By now, the “revelation” of Britney’s lip-synching on her current Circus tour is about as newsy as Jon Gosselin picking himself up a new lil’ silk-screened something at the Ed Hardy mega-mart.

So why has it grabbed so many headlines this past week? The story came to a head in Australia, where Circus‘s 14-date Down Under leg has been met with widespread media derision, calls by politicians for laws forcing prominently placed disclaimers in the case of a lip-synched performance, and even fan walkouts. Word spread that dozens of disgruntled concert-goers—most of whom paid from $97 to $1500 AUS per ticket—left the pop superstar’s Friday-night show in Perth, spurred by Spears’ “crap” performance and repeated miming of lyrics. Watch a clip, below:

“We were led to believe the lip-syncing was necessary because her dancing was so good, so rigorous, she couldn’t possibly sing,” writes entertainment journalist Rebekah Devlin, who gathered the testimonials of disappointed fans. “But her moves were sloppy and stiff, as well as out of time.”

Spears’ Australian promoter vehemently denied the claims, saying,”Britney is aware of all this and she’s extremely upset by it. She’s a human being. I’m embarrassed, with such a big international entourage here with Britney, to be part of the Australian media when I see that kind of totally inaccurate reporting.” And her manager Adam Leber likewise responded with a post on Spears’ Twitter page: “Its unfortunate that one journalist in Perth didn’t enjoy the show last night. Fortunately the other 18,272 fans in attendance did. – Adam.”

Even John Mayer, in Australia to promote his new album, joined the fray, tweeting, “If you’re shocked that Britney was lip-syncing at her concert and want your money back, life may continue to be hard for you.”

What do you think, Music Mixers—is the expectation of live performance what you pay to see with Britney, or is it the spectacle? Having attended a tour date in New York earlier this year—and watched the clip from the Perth show above—the saddest thing to me is how little Spears herself seems to enjoy being up there; she often looks distracted, overwhelmed, and frankly, like she’d rather be somewhere else. If she doesn’t want to be there, should we?