Those of you who know me well are aware of my love for karaoke/have probably heard my monologue about being raised in karaoke bars. I’ve been aching to get behind a microphone and belt out my rendition of P.Y.T. Karaoke is scarce where I’m at in Spain. (There’s a small bar with exactly one page of English songs. Large font. Only 3 good ones.) (Fun fact, it’s normal to pay to sing karaoke here…what.)
This past week, I had the random and lucky opportunity to be part of what was announced as a “star panel” of judges for a karaoke contest for a high school I’d never heard of. Haha. I considered myself the Ben Folds of this star panel. Spectators think, “I don’t know who that is, but I feeeeeeel….like I’ve seen this person around.” And they have no idea that I know EXACTLY what I’m doing. Haha. Mostly because my category to judge was pronunciation, and I was the only native speaker in this audience of, like, 700. Haha.
Okay, the crowd. Gah! This crowd was WAY bigger than I anticipated, and it was totally hype! It was held at a venue called Teatro Thuiller. The same venue at which I attended a Pink Floyd cover show, which didn’t even have 1/4 the crowd as this karaoke event. But this post is already getting to be too long, so let me dive right into the performances.
1. Staying Alive – The BeeGees
The theme for the entire event was old school music. Group number one was 6 or so girls, with afro wigs on, and grungy flannel tops over bell bottoms. Haha. Their choreography was simple, and what I expected for an event like this. (I later learned that I WAS HORRIBLY WRONG. This event got CRAY. This group could be considered the opening act for the rest of the show. Haha. Is that mean? Eh.) I couldn’t give them a score really, because…they didn’t….sing? Haha. Nobody thinks about how cray these lyrics actually are. Haha. It’s like 70s freestyle.
2. Twist and Shout – The Beatles
First impression: Whaattt. Haha. The girl who was singing had a voice that was sooo buttaahh (butter.) And her pronunciation was actually, really awesome! But what really had my jaw dropped was the choreo! This huge group of girls were doing, like, LEGIT choreography! With flips and cartwheels and all! Amahzing.
3. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
Sigh. Pretty. Freaking. Woman. Do y’all remember seeing the shadow dancers in one of the _____’s Got Talent shows? WELL. They busted out sad piano cover and a shadow dance, and brought tears to my star-paneled face. Haha. Of course, it followed with the actual song and a super fun dance. Bonus: Confetti! :)
4. Jailhouse Rock – The King
This group was the first to have a really awesome storyline with their performance! Not to mention a freaking awesome stage set up. AND COSTUMES! The stage was a bar, there was a group of kids (ha) taking shots, a group gambling, and another group getting ready to strip for a guy who says into the microphone, “Oh yeah, baby. I like that.” (Cue my nervous laughter and sideways glances to see how the other teachers were reacting. They loved it. #Spain.) Out of nowhere, the police show up, and everyone takes off running! But to no avail. They are arrested and put into the jailhouse. UNTIL! Somehow, they escape from the heavy captivity of cardboard prison bars. The jailbirds proceed to hilariously wrap the officers in a rope and throw THEM into the jail cell. Ha HA! Then…out of nowhere, gun shots go off, and everyone falls to the ground. Then out comes the “Yeah, baby. I like that.” kid, walking lazily down center stage. He blows the “smoke” from his “gun,” winks, nods, and says “Jailhouse Rock.” What? Haha.
5. Grease Mix
I’m not gonna lie, I don’t remember much from this performance, because I was still trying to process what the hell happened in Jailhouse Rock. Haha. I do remember that Sandy had AMAHZING hair, and terrible pronunciation. Haha. And, as was becoming expected, the costumes were fantastic.
6. HIGHWAY TO HELL – AC/DC
HOLY COW. THIS PERFORMANCE. YOU GUYS. First, of all. FLAMES. One of the 6 or so guys put down a fountain firework in the middle of the stage, and flames go up as another kid comes out with his guitar, playing the opening chords on his amp. The song ensues as the rest of the group comes out, just…being amazing. Haha. Putting on a hell (Ha! No pun intended.) of a show! One of the guys takes off his Ray Bans, kisses them, and throws them to the crowd (I’m guessing they weren’t actual Ray Bans…haha.) They come directly to me. Haha. The one time I will a crowd-bound object to go somewhere else. The teacher-judge beside me scooped’em up. As the show goes on, the crowd is totally wigging out. I see a bra thrown onto the stage and do a double take. Then one of the Grease girls runs up and throws another one. At this point, I’m like, oh my god, what is happening. Hahaha. I look around, and all the teachers are totally into it. So I just laugh and clap along. Haha. Because it really was such a freaking awesome performance! Hahaha. The crowd is going insane, and out come the giant bouncy balls. AC/DC throws them into the crowd, and they are going EVERYWHERE. The song is carrying on, everyone is screaming, there are bras on the stage, and giant bouncy balls circling the crowd. Spain, man.
Finale: Blame It On The Boogie – Jackson 5
Performed by: Teachers and Faculty
The rest of the star panel rush off backstage to get ready to perform while the scores are tallied. The curtains open. Music begins. Teachers enter. Two words: BLACK FACE. Ohhh, goodddd….hahahaha. This subject is obviously controversial, and I’ve seen other auxiliares on the fb page freaking out about black face being used in Spain’s Christmas parade. (They celebrate the three wise men here, one of the three being traditionally dark skinned. If there are no dark skinned folks around, black face is the go-to.) After getting over my initial shock, I laugh and laugh, and enjoy the show. Haha. This is seriously the most fun ever. This school rules.
Finally, the results are announced. You know in any competition, there’s the group that wins because of the technical scores and categories, but then there’s the group that everyone actually wanted to win? Jailhouse Rock was announced as the winner, and all the girls from their group screamed giddily, as I heard, “Buuuuuullshit!! Buuuuullshit!!” from the guys in the crowd. Hahaha! The giant bouncy balls bounced around as “Hiiiiighway to hell!” echoed throughout the theater. It was like a movie. Haha. So amazing.
Bonus: The crowd trickled out, and I was approached by the teacher who’d been put in contact with me to have me participate in the event. She asked if I had had a good time, and continued with, “I remember you from Thanksgiving!” Nooooooooo….hahahaha. #drunksgiving