Willing Melbourne fans urge on Whitney Houston at her show at Rod Laver Arena
REPORTS of Whitney Houston's career-death have been greatly exaggerated.
Given some of the post-show comments - by journalists and the public - after Houston's Brisbane and Sydney shows you half expect her to collapse on stage or not sing a note.
On the contrary - her sold out Rod Laver Arena show was - for the majority - pure superstar material. Houston is just a more human superstar in 2010, now with added flaws that give her character.
She hits all the right notes in I Look to You, the new song about what she calls ''down times.'' Indeed every time she hits a huge note her devoted audience break into applause.
I have rarely seen an audience so behind an artist, willing her on. Before that note in I Will Always Love You the audience give her a standing ovation, someone even yells ''You can do it'' - and she does, 90 minutes into the concert.
Those saying Houston should not be on tour are misguided - these are her people and they are thrilled to see her back on stage. And Houston knows she's in her element.
Perhaps all the haters (Houston referenced her bad Australian press) have spurred her on - there was no hint of trainwreck.
Sure she's eccentric - at times looking in her own world - but who wants normal stars? At one point Houston did her own make up on stage and occasionally giggled to herself. However there were no signs of excessive sweating, minimal holding onto towels and hardly any coughing.
Houston belted out hits like The Greatest Love of All, All at Once and Step by Step with that spine-tingling voice in full effect.
She chatted and engaged with the crowd, performed a Michael Jackson tribute and got well and truly in the vocal zone during her gospel segment.
The only niggles were the talk-singing of I Wanna Dance With Somebody and How Will I Know at the end of the show, with the audience singalong and her amazing backing vocalists saving the day.
But they're minor gripes - if she keeps up this quality Houston we do not have a problem. Houston returns to Melbourne to play at the Plenary on Saturday.
Special mention should go to support Anthony Callea's impressive performance.