Tarts Triumphant

Well, you won. You did it. Back when it was you and Britney reigning supreme over the subpar versions of yourselves, it was kind of a draw. She played her hand, her cheerleader body and Southern charm slowly morphing into an awakened, sweating sex kitten. You transitioned from a sweet party popster into a blatantly vulgar dick hound. You always had the voice, but never the simple charisma and moves of your pal from way back, when you were both denim-clad Mickey Mousers. How you must be laughing now, with your cute Jewish muffin of a husband, your big-selling album, your stylin' look obviously ripped from Marilyn Monroe—and not Dana Plato. Our solemn congratulations.

The victorious Christina Aguilera is a consummate performer, one of the few working large-scale entertainers who's really worth packing a limo with booze, energy drinks, junk food and your funnest girlfriends and gayest boyfriends to go see. Getting stupid drunk and screamy at a show like this is top balls (except for when the ballads come out. Boring). Aguilera's most recent persona and newest album (Back to Basics) are double-dipped in 1940s showgirl nostalgia—a bugle-boy, seamed-stockings sensibility that extends from the songs to the shades of red lipstick. This conscious return to modesty is so perfectly on-point and of the moment, and her rounds on the talk shows so exhaustingly fresh and fun, that she's making Britney look even more pathetic than she does already.

Christina Aguilera with Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane at the Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; www.hondacenter.com. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $52-$98. All ages.

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