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'We prayed at the altar of Britney': the inspiration behind Schitt's Creek's spoof hit

Holly Gordon

“The number of days I have woken up with the song in my head is slowly driving me insane,” says Annie Murphy, laughing, over the phone. “But I think it also bodes well.”

The actor is talking about the new song that her Schitt’s Creek character, Alexis Rose, performed on Feb. 26 during the eighth episode of the show’s fifth season as an audition for the town’s Cabaret staging. It turns out that Alexis, billionaire socialite heiress to Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara), briefly had a career as a reality TV star, and the song that she performs — called "A Little Bit Alexis," sung in the vein of Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch” — is from that former life.

“I’m expensive sushi/ I’m a cute, huge yacht/ I’m a little bit single/ even when I’m not,” Murphy sings, straight-faced, in the audition. (While the "critically reviewed" A Little Bit Alexis reality show was apparently short-lived, Alexis did get training from Barbra Streisand's vocal coach out of it.)

“We wanted to spoof the early 2000s kind of socialite pop singles that came out, but we also secretly really wanted to make an early 2000s socialite single that was a banger and that people would actually want to listen to,” says Murphy.

When the Schitt’s Creek writers’ room said they wanted Alexis to perform a song from her (newly revealed) reality-star past, Murphy knew she wanted to write it. Having never written a song before — but knowing that her character “has many talents, but zero talent when it comes to singing and dancing ... and the confidence of a thousand humans” — the actor took the project to husband Menno Versteeg, who fronts the band Hollerado, and bandmate Nixon Boyd.

“We kind of prayed at the altar of Britney for a little while,” says Murphy, laughing, “and went on a very interesting YouTube hole of Paris Hilton’s videos and Lindsay Lohan."

The end result is a guilty pleasure of a song that people will either love or hate — and so far, Murphy, Versteeg and Boyd’s secret wish for “A Little Bit Alexis” to be loved has come true, judging by fan reaction and its nearly 12,000 Spotify streams since Feb. 27.

Sadly, though, there’s no music video in the near future.

“I feel like the budget for that music video would have to be like $25 million so based on that I don’t think there will be a video,” says Murphy. “But I would never say no.”


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