It’s been 5 years, 1 month and 26 days since the last time Britney Spears last appeared for an extended period of time on live television. That occasion? Her infamous, zombified, bewigged performance of “Gimme More” at the 2007 Video Music Awards, an event that forever altered Britney’s reputation (and one, some would argue, that she never really recovered from).
In the five-plus years that have elapsed since that night, Britney has appeared on TV a handful of times (a VMA acceptance speech here and there, pre-taped segments of X Factor), but those events have always unfolded in a highly-controlled and scripted manner. Tonight marks her official return to the pressure-packed world of live television, and millions will be tuning into the X Factor on Fox tonight to see how she holds up under the spotlight. Britney admitted to Extra that she’s “a little nervous,” and it turns out her producers are, too, but not for the reasons you might think.
Buzzfeed’s Richard Rushfield reports tonight that X Factor producers are stressing out not about Britney’s ability to deliver a critique when the red light goes on, but whether or not she’ll be able to smoke a cigarette quickly enough during commercial breaks. According to Rushfield’s sources, Simon Cowell is an old pro at huffing down heaters while the camera’s are turned off —he takes a “very small number of very deep drags before stamping his cigarette out,” according to Rushfield— but Britney, on the other hand, “often steps away for 10 to 20 minutes at a time” to get a nic fix while the show tapes on without her. Of course, she won’t be able to do that on live television tonight, unless the X Factor decides to let her puff away on screen like a latter day Richard Dawson (not likely). How will the show, and more importantly, Britney cope tonight after being deprived of her languid smokey treat sessions? You’ll just have to watch to find out!
[Photo: Splash News]