(Editor's note: The VMAs are a big assignment, and with this year's show taking over Las Vegas all week long, our friends at Us Weekly are helping us make sure we've got every glittering inch of the Strip covered. You'll see their celebrity reporting here at MTV.com this week, and you'll find our music reporting over at UsMagazine.com.)
Clearly not nervous about her highly anticipated VMA comeback performance, Britney Spears partied in Las Vegas until the wee hours Friday night. After rehearsing at the Pearl that afternoon, where a source says she "sounded amazing," the pop star rolled into Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with BFFs Alli Sims and Michelle Dupont.
[article id="1569122"]Flip through photos of Britney hitting the town with Criss Angel here.[/article]
"Britney was having fun sitting at the table with friends, drinking, smoking, holding sparklers and laughing," says a clubgoer. The pop star chugged champagne, and danced wildly in her chair. The only time she didn't dance? When ex Justin Timberlake's hit song "Sexy Back" came on!
At 1:45am, Brit's beau and performance partner Criss Angel arrived. Not long after, the duo left for Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace hand-in-hand. Once there, the pop star and her posse were seated at a table on stage next to Diddy, who was talking nonstop to the crowd via a microphone.
At one point the rap mogul gave Brit a shout-out, declaring that the singer deserved respect because she had gone through some hard times but "she keeps her head up." The DJ then played her new single "Gimme More." Spears was much more subdued at Pure and only drank water, finally calling it a night just before 3am.
Wait -- don't cash out on the VMAs just yet! From Britney's sultry comeback performance to the big winners, you saw it all -- well, almost everything! Get yourself even richer with our wall-to-wall show coverage, party reports, videos and loads more at www.VMA.MTV.com. For reports, photos, video and much, much more from previous VMAs, dive into the VMA archives.