Britney Spears’ Puzzling New Video Has Singer Drowning In Fame

Singer addresses rumors, provokes thought with suicide-themed clip.

Britney Spears is getting into that “Leaving Las Vegas” frame of mind.

The singer is going to stage her suicide in her new video for “Everytime,” as a way to respond to rumors and reports that she’s teetering on the brink, seeking help, in therapy or otherwise disturbed. Call the clip Britney’s funhouse mirror — it’ll reflect her life, but distort it, too.

Spears’ follow-up to “Toxic” — her first #1 single since 2000′s “Oops! … I Did it Again” — will be shot in Los Angeles but set in Sin City, home of her quickie marriage. Though “Everytime” is a plea for forgiveness for inadvertently hurting a former lover, that aspect isn’t addressed as much as the song’s tone of regret and loss.

Directed by David LaChapelle, the video will use “saturated, but low and naturalistic lighting” to give a cinematic feel, taking a cue from the 1995 Nicolas Cage film “Leaving Las Vegas.” According to the clip’s treatment, Spears arrives at the supposedly secret but paparazzi-swarmed back alley of an exclusive hotel, boyfriend in tow. Though it’s common for the singer to be mobbed by the press, this time, people go to extremes, exaggerating the chaos as her bodyguards try to protect her and fights break out.

The camera cuts back and forth from the action to find Spears in an extreme close-up, performing directly to the camera as the story unfolds around her. She and her date are shuttled into the hotel, having been roughed up a bit, and exchange a look expressing that what was supposed to be a vacation is no fun for either of them. They end up in the high-rollers suite, but it doesn’t help calm them down. Spears tries to put her angry boyfriend at ease, pouring two glasses of wine from the gift basket, but he lashes out, smashing the bottle at her feet.

Spears then gets quiet and walks away, heading to the bathroom, where the camera angles start to add a bit of mystery. A hand lays down a glass of red wine, water trickles around the cracks of tile, the bathtub overflows, and on the ledge stands a bottle of pills, the cap removed. Spears’ head slips under water, and only then does her boyfriend, who had been watching television, start to notice. As he tries to revive her, the camera tracks a new Britney, alive and unharmed, walking past him, out of the room and out of the hotel. The paparazzi, still swarming at the back entrance, don’t seem to register this Britney, and she disappears into the night.

Ambiguity is all that remains — is Britney alive? Dead? A ghost? Did she kill herself off before the tabloids could? Did she kill herself so that she could be reborn? The final shot — which shouldn’t be revealed here so as not to spoil the surprise — doesn’t answer any of these questions, but should give fans plenty to talk about.

Meanwhile, Spears will continue her Onyx Hotel Tour, which launched last week (see “Britney Strips, Gyrates, Sweats, Flirts At Tour Kickoff “), with a second leg, starting in June. She’ll squeeze in her “Everytime” video shoot between the March 12 Seattle date and the March 15 Denver date.

Britney Spears tour dates for the second leg of the Onyx Hotel Tour, according to Jive Records:

  • 6/22 – Hartford, CT @ Meadows Music Theater
  • 6/23 – Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center
  • 6/25 – Scranton, PA @ Montage Mountain Amphitheater
  • 6/26 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lakes Six Flags Performing Arts Center
  • 6/27 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheater
  • 6/29 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater
  • 6/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 7/2 – Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheater      
  • 7/3 – Columbus, OH @ Germain Amphitheater
  • 7/4 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Stadium
  • 7/8-9 – Wantagh, NY @ Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Ampitheater
  • 7/10 – Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion
  • 7/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tweeter Center
  • 7/13 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
  • 7/14 – Burgettstown, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
  • 7/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
  • 7/17 – Chicago, IL @ Tweeter Center
  • 7/19 – Maryland Heights, MO @ UMB Bank Pavilion
  • 7/20 – Nashville, TN @ Starwood Amphitheater
  • 7/22 – Raleigh, NC @ AllTel Pavilion at Walnut Creek
  • 7/23 – Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheater
  • 7/24 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 7/27 – Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Amphitheater
  • 7/28 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Sound Advice Amphitheater
  • 7/30 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena
  • 7/31 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • 8/2 – Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Center
  • 8/3 – Selma, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 8/5 – Albuquerque, MN @ Journal Pavilion
  • 8/7-8 – Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • 8/10 – Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
  • 8/11 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater