Grand PR Stunt in the Desert Didn’t Pay Proper Tabloid Tribute to Britney Spears


Just a nod to Britney the Songbird, no nod to Britney the Cuckoo Bird?

C’mon, you publicity/marketing overseers, over-doers and evildoers—the best over-the-top stunt you could manage last week was metaphorically castingBritney Spears as some sky-high deity descending from a helicopter to greet her slavish subjects panting for her Royal Pop-Tartness on the desert floor below?

Where’s your imagination, not to mention your sense of tabloid history, without which The Brit wouldn’t have reached this level of media monster-dom? Surely, she could’ve rappelled down a rope from the chopper sans panties, saluting her peekaboo crotch-shot seen (and cringed at) around the world? Perhaps she could’ve dropped to the ground with her blond locks on fire and incinerating in an affectionate paean to her infamous self-sheared hairdo.

Had you put any thought into it, you could’ve had her land on padding painted with the likeness of Kevin Federline. Or just land on Kevin Federline. Then dash over to the chopper, beating it senseless with an umbrella as a paparazzo cowered inside the cockpit.

Didn’t she get airsick up there? Assuming she left behind any, shall we say, residue of that episode, did anyone think to collect it for sale at the Hard Rock gift shop? You know it would sell.

Now that the “Baby One More Time” diva is heading to town to do a residency for the first time, starting New Year’s weekend at Planet Hollywood, do I need to do all the thinking for you in the insufferable PR swarm that will engulf us over the next three months?

Britney Spears descends in a helicopter following the September 17 announcement of her new residency in Las Vegas. | Photo by Denise Truscello

Britney Spears descends in a helicopter following the September 17 announcement of her new residency in Las Vegas. | Photo by Denise Truscello

Yes, the chopper stunt over the Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed—followed by the announcement on Good Morning America of news that had been expected for so long it was hardly news and likely left still-sleepy early-morning viewers yawning while 1,300 “fans,” i.e. Caesars Entertainment employees, feigned ecstasy (perhaps a few were genuinely ecstatic)—was OK as far as it went. Which wasn’t far enough.

Chopper Britney didn’t outdo Shania Twain clip-clopping down the Strip on a horse or CeeLo setting his piano aflame. Or even Frank Sinatra back in the day, riding a camel to trumpet the 1955 opening of the Dunes.

Step it up, spin-monsters.

Turn me into such a simpering Spears spaz that by the opening of The Show That Stuns the Globe—and unleashes prayerful gratitude from every citizen of the Earth who is reduced to puddles of joyous tears—the only way to climax the rapture will be to guzzle rat poison.

Then I will guzzle.

Oh, I forgot: Welcome to Vegas, Brit.

STRIP POSTSCRIPT: Given Pia Zadora’s recent legal troubles stemming from her decision to solve a domestic disagreement by turning a water spray on offending family members—escalating into a brief standoff with Metro’s SWAT unit—we’re relieved to know that she’s picking up a mic and putting down the nozzle.

Last week, the singer commenced a weekly Thursday-through-Saturday-night gig at Piero’s Italian Cuisine, backed by a quartet led by Vincent Falcone. Shows are at 9 p.m.

Garden hoses checked at the door.

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