Friday, April 12, 2024

Justin Timberlake Makes A Strong Comeback on “SNL” After Britney Spears Fans Bombard iTunes Chart for Revenge*


What a weird night for Justin Timberlake.

The good news is, his comeback on “SNL” after six years was a hit. Timberlak sang live, which was great, and performances of new songs “Sanctified” and “Selfish” went over like gangbusters. The production for each song was very high and skillful. The songs will be on his new album, coming in mid March.

The weird news is, Britney Spears fans exacted revenge* on Justin by fishing out a 2011 track also called “Selfish” and bombarding the iTunes charts with it. The result was that Britney’s “Selfish,” jumped ahead of Justin’s.

But even the Britney fans couldn’t have imagined the curve ball they got when right wing personality Ben Shapiro released a “rap” record with singer Tom Johnson and it went to number 1. So the ballot boxes were double stuffed tonight, iTunes was gamed, and it was all a chart mess.

As for “SNL,” something seemed ‘off’ in the sketches. Host Dakota Johnson wasn’t in rhythm with anyone, and some of the skits just didn’t make sense. The best bits where Jimmy Fallon and Timberlake reviving The Barry Gibb Talk Show, and Weekend Update. Otherwise, the whole thing felt disjointed. The cold open with NFL football players was a waste of time. The opener should have been about Trump and the $83 million judgement in the E. Jean Carroll case. Big missed opportunity.

On Thursday, Timberlake performed “Selfish” with Fallon and co on the Tonight Show (see below) plus a medley of his hits. He performs this coming week in New York for one night only at Irving Plaza. By then I would think the Spears record — was not even a single in 2011 — will be gone.

*If you don’t know what the revenge was for, I can’t get into it now.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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