Rough Return to Live Stage for Whitney Houston
Invariably, every negative review included some variation of "Houston, we have a problem," but when they began describing the singer's vocals and overall stamina, even the normally prim BBC got in on the act, saying the singer was "panting more than John Prescott running for the bus," a reference to a well-known (and chubby) politician from Wales.
Whitney's performance of 'I Will Always Love You,' which goes awry at the 4:18 mark:
Houston was supposed to kick off her British tour last week, but had to cancel due to respiratory problems. Her breathing seemed to be one of the main problems, according to several reviewers.
A local paper, The Birmingham Post, said that although Houston's "voice was still there, the stamina was not," adding the 45-minute concert "was constantly broken up with water breaks and chats with the audience to catch her breath."
The Post's reviewer, Alison Dayani, said Houston angered the crowd after six songs when she "disappeared to let her brother Gary and the backing singers perform some of her tracks while she took a 15 minute break."
One of the song's she chose to let video and backup singers perform was her hit 'One Moment in Time.'
Her absence so soon after the show began led to boos around the arena, and when she returned to the stage, Houston quipped, "Thank you for being patient. I heard you getting p***ed off."
The notoriously rough-on-celebs tabloid The Sun said Whitney seemed distracted, "often losing her train of thought during rambling between-song chats with the audience."
When it came time to sing her signature song, 'I Will Always Love You,' Houston failed to hit the soaring high notes.
One audience member told BBC Radio 5 live: "She was good when she was good, but when she was not on form, she was awful."
Not all the reviews were bad, however, with The Independent's Elisa Bray saying she admired Houston, "who in the face of the negative press, stood up tonight to give her all."
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