How was Britney Spears' first U.S. 'Circus' show?

Britney Spears' big three-ring "Circus" comeback is not exactly a Mission Accomplished.

Except maybe by George W. Bush's standards.

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While the performance (check out the video above for some live action) was light years from that soo embarrassing 2007 MTV Video Music Awards stumble, Britney still looked pretty nervous and stiff onstage in New Orleans.

The circus-themed extravaganza featured a three-ring set with frantic clowns, acrobats and jugglers doing endless antics until Spears finally descended to the stage, strutting in a red ringmaster outfit.

She also wore a lace mask and sheer bodysuit with what looked like targets on her breasts, a Bollywood "Slumdog Millionaire" dancer's costume, a sexy policewoman shorts outfit, and a very Vegasy rhinestone bra and panties.

Observers say the show was a spectacle with a capital S, with colorful visuals, Cirque du Soleil-inspired aerialists and an energetic dance squad who took the focus off Spears, as usual. Britneyspears

People reports only one major goof when Spears didn't join two backup singers for a rendition of Duffy's "I'm Scared" –- apparently because the lyric sheet was missing onstage.

Are people being too critical? I mean, it's not as if Britney was as bad as Jimmy Fallon on his first "Late Night" show, right?

Now that was bad.

Keep reading to see more of Britney's "Circus" outfits.

You decide: Is she trying too hard? Should she hang it up? Or should we all just cut her some slack?

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Jamie Spears gets permanent control of Britney's life

What recession? Jamie Spears gets a big fat raise!

PETA not wild about Britney's animal act!

Britney Spears sleepwalks, lip-syncs on GMA?

Kevin Federline: It was the kids over Britney.

"What ... was I thinking?" Britney asks

Was Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night" premiere embarrassing?

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