The train wreck that is Whitney Houston ferried into Dublin last Friday for a series of concerts on her European tour.
The fading diva, whose once buoyant career has been torn asunder by drug abuse and a disastrous marriage, actually could have copped out of her Dublin show on Saturday night, using the Iceland volcano as a handy excuse. But her management team booked a car and ferry from England, where she had been playing to pretty much disastrous reviews.
"When Whitney was made aware of the airport closures due to the volcanic ash, she made the decision to drive from Birmingham to Dublin via the ferry so that she would not disappoint her Irish fans," promoters said. “She is delighted to be in Ireland and is very much looking forward to performing.”
Whitney spent more than three hours on the boat last Friday to get to Dublin, so kudos to her for that. But the reviews of her show were less than glowing.
“There are slivers of the super-talented young Whitney -- a high note here, a spine-tingling pause there on 'I Will Always Love You' -- but they arrive so infrequently it hardly matters,” wrote the critic in the Irish Independent.
“Instead, you are left with the memory of her botched attempts to wring some magic from 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' and 'How Will I Know?' At one point she boasts of having ‘actually got on a ferry’ to get to Ireland ... there will have been some in the crowd wishing she hadn't made the trip so they could get their money back.”
The Irish Times wasn’t much kinder. “The ‘greatest love of all’ may be to remember you just the way you were. Didn’t we almost have it all? Not on Saturday night we didn’t Whitney,” sniffed the critic.
The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was offering odds on various Whitney possibilities during her time on Irish soil – 10-1 that she’d spit on stage at any of her shows (as far as we know, she didn’t), 5-1 that she’d forget any of the words to her songs, and 2-1 that fans would boo her off the stage.
Sharon McHugh of Paddy Power said, “Those of us that grew up listening to Whitney will be willing her to give a fantastic concert this weekend but the latest reviews haven’t been kind and it’s been more ‘Houston we have a problem’ than ‘Houston sensation’ these days!”