What started as a clever gimmick to get famous pop stars to let down their guards has now become an essential part of any singer’s promotional tour. And no one is in bigger need of the “Carpool Karaoke” bump than Britney Spears.
It’s unlikely that Spears’s ride with James Corden will approach the record-breaking YouTube numbers that welcomed Adele’s entry earlier this year. But it could go a long way toward bolstering a comeback as she prepares to release her ninth studio album Glory on Friday, followed by a highly-anticipated return to the MTV Video Music Awards stage on Sunday night.
Typically, “Carpool Karaoke” is a chance for massive celebrities like Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, and even First Lady Michelle Obama to show what they are like when they’re freed from the constraints that an entourage of handlers can bring. But rather than looking relaxed, Spears appeared nervous from the start.
Spears told the host she has no idea what her song “Oops, I Did It Again” is about, but seemed to at least have fun when they acted out the mid-song skit about the blue diamond from Titanic.
Later, Spears opened up a bit more to Corden, telling him she thinks she might be “done with men” for good. While she can be “French-kissing” someone, marriage might be off the table. “Have you heard about this new bondage thing?” Spears asked Corden before explaining to him that tickling is the new sadomasochism.
When Corden began to sing her 2004 hit “Toxic,” Spears giggled nervously and looked out the window before cautiously starting to dance and mouth the words instead of belt them out. As Corden gleefully went into falsetto, Spears covered her mouth and shook her head.
In the end, Corden changed into a Catholic schoolgirl outfit, complete with blond pigtails, for a finale of “...Baby One More Time.” Spears never let loose with the abandon of some of Corden’s previous “Carpool Karaoke” partners, but as she sang into her water bottle, she did finally seem to be having fun.