NEW YORK: Pop princess Britney Spears took to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards stage Sunday in a raunchy but flat comeback performance that failed to impress her critics.
Spears, at the VMAs for the first time in nearly a decade, followed a 16-minute set by Beyonce Knowles that brought the house down at New York’s Madison Square Garden and was always going to struggle to match up.
Wearing a glittering metallic yellow bodysuit and supported by backup dancers dressed in black and white, she performed her new single “Make Me…” with rapper G-Eazy.
Despite grinding up against the 27-year-old Californian and even appearing to grope him at one point, the response on Twitter to her performance was underwhelming, with critics pointing out her lip-synching appeared way off.
“That performance was a hot mess. That outfit she was wearing made her look like a banana,” one said.
“Whatever the hell that was it was awful. Who thought she could follow Beyonce? #britney goodbye” tweeted another.
The singer had turned heads on the red carpet earlier in the evening in a one-shouldered, figure-hugging LBD with a revealing slit to the hip and black heels.
“So ready for this night #VMAs,” she tweeted alongside a backstage photo holding a champagne flute.
The “Toxic” singer admitted earlier this week she was nervous to make her return to the VMAs after a much-criticized last appearance in 2007.
Many fans pointed out however that Spears has given the VMAs some of their most iconic moments, including strutting on stage with a live python in 2001 and sharing a steamy kiss with Madonna in 2003. AFP