As we count down the days to MTV's Video Music Awards, undoubtedly music's craziest and buzziest awards show, we of course think back to some of the VMAs' craziest and buzziest performances. And that means Britney Spears and her tangled tussle with a certain albino Burmese python, of course. The slinky performance, one of the sexiest in VMAs history, outraged PETA, was immortalized in Madame Tussaud's wax museum, and eventually earned the snake its own Tumbler account. And even Britney herself has that snake on the brain these days, as she recently tweeted regarding its whereabouts. Sadly, it seems like Britney and her reptilian duet partner have lost touch since they graced the VMAs' stage 11 (yes, ELEVEN!) long years ago.
After posting a link to a photo of herself with the pale python, Britney later happily reported back that the snake is alive, and she finally revealed its name--a surprisingly adorable name, actually, for an animal with the potential ability to kill.
The timing of Britney's tweets was interesting--not only sparking speculation that she and Banana might reunite at the 2012 VMAs on September 6th (a reunion that would certainly go over better than a rumored Rihanna/Chris Brown VMAs duet), but speculation that a certain yellow serpent starring in a brand-new music video was in fact Britney's old scaly friend. You see, freak-pop indie darling Grimes released her "Genesis" video that very same week, and the snake draped around Grimes's delicate shoulders definitely bore a strong resemblance to Banana. Could it be that Grimes had actually coaxed Banana out of retirement for the video?
However, that gossip was soon shut down by Grimes herself, when in an interview with Pitchfork she said of her legless yellow "Genesis" co-star: "It's actually a different python. I wish it was the same python. I was specifically referencing [Britney's] performance in this video. That was one of Britney's best moments."
So...where could Banana be now? With no more Banana-centric tweets forthcoming from either Britney or Grimes, we set off on our own Animal Planet-esque mission to try to find him (or her?). Some research uncovered an identical Burmese python, also named Banana, living at Stump Hill Farm, an exotic animal sanctuary that frequently hires out its furry, feathered, and scaly friends for movies, photo shoots, and performances across the country. Huzzah! Banana had lost last been found! However, sadly, farm owner Cyndi Huntsman crushed our dreams and told us that Stump Hill's Banana is in fact NOT the same Banana that once slithered around Britney's toned torso. Cyndi also explained that it's fairly common for albino pythons to be christened "Banana" because of their bright yellow scales, and because the cute, fruity name makes them relatable to kids--and to pop stars, apparently. So perhaps in the future, Britney Spears can have a whole bunch of Bananas onstage with her. Maybe the Bananas can even get together and form a boy band. Kids would love that!
Considering that Burmese pythons can live to be more than 20 years old, Banana could still come out of hiding during the next decade of surely scandalous VMA awards shows. Will we ever see the original Banana again--maybe wrapping around One Direction, wriggling around Rihanna, cuddling Kanye, or biting Bieber? We shall see. But for now, the VMAs' new theme song seems to be "Yes, We Have No Bananas."
additional reporting by Lyndsey Parker