive stage setup and the Circus’ backup dancers, clowns and acrobats.
Britney continues the tour on Wednesday with a three-night stand at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne followed by performances in Sydney and Boondall. The tour wraps up Nov. 29 with a show at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh.
Click here and here for the Adelaide Now stories.
Click here for the WAtoday.com story.
Click here for the Perth Now story.
Click here for The Australian story.
Click here for the Reuters story.
Click here for Britney Spears’ website.