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allergies

British Whitney Houston Show Disappoints, Despite Low Pollen Count

Whitney Houston's U.K. tour kicked off in Birmingham, England, on Tuesday, following a string of postponements that she blamed on allergies. But even though British pollen counts are unusually low for this time of year, Houston gave an earache of a performance that included several long breaks, including a fifteen-minute mid-set breather that resulted in booing when the video for her hit "One Moment in Time" was played to fill space. Some video from the show has surfaced online, and going on that, it's not difficult to understand why fans have been let down. However, it's easier to feel sorry for Whitney, who is clearly struggling to get through technically demanding songs while dealing with an obvious respiratory problem. In a clip of that night's performance of "I Will Always Love You" after the jump, Houston pauses several times, dragging it out to nearly eight minutes. It's a fascinating thing to watch — a train wreck, yes, but also an artist trying to hold it together and give the best performance possible under crappy circumstances.

Whitney Houston Returns To Stage, Critics Divided [Reuters]