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Britney Spears' "Circus" Doesn't Sparkle

Britney Spears hit London Town this week for the first time in four years. But the concert series may not be the "Circus" we had all hoped for.

Spears' first arena tour in five years began on March 3 in New Orleans and wound up its U.S. and Canada dates April 29 in Chicago. The star took a break before taking the tour to London.

Britney saw a few micro-stars, including comedian Alan Carr, in attendance at London's massive 02 Centre, but the turnout was largely representative of her core fan base; lots of gay guys and girls who are now the same age at the performer.

So, what of the show? She could have put Marcel Marceau to shame with her endless miming.

The hits flowed, including a remix of her cult track "I'm A Slave For You," and, of course, Brit favorites like "Toxic" and "Every Time."

But something was missing - it was Britney, herself.

She could have phoned in the performance. She looked bored, pudgy and totally disinterested. It only went to confirm that the star who shocked fans and the world with her meltdown a few years back is still a long way from getting her sparkle back.

It could have been her bipolar medication, but nothing sizzled.

My biggest gripe: a complete lack of connection with her clearly adoring audience. It was as if she dared not speak to them. Maybe it was simply the fact that, as is the case with much in life, speaking to the audience was not pre-scripted. Either way, there was no chat for the London fans.

Britney arrived back at the posh Dorchester Hotel on London's iconic Park Lane, had a quiet drink and some fast food ordered to her suite.

Perhaps the arrival of ex-husband Kevin Federline, who pulled in after the concert in his new role as the pop-star's chief babysitter, will put some sparkle back into her life - and her performance. If not, might I suggest you give this circus a miss, and wait for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour later this year.

Now, Britney, that is a show!



Neil Sean is a U.K. entertainment columnist and TV commentator. His reports are heard on more than 100 U.K. radio stations and he has a show on The Biography Channel.
By Neil Sean