God, how long has it been since I wrote about Britney? A while. Is it possible to have lost interest in Britney? I never thought I’d lose interest in Britney. But Britney’s last tour, the going through the motions of the obvious money grab... if there’s no passion from the performer, how can there be passion in the admirer? I need to believe that you want it if you expect me to care about it.

It’s now been reported that Simon Cowell has offered Britney Spears $10 million to be on The X Factor. The first season was not what he needed it to be. After a major overhaul, he’s desperate for marquee talent. Janet Jackson’s name has been floating around. And now this...

A major coup on paper if it really materialises.

For Team Britney, the cash money, of course, is always the motivation. But there’s compensation and then there’s competence. Can Britney be present for an entire season? Do more than just smile blankly and speak in platitudes? Can she add value? Can she function? For all of Christina Aguilera’s f-ckedupness, she does have opinions. And the way she communicates those opinions is entertaining. There’s spark. There’s FIRE.

When was the last time Britney showed you any FIRE???

Britney’s fire took her to #1. Britney’s fire also brought her down. The last few years has been about managing that fire, or dimming it to the point where she can exist safely. That’s one way of living for someone who is no longer interested in living with a camera in her face, someone who wants to be removed from Celebrity. I’ve spoken to several sources close to Britney over the last few months and this has been what she’s been asking for for a long time. Or at least a lengthy break from the game, to raise her children, to experience a life that isn’t centered around work.

Needless to say, judging X Factor isn’t exactly in line with that mission statement. But sometimes the paycheque is too hard to walk away from.

I won’t lie. Of course I’d watch. At least the first few times. And I’d want her to be awesome, funny, a little crazy, saucy too, all the attributes that make for good television. Ultimately that’s the great hope, intoxicating hope. This is why we all root for a comeback - hope is irresistible because it helps us believe in the possibly for ourselves. Is it reasonable to be hopeful where Britney is concerned? Thing is, it’s also compelling television on the other side of that equation too, isn’t it? In that way that you couldn’t turn away from Anna Nicole Smith. What, then, is our responsibility as the viewer?