Beleaguered diva Whitney Houston's eagerly awaited yet widely panned return to the pop pen has not exactly gone to plan.
Houston faced a barrage of criticism when she took her Nothing But Love tour to Australia last week, amid reports of fans walking out of her shows, demanding refunds and complaining she was off-key during performances.
The backlash was kick-started after her disastrous Brisbane appearance.
As has been widely reported, 46-year-old Houston came under fire from disgruntled fans after allegedly appearing breathless, disorientated and exhausted.
Reports from scores of fans said the multi-award winning star coughed her way through the Brisbane show, took long, regular breaks between songs, sounded "croaky" and appeared "disorientated".
They claimed the hitmaker struggled to complete her set and that her voice is a now a pale imitation of its former self.
'She couldn't entertain a dead rat'
That was Brisbane. Sadly, Sydney didn't fare much better by all accounts. Reports say Houston managed to hold it together for the first hour, but that it turned to custard mid-way through. Some fans are believed to have walked out on the diva after her voice began to crack.
Media outside the concert venue caught some of the more scathing comments: "She couldn't entertain a dead rat", spouted one angry fan.
"She shouldn't have turned up", and "It's the worst concert I've ever been to", others complained.
A total plate of hate there then.
All that pesky negativity and panning prompted Houston's publicist to release a statement trashing escalating reports that the star is having health problems.
"Whitney is in great health and having a terrific time on her tour and with her fans," she said.
"Her fans were dancing and singing along with her and Whitney appreciates their support."
But not all her fans are convinced.
"She barely finished any of her songs and talked more than she sang while trying to catch a breath, as well as stopping in the middle of her songs to get a towel, reapply makeup," wrote one fan in a forum posting.
"If her voice is shot, and she knows it, how dare she get up on stage and pretend it's not," said another according to ABC news.
Houston, whose battled drug addiction for years, is in Australia to promote her new album I Look To You.
Her last show will be in Perth on March 7, before she heads off to France and Britain in April.
Blame it on the fags
Houston's promoter Andrew McManus has now come clean and opened up about the star's breathing difficulties and lacklustre performances.
So what's the trouble with Houston? Her nasty tobacco habit, apparently...
"Whitney smokes. God bless her, I can't tell her not to. She will not take any substances. She just will not. It is what it is.
"She's comfortable with the show she's performing. She knows she's not hitting every note like she used to. But it's value for money, it's Whitney Houston warts and all."
He also said he was proud to be associated with the star, calling her an "amazing talent".
Oh, and if you're keen to hear the diva's voice of yore, go buy a CD. Charming. Especially charming for those who forked out mucho $$$ to see the preferably 'wart-less' diva in action.
"All I can say is what happened to the Australian positive support of someone who has seen difficult times and is now up on stage, warts and all, presenting herself like an open book for the world to see," he said in a statement on his company website.
Meanwhile, Houston is hoping her fans will continue to support her as she struggles to make a clean comeback.
"I talked to her after the Sydney show," adds McManus.
"I told her I have her back but she said, 'If the good Lord wants me to be attacked and ridiculed that's the road I have to go down'."
Whitney the martyr. It's just a crying shame it comes with a hefty price tag: her reputation.
We've been cheerleading for Houston from the get-go. She's a survivor and has obviously worked so damn hard to try and reclaim her crown and turn up the heat on her once blazing career.
She's got balls and deserves credit for putting herself out there and giving it her all. But sadly her all isn't up to scratch and her fans know it. And if she's honest too, so does she most probably.
Video: Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill
Re-live the Nightmare
The second trailer for the big screen 're-imagining' of Wes Craven's cult horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street has emerged.
Amazingly enough, it doesn't look as hideous as we thought it would. There may be hope for razor-fingered Freddy after all.
Rubber-faced comic Jim Carrey has become a grandfather at the age of 47.
The star's 22-year-old daughter Jane popped her ciabatta in a Los Angeles hospital on Friday, according to a spokesperson.
And on Saturday, proud granddaddy Carey uploaded a pic of the bambino to TwitPic.
Jackson Riley Santana weighed in at a healthy 7lbs, 11ozs and mother and baby are said to be doing well.
* Pottymouth and manthrax John Mayer wants to thank you all for not thinking he's an 'a******'. We think he's go the wrong memo. Suck it up, dude.
* Solange Knowles fumes after her Twitter page is hacked. Boo hoo here.
* Pint-sized star Gary Coleaman has reportedly been hospitalised after suffering a seizure on the set of US TV show The Insider. Poor bugger. Details here.
* Megan Fox says she doesn't trust girls in the industry. You get in what you put out, babe. Pity party here.
* Lady Gaga goes walkabout in see-through PVC, and with a giant lobster on her head. Positively tame for the mistress of spin. Cop an eye-full here.
Hot video: Ke$ha - Blah Blah Blah
Loved this little tidbit about Ke$ha. Apparently she likes nothing better than to strip and muck around with the crew before performing.
"Me and my band get naked, lather ourselves with baby oil then roll in glitter," Kesha, 22, tells Britain's The Sun.
"We do it before every gig."
Our kinda girl.
Catch you guys and dolls later.
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