Despite the increasing sense of awkwardness, there’s something almost admirable about the Machiavellian way that Madonna courts confrontation. Case in point: This clip of Madge seguing her “Express Yourself” hit into Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at a rehearsal for a Tel Aviv performance, which surfed on the Internet over the weekend. (“Leaked,” we presume.) Comparisons between the two songs have been noted before, with a few mash-ups presumably showing the smoking gun. For Madonna to so openly evoke the similarities seems like an overt middle finger, along with the slightly creepy way she ends the montage by singing “She’s not me” over and over like some witch doctor trying to ward off the usurping with some ancient incantation.
Of course, Madonna’s permanent sense of competition is what makes her Madonna. What other legend would drag two of the hottest stars of the modern era on stage only to reduce them to a few perfunctory, sing-songy rhymes? Judging by the 1,365 likes vs. 1,065 dislikes (estimated at press time) on the YouTube video, the rival fanbases have already begun sniping in earnest. As YouTube user “Nadkalysto” types: “fuck u bitch gaga is better than u,.!! how desperate u are to sing gaga’s song and pretending she’s coping u,…..really cheap,u loss all my respect that i had for u madonna,.!!!!” Madonna could not be reached for comment.