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phoning it in

Britney Spears’s Terrible, Possibly Fake ‘Telephone’ Demo: A Huge Win for Britney!

Over the weekend, the Internet flipped its shit over a leaked MP3 purporting to be Britney Spears's long-lost demo for "Telephone," a song Lady Gaga had originally written for Spears (who ultimately declined to use it) before recording it herself. There's some debate over whether it's actually Britney — we have listened and it's either her or the robot from Forbidden Planet — and it's pretty awful, but regardless of its authenticity or quality, it's definitely the best thing Britney's done in years.

More than that, though, in a time when other female pop artists like Christina Aguilera and Ke$ha can't wear a silly outfit without being accused of consciously biting Lady Gaga's shtick, this allows Britney to borrow some of Gaga's hype in a way that's transparently accidental. Plus it serves as a reminder that Spears was already a pop spectacle back when Stefani Germanotta was still but a lowly songwriter. And, hey, Britney's new album is allegedly maybe dropping next month and all of this makes for some pretty terrific prerelease publicity.

More than that, though, in a time when other female pop artists like Christina Aguilera and Ke$ha can't wear a silly outfit without being accused of consciously biting Lady Gaga's shtick, this allows Britney to borrow some of Gaga's hype in a way that's transparently accidental. Plus it serves as a reminder that Spears was already a pop spectacle back when Stefani Germanotta was still but a lowly songwriter. And, hey, Britney's new album is allegedly maybe dropping next month and all of this makes for some pretty terrific prerelease publicity.

In conclusion, whether it's her voice on this demo or not, Britney should probably reimburse the poor guy who spent $750 so we could hear it. Listen below.

Photo: Getty Images