Tom’s Umbrella performance became a phenomenon (Picture: Comedy Central)
Tom Holland’s iconic lip sync to Rihanna’s Umbrella is so loved that it is internet law that you must watch the video anytime it pops up on your timeline.
But it could have been oh so different.
The Spider-Man actor may have ended up lip syncing to Britney Spears’ Oops! I Did It Again, had the team behind Umbrella not given permission for it to be used.
In an oral history of Tom’s Lip Sync Battle from Insider, it was reported that the actor, now 24, would have been dressed in Britney’s red latex jumpsuit for the alternative performance – with a possible cameo from Britney as an astronaut.
Costume designer Jeanie Cheek said: ‘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.’
Choreographer Danielle Flora didn’t remember the backup performance, though added: ‘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.’
Thankfully, the artists and writers behind Umbrella gave clearance, and Tom could unleash his Gene Kelly/Rihanna mash-up on the world, in a battle against his Spider-Man: Homecoming co-star Zendaya.
The epic performance opened with Tom, a trained dancer and former star of Billy Elliot The Musical, tap dancing to Singin’ In The Rain in a suit and hat, before disappearing behind a wall of umbrellas.
When he emerged, the actor was wearing the maid look from Rihanna’s Umbrella video, complete with tights, a black bob and lipstick.
Dancer Marvin Brown said: ‘My first reaction was, “is he going to dress as Rihanna?” That’s what we were all excited about. And then in the first rehearsal he was like, I’m going to come out and sing Singin’ in the Rain. And we all just thought, “Oh no, that means you’re going to be [dressed like] a guy for the rest of it.” And he was like, No, no, no, I want to do a quick change.’
While many straight men performing in drag would have been poking fun with the routine, Tom was praised for taking the whole performance very seriously.
Tom is a trained dancer (Picture: Rex)
Choreographer Danielle Flora told Insider: ‘Even though he had a wig, even though he had a bodysuit, his dancing was still Tom and it was sexy. It was him really just getting into it and feeling the music. He wasn’t trying to make it a parody.’
Four years on, the official Lip Sync Battle video now has nearly 86million views on YouTube, while the video is shared constantly on Twitter – with the Tom Holland Umbrella Law citing that you must watch and share every time you come across it.
Lip Sync Battle has also produced some other iconic numbers, including Anne Hathaway swinging on a wrecking ball as Miley Cyrus, and actual Beyonce joining Channing Tatum on stage for Run The World (Girls).
So far, there have been five seasons of the show, hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen.
Meanwhile, Tom has wrapped filming on Spider-Man: No Way Home, as he returns to play Peter Parker in the MCU.Credit: Original article published here.