The Whitney Houston comeback train hit a serious speedbump this week in Australia, with fans walking out mid-show after the exhausted singer showered the audience with an endless stream of flat notes and coughing fits (in case you don’t recognize it between the pauses, she’s trying to sing “I Will Always Love You” in the clip from the Brisbane show above—letting a back-up singer take the high notes). Now fans who purchased tickets for upcoming shows—with tickets ranging from $165 to $699—are concerned about getting their money’s worth.
“Some fans are having a whinge,” a spokesperson for Hope Estate told the Herald-Sun, where at least 12,000 are set to see Houston perform Friday. “They’ve been asking if the concert is still going ahead, and, if it does, whether she’ll make it back to the stage if she has a break…But the show is going ahead—there seems to be an overreaction out there.” Andrew McManus, tour manager for Houston—who has four more shows in Australia before starting European dates in April—is unapologetic for her “warts and all” performances. “If they expected to hear the Whitney of 20 years ago, go buy a CD. If they want to see a true professional artist give 100%, well come along and enjoy the ride of an amazing talent, on stage, letting her heart and soul out for us all to enjoy.” Heart and soul…so that’s what she’s coughing up.