Britney Spears is just two shows into her Circus Tour in Australia and she’s already the center of controversy Down Under. Reviews of Spears’ tour-opening shows in Perth were negative, with critics complaining about the fact that Spears lip-synchs during her performance. While Spears’ lip-synching is no secret to American audiences, Australia’s WA Today called Spears’ first of 14 shows “heavy on miming and light on audience interaction,” adding that she “often had her back to much of the crowd.”
Amid reports that audience members left the show disappointed — with some even walking out on the performance before it ended — the tour’s promoter Paul Dainty told The Australian, “Britney is aware of all this and she’s extremely upset by it. 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.” Spears’ manager Adam Leber also came to the singer’s defense, writing on Twitter, “It’s unfortunate that one journalist in Perth didn’t enjoy the show last night. Fortunately the other 18,272 fans in attendance did.”
All the hullabaloo surrounding Spears’ performance also caught the attention of New South Wales’ Fair Trade Minister Victoria Judge, who said tickets to Spears’ concerts should carry a disclaimer stating the show is prerecorded, People reports. “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 government-backed statement. Rolling Stone noted Spears’ lip-synched performance when the tour kicked off back in March, but that only minimally detracted from the live spectacle of the Circus show.
Yet somehow in all of this, John Mayer has emerged as the voice of reason, with the Battle Studies singer tweeting this weekend, “If you’re shocked that Britney was lip-syncing at her concert and want your money back, life may continue to be hard for you.” Spears’ controversial trek across Australia continues November 11th with a three-night stand in Melbourne.
• Britney Spears’ “Circus” Spectacle Draws Madonna to New York Show: Full Report
• Britney Spears Trades Plot for Simple, Sexy Dancing in “3” Video
• Britney Spears’ Wild Ride: Track Her Ups and Downs in Photos