Christina Aguilera's 'Not Myself Tonight' video: Gone totally (Lady) Gaga, Madonna, or just desperate for relevance? | EW.com

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Christina Aguilera's 'Not Myself Tonight' video: Gone totally (Lady) Gaga, Madonna, or just desperate for relevance?

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christina-aguileraImage Credit: RCAThe video for Christina Aguilera’s new single, “Not Myself Tonight,” hit the internets in the wee hours of the morning and immediately had the blogosphere—well, that’d be mostly one Mr. Perez Hilton—buzzing that it was a Lady Gaga rip-off. To be fair, it seems that Hilton thinks everything begins and ends with Gaga. But in this case, if you watch the clip after the jump, you’ll see that such a claim is by no means crazy talk.

In the video, Aguilera mostly prances around in various dominatrix-esque and lingerie-inspired outfits, sans any sort of storyline. You’ll see plenty of slick materials, exposed bras, and a whip. And, yes, there a few moments that are uncannily Gaga-ish. Two stick out in my mind: namely, those shots of Christina in white with a harem of dancers, and the moments where you see the diva, wet, in red lingerie. Just take a look here:

Truly, though, there's another pop-diva influence clearly going on in this video, and her name starts with M. Could it be...Madonna? Yes, of course. Aguilera's dominatrix outfit seems to be a clear nod to Madge in "Human Nature.” And those times where we see Aguilera amid mist at the top of those stairs, dressed as a German schoolmaster are reminiscent of Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” no? Are you seeing other Material Girl-inspired moments in the video?

The retort to this whole line of criticism, however, includes two arguments: 1) When it comes to Madonna, nearly every pop star has taken pieces of her performances/styling/etc. So there’s that. And then 2) With the Gaga argument, can we really fault Christina for taking from Gaga, when Gaga herself has so ripped from a variety of other artists? Then again, Gaga seems to rip from her musical influences and then blast it in a totally different direction. Right?

The worst part about Xtina’s video, beyond the rather unabashed unoriginality of it, is the sad stink of I’ve-been-gone-forever-had-a-baby-and-now-want-to-be-relevant-again desperation. Cue: the girl-on-girl makeout sessions! Text messaging! Fire balls! When watching, there’s wasn’t a moment where I didn’t feel like Aguilera was clawing for relevancy, in a crazy, far beyond, post-Aguilera world. True story: Aguilera has been gone for a long time. There’s a desperate need, sort of like when she blipped back for two seconds with “Keeps Gettin’ Better” a couple years ago, for her to resuscitate her look and build it in the image of what’s relevant now. But maybe she should have gone in a totally different direction to avoid comparisons? Given us something totally different? The thing about Aguilera is that she’s used to zig when everyone else was zagging. And now, it seems like she decided to zag along with everyone else.

What do you think? Did Aguilera go totally (Lady) Gaga? Or is Madonna the inspiration? Or are you seeing this as a wholly original music video? Sound off in the comments!

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

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