Back in 2011, James Corden created a sketch for comic relief, as his much-loved Gavin and Stacey character ‘Smithy’. The sketch saw him pick up his ‘mate’ George Michael, where they enjoyed a sing-along in the car to classic Wham tunes. The overwhelming success of this concept resonated with Corden as something he could take further.
After being appointed host of CBS’ The Late Late Show in 2015, the relatively unknown Corden thought he could push for the idea stateside. He said, “I wonder if there’s an idea here, Los Angeles, traffic, carpool lanes, karaoke, driving people in the car, singing songs, people are gonna love this.” He added, “No one wanted to do it. No one at all. Imagine a recording artist… they said no.”
In the UK celebrities are seen to be increasingly willing to make a fool out of themselves for a laugh, as seen by the success of comic relief. Unfortunately, it took America a while to ease into Corden’s British wit and controversial idea. Eventually Mariah Carey agreed – although she nearly refused to sing – and the first Carpool Karaoke was born.
Now it seems celebrities are lining up to take a ride in Corden’s passenger seat, after the likes of Justin Bieber, Adele, Chris Martin, Jennifer Lopez, One Direction and even the First Lady Michelle Obama all piled in. Now, the successful segment offers a glimpse into the lives of these celebrities, showing them as normal people, as Corden chats, reminisces and boogies with them.
The most recent Karaoke session sees Britney Spears join Corden for a ride around LA. Whilst Corden could never disappoint, Spears leaves much to be desired. At the start of the ‘interview’, he asks her ‘What does Oops I Did It Again really mean? Because I think about it every time I order a Domino’s’ to which she responded ‘I don’t know. I think it’s just a song.’ Funny.
As their drive continues, Britney lip-syncs to her famous tunes, which is arguably what she has always done best. The best Carpool Karaoke’s see the artists competing with Corden’s enthusiasm, attempting to hit the high notes or create hilarious harmonies. This on the other hand is more like a car crash karaoke.
The two of them chat about their families and children, and the star tells Corden she’d like three more children (in addition to her 9 year old and 10 year old who are ‘like twins, literally’), but she has to find a man first. When Corden asks her what she’s looking for in a man she says, ‘I think I might not ever go to men again… I think I won’t do the whole men thing.’ Immaculate conception it is then?
Maybe I should leave Britney alone, because it wasn’t all bad. As they both change into the famous schoolgirl outfit from the 1998 ‘Baby One More Time’ video, Spears seems to get into it a little more. She sings (yes, outloud!) into her water-bottle-microphone and Corden flaunts his cleavage and sports a blonde wig. Spears does occasionally forget the words, but we’ll let her off on that one, as she was never taught the importance of learning the words considering she’s used to miming. Bless.
Of course her huge fan base (full of people grasping onto their childhoods surely) were straight on Twitter to defend Britney, celebrating the inevitable ‘success’ of the Carpool.
— Javy Rodriguez (@mrjavyrodriguez) August 26, 2016
— ㅤ (@britneyvibes) August 26, 2016
How awesome is this #BritneyCarpool
— Absolute Britney (@absolutebritney) August 26, 2016
With Britney having some amazing hits (pre-2006-breakdown), the video had great potential. Whilst it wasn’t the most painful thing in the world to watch, it wasn’t great and won’t go down as a classic like many of his other Carpool Karaoke’s have done and like her army of fans expect this one to. A bit like the whole ‘not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman’ kind of thing. It was somewhere in between. However, they couldn’t even squeeze 10 minutes of worthy footage out of her, suggesting she just wanted to get back on our radars for when her new album drops, rather than have a right old laugh with Corden.
If you can’t take the crack, get out the car. Corden has many more celebrities waiting at their windows to be picked up. The video has racked up over 10 million views in three days, which is a testament to James Corden of course and the popularity of the feature, rather than Britney, bitch.