They need to make her go to Rehab…

This year was hailed as Amy Winehouse’s “comeback year”. This year, her team was sure, she would finally overcome her personal demons and get back to the height of her success.

But as 2011 starts slipping away at an alarming pace, that all looks impossible.

Amy Winehouse in Belgrade

Amy Winehouse during her disastrous Belgrade show.

An album was promised for Christmas 2010, which failed to materialise. Then it was set for a January release. It’s now June. She’s attempted various live performances, with varying results. She played her five shows in Brazil in January this year and seemed back on top, despite having to interrupt songs to take sips of water and falling off the stage during one gig. But then she was booed off stage in Dubai in February after appearing tired and distracted. After checking into rehab for a week at the end of May and being told by doctors “Stop drinking or die”, Amy performed a polished set at an intimate venue in London on 12 June, which an audience member described as being “like one of her old performances”.

Somehow, though, in the space of a week – the wheels fell off.

Amy performed a disastrous set in Serbia on 18 June in which she seemed trashed out of her mind. She stumbled onto the Belgrade stage over an hour late, paused to take off her shoes, introduced her band members incorrectly and mumbled her way through her song Just Friends. And that was just the opening number. If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch it here. It’s really not a pretty sight.

More after the jump…

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How does Charlie Sheen still have a career?

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen in 'Two and a Half Men'

It’s a valid question.

The guy apparently snorts enough cocaine to kill the average person, trashes hotel rooms and terrorises “escorts” into hiding, threatens to murder his wife and gets drunk enough that he needs to be admitted to hospital (No, Charlie – nobody believes your hernia story).

He’s now supposedly been admitted to rehab for a three-month long treatment programme, which will disrupt the filming of eight episodes of the inexplicably popular Two and a Half Men. That means the entire cast and crew – and there are apparently 300 people working on the show – get to sit around and twiddle his thumbs while they wait for him to check back out.

This wouldn’t be a problem, I don’t think, if this was the first time it had happened. But it isn’t. In February 2010 Sheen announced that he was going to take a break from Two and a Half Men and check himself into rehab. CBS (the network) were extremely supportive of the decision – though Sheen was back to work by March.

Look, they pay the guy around $2-million per episode. But it’s apparently worth it, with the Los Angeles Times reckoning that Warner Bros. Television will earn around $600-million in syndication rights off the show over the next few years. For South African readers too lazy to do the math, that works out to over R4-billion. And with ad revenue of around $155-million (over R1-billion) during the 2009/2010 season alone, it’s completely reasonable for them to hang around until Sheen ducks out of rehab again.

But if he’s MIA, the network loses a lot of money. The show can’t work without him, and so production stops. They lose out on a reported $3-million in syndication per episode – plus crew salaries if they decide to continue paying those while Sheen’s out.

And so while it’s currently plausible for Warner Bros. to wait around for Charlie Sheen, that’s all too likely to change. I’m guessing the studios will only have so much patience for a guy who’s in the headlines for his associations with hookers, porn stars and drug-addled escorts rather than his association with the show.