Entertainment behind the scenes
Britney co-stars with elephant in MTV awards promo
Eleven months after her disastrous performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, pop star Britney Spears is back to promote this year’s show, appearing in a series of upcoming promotional ads shot with a real-life, 9,000-pound elephant literally in the room with her.
The 10- to 30-second promos were recorded earlier this week on the Paramount studio lot in Hollywood, site of this year’s show, featuring Spears giving tongue-in-cheek hosting advice to the new emcee, British comedian Russell Brand from the recent film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” An MTV spokeswoman says the mostly ad-libbed spots, in which the elephant poses in the background, will begin airing this coming weekend.
The 25th annual edition of the Video Music Awards, long considered a looser, hipper version of the Grammys, will be broadcast live on MTV on Sept. 7, returning to Los Angeles for the first time in a decade.
Spears, coming off two marriages, two children and two stints in rehab, sought to launch a comeback on last year’s show with a performance of the song “Gimme More.” Instead, she drew a torrent of ridicule for lumbering around on stage in an ill-fitting black bikini as she awkwardly lip-synced her way through the dance number. The incident proved a publicity bomb for Spears but a ratings boon for MTV.
With Spears said to be back in the recording studio this summer working on her next album, and her personal life more or less back in order, the big question is whether she would dare venture a return engagement on the Video Music Awards. Hence, the presence of the 9,000-pound pachyderm in the commercials she filmed this week.
MTV is making the most of the suspense for now, refusing to say whether Spears, 26, might appear as either a presenter or performer on next month’s show. She’s nominated for two awards — best female video and best pop video, both for the song “Piece of Me.”