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Tom Holland Almost Performed Britney Spears on Lip Sync Battle Instead of Rihanna's 'Umbrella'

·3-min read

Four years later, the internet is still talking about Tom Holland's legendary turn on Lip Sync Battle — and who can blame them?

The Spider-Man: Far from Home actor tore up the stage with his rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" that launched seamlessly into an unforgettable performance of Rihanna's 2007 hit "Umbrella," complete with ultra-sexy attire and precipitation-powered choreography to match.

While it may be hard to imagine Holland, 24, taking on any other song now, there was a backup in place.

In a new piece for Insider appropriately titled "An Oral History of Tom Holland's Sensational Lip Sync Battle Performance," creatives on the show said that Britney Spears' "Oops! ... I Did It Again" was a backup option, should they not be able to secure the rights to "Umbrella."

According to Insider, the Spears performance would have seen Holland donning the iconic red latex catsuit worn by the singer in the 2000 space-themed music video for "Oops! ... I Did It Again," as well as "a possible cameo from Spears in costume as an astronaut."

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Frazer Harrison/Getty; RCA Records Tom Holland (L); Britney Spears

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"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," costume designer Jeanie Cheek told Insider.

"We would clear song by song and have to go to each artist. We'd say we have Tom Holland coming on the show, and Rihanna would need to bless it. It's never a given," added executive producer Casey Patterson.

Clearly, everything worked out, but it certainly came down to the wire. As the Cherry actor told PEOPLE back in 2017, he "didn't have approval on 'Umbrella' until, like, five hours before we did the show," adding, "There's the contingency of, 'If you don't do this, then you'll be doing Britney and we'll teach you a new dance.' "

Of the "stressful" performance, Holland admitted "it was more nerve-wracking than Spider-Man" — but he "didn't mind being in drag" one bit, save one regret.

"I said, 'You want me to dance in the rain and do a front flip? I can't do that in heels,' " he said. "I wish I had now. That would have shut things down."

Paramount Network Tom Holland on Lip Sync Battle

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Not everyone was onboard the "Umbrella" train ahead of Holland's participation on the show, though. In a recent cover story for British GQ's April issue, the Marvel actor shared that his father Dominic Holland tried to steer him away from it.

And while he has no regrets about the "fun" time he had, Holland explained to the magazine that his father was worried that his suggestive performance could affect his career path.

"My dad always taught me when I was younger and coming up in the business that you want to get famous as slowly as possible," he said. "You don't want to get super famous tomorrow, because you won't be able to handle it. It will ruin your life."

The star went on to say that he is "very selective of who I talk to and what I do" as he does not "want to overexpose myself, because my privacy is the last thing I own."

"I think that's why he was so worried," Holland said of his dad. "And he'd tell me the same thing today I am sure: 'Pace yourself, you've got a long career ahead of you.' I don't want to lose myself to all ... this."