Lady Madonna? Gaga Channels Madge in Video

Is the "Alejandro" video a rip-off or homage to Madonna?

ByABC News
June 9, 2010, 4:25 PM

June 10, 2010— -- If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Madonna should feel sincerely flattered watching Lady Gaga's latest video.

Since the video for Gaga's most-recent single, "Alejandro," premiered, fans and music writers have been divided over whether Gaga was trying to flatter the Material Girl or rip-off her best-known videos.

Madge has yet to weigh in on the debate. Her rep did not respond to's request for comment. But if her remarks at last Sunday's MTV Movie Awards in which she called Gaga "beautiful" are any indication, then Madonna is most likely flattered.

The nearly nine-minute video in which Gaga pays homage to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and "Vogue" videos, has been drawing controversy for other reasons, too. Gaga swallows rosary beads while dressed as a nun in red latex, and simulates having sex while in the presence of a crucifix.

Singer Katy Perry, for one, was offended. "Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke," she wrote on her Twitter page.

"It may be her first kind of misstep," MTV News rock editor James Montgomery told "In the two years since she's burst on the scene, she's had a series of right steps. Maybe she's set the bar so high even she can't top it. The casual fans and some of the music critics are saying, 'I'm a little disappointed.'"

For one thing, the song "Alejandro" is a relatively light pop concoction reminiscent of Madonna's "La Isla Bonita." It was voted No. 1 in MTV's summer jam poll. But the video, dark and dramatic, with images of death, bondage and androgyny, is the complete opposite.

Kyle Anderson, MTV News' blog editor, agreed that fans who loved the video for "Telephone" may find this one a bit strange.

"This is probably the first thing she's done that really has a darkness to it," Anderson told "It's not fun."

It's easy to spot the Madonna references in the video. The black-and-white photography, sparse set and iconic blond hairstyle are reminiscent of "Vogue." The Catholic references and flames in the background of one of the dance scenes could have been at home in Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Gaga even wears a bra with gun barrels attached, a clear nod to Madonna's famous conical bra she wore during the Blonde Ambition tour.