All eyes were on Britney Spears Sunday night.
After her disastrous performance of "Gimme More" at the VMAs nine years ago, there were a lot of expectations going into Spears' "triumphant return to the VMAs stage," as presenter Kim Kardashian called it. However, scheduling Britney to follow Beyonce's 15-minute Lemonade medley seemed like a cruel joke straight out of Carrie.
Not that Britney seemed to mind.
The singer executed a perfectly enjoyable, albeit fairly routine, performance of her latest single "Make Me." The song itself isn't really a banger, so it missed the electric energy of Beyonce's powerhouse performance. But what Britney lacked in shock factor and artistry, she more than made up for with genuine enthusiasm.
More so than anything else, what made Britney's previous foray onto the VMAs stage so troubling wasn't her stumbling or lack of attempts to even try and lip sync. It was how clear it was that Britney did not want to be there, and worries that Britney wasn't even completely aware of where "there" was.
So when Britney skipped around the stage on Sunday, flipping her hair with infectious glee, she was triumphant. Because she has nothing to prove anymore. She's already solidified her status as a living legend and not even the 2007 VMAs or Chaotic could ever erase what she's achieved with Banana the Snake, "Toxic" or even Glory, her latest album which features some of her best work yet.
We don't need Britney to be like Beyonce. We already have Beyonce for that. All we want is to feel like Britney Spears loves being Britney Spears again, and she achieved that in spades on Sunday. At the end of the day, that's all that matters.