Tom Holland’s performance on Lip Sync Battle hit the right note four years ago. At the time, Holland was only relatively known after his Spider-Man casting and Broadway roles. But going full out on the competition series endeared him to the public ,especially Marvel fans. But his iconic performance of pop superstar and businesswoman Rihanna's “Umbrella” almost didn’t happen as another iconic pop song was planned in case the act wasn't approved.
To celebrate the Lip Sync Battle episode’s fourth anniversary, Insider talked to the crew behind the viral music moment, and the in-depth story revealed an unexpected secret. Instead of performing “Umbrella,” Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland almost performed the legendary tune “Oops!... I Did It Again” by pop music icon Britney Spears.
According to the publication, the producers didn’t get approval from “Umbrella” co-writers Kuk Harrell and Tricky Stewart until the last minute, and the signature Spears tune served as a backup if Lip Sync Battle didn’t get their approval. As a result, the plans for “Oops!... I Did It Again” were already in motion, just in case. According to a creative brief obtained by Insider, the performance would’ve recreated the iconic music video with Tom Holland sporting Spears' signature red latex jumpsuit while the pop superstar played the astronaut.
Those involved in the episode’s production shed some light on potentially using the Spears tune. The show’s costume designer, Jeanie Cheek, revealed about the backup song:
We actually created two different sets of costumes for him and all of the dancers. Just in case "Umbrella" didn't go through, we had a backup performance.
But it wasn’t just the set and costume design departments who had to worry about the possible switch. Tom Holland’s iconic “Umbrella” choreography would’ve never happened. When it came to the “Oops!... I Did It Again” choreography, Lip Sync Battle choreographer Danielle Flora told Insider:
I don't remember [the backup Britney song] at all. I'm sure I choreographed it. And I'm sure that it was traumatic for me at the moment, choreographing two numbers and not knowing which one. I think we always wanted it to be "Umbrella."
So if Rihanna hadn’t worked out, the Lip Sync Battle team had Britney Spears in their back pocket. Just imagine Tom Holland dancing in a red jumpsuit along with Spears. That would’ve been a moment but, in the end, Holland’s “Umbrella” performance is the viral moment that keeps on giving.
It’s incredible Tom Holland still gets recognized more for his Lip Sync Battle performance even more than for his film roles. But it just proves how talented the actor is outside of his blockbuster roles. The fan-favorite performance is a prime example of the actor getting to branch out and do other things, and let's hope he gets to dabble in more unique productions as time goes on.