After her iconic live performance of "I'm A Slave 4 U," Britney Spears emerged as the star of the 2001 VMAs. But all the hype around Spears only served to obscure the real star of that number — the snake.
The albino Burmese python kept its cool during the whole performance. Not only that, it looked amazing perched on the singer's shoulders. After its brief moment of fame, however, it quickly faded from the public eye. So where is that super-chill reptile now? Alive and well, but not, as has been previously reported by Britney herself, named Banana.
A journalist at MTV managed to track down the snake's trainer, Michael Hano, to learn what happened to the sun-coloured reptile post-performance. Hano first explained that the snake didn't originally have a name, though he sometimes makes one up if the people he's working with ask. He went on to reveal that the creature is currently living with a friend of his, and that the snake would be a lot more work for Spears to dance with now. "It was young then," Hano said. "Burmese pythons that size are not even sexually mature yet. They can reach that size in their first year of life, so it was nowhere near full-grown at that time."
Hano wasn't a Spears fan back then, but he was impressed with how she handled her unusual dance partner, saying, "She was afraid of the snake, but she forced herself to handle it, and she did a really great job."
Now that not-really-Banana has been found, it's definitely time it gets its own Behind the Music special.