“It was ridiculous and amazing at the same time”
Is there any better way to summarize what happened during the final week of the inaugural season of District Karaoke on Wednesday night? Drawn by the promise of free food, plenty of giveaways and some ambitious performances, a fully packed house at Policy witnessed new MC Dez the Prez get the party started for the season championship.
With camera bulbs flashing everywhere and a George Washington University film crew in attendance, it’s no surprise that Shawn K. (Hide Yer Pitch, Hide Yer Wife) broke out the celebrity shades for the evening’s initial performance – a soulful rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” that contained all the best elements of R. Kelly (and none of the pedophilia). The judges rewarded Shawn’s superstar bravado and gave him top overall score for the night – and two tickets to see the Beach Boys at Merriweather Post Pavilion, courtesy of the 9:30 Club. The junior high dance theme continued with Drew B. (Sons of Pitches) reaching for the high notes on “I Believe In a Thing Called Love.” Bringing Tone Thugs ‘n Harmony back to the weekly recap after a few truant weeks, Emily D-F. wooed not only the crowd, but her giant prop microphone, with a candy, flowers and *gasp*, lingerie, during a highly sensual “At Last.” Jessica A. (Imma Let You Finish) cast her hip-hop voice aside and went with “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips. David P. (Lush Wagon) disappointed manly-men everywhere with a cross-dressing version of “The Lumberjack Song.” Estrogen levels peaked at the end of round one as Brandy C.T. (The More We Drink, The Better You Sound) let the tears flow, while she poured her heart out to Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
Starting round two, Margo H. (Hide Yer Pitch, Hide Yer Wife) eschewed her usual ballad, and trading her dulcet tones in for a backpack and hitchhiker outfit during her rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” Leigh O. (Tone Thugs ‘n Harmony) surprised the packed house by starting her memorized version of Coolio’s “1, 2, 3, 4” from the hallway, before bursting onto the stage to represent for all those who “gotta gotta get up to get down.” The energized crowd was then fully amped to help Sue O. (Lush Wagon) belt out “God Bless the USA,” catapulting her (and her eagle costume) to the evening’s second place finish – along with the chanting of “U-S-A” and “Four More Years,” Sue O. earned herself two tickets to the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Finishing off the round, The More We Drink, The Better You Sound had “Classic” C. sporting a classic glow-in-the-dark equalizer across his chest as he rapped along to “Hey Ya!”
With energy (and blood alcohol levels) rising, sing-alongs were the theme for round three, starting with Hide Yer Pitch, Hide Yer Wife leading the crowd through “Seasons of Love” from RENT. Sons of Pitches submitted a last-minute crowd-pleaser in “MMMBop” that had all the ladies reverting to their 12 year-old selves. Tone Thugs, led by the always-dapper Geoff H. and backed by a veritable harem of sexy dames, swayed their way through Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible.” Imma Let You Finish showed everyone how they spent their weekend, busting out some Dy-no-mite! moves during their performance of “Dynamite.” Not to be outdone, and clearly inspired by last week’s arena-rocking, streamer-popping “We Are the Champions” performance, Lush Wagon stepped up in full KISS attire to perform “Rock and Roll All Night.” Would their costumes and fizzling confetti props be enough to propel them to the crown? Not if The More We Drink, The Better You Sound had anything to do about it, as for the second straight week they brought their own song (and moves) to the stage, this time doing “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj.
All that was left was to count up the scores. After an excruciating wait (Commissioner’s note: this is why we’re trying to do electronic scoring next season!), Jesse B, the DK commissioner, stepped forward to deliver the overall season results.
Sons of Pitches placed 6th place, earning themselves a set of tickets to the 25th anniversary concert of the Congressional Chorus.
Tone Thugs ‘N Harmony took 5th, earning eight (8) tickets to Metamorphoses from the Constellation Theatre Company.
Hide Yer Pitch (Hide Yer Wife) came in 4th, winning eight (8) tickets to Arena Stage.
Meanwhile, in the winner’s bracket, mini golden microphone trophies (donated by Zipcar DC) were mere detritus compared to the real prize: first place and a free recording session. Buoyed by their late-season choreography lessons, The More We Drink, The Better You Sound ended up in third, winning eight (8) tickets to the Newseum.
The surprise of the season was clearly Lush Wagon, with their unexpected upset in the semifinals, but the magic ran out in the finals and they placed second overall. For their efforts, they received eight (8) tickets to the Strange Interlude by Eugene O’Neill, produced by the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
As expected, the hours and weeks of hard work and rehearsals paid off for Imma Let You Finish, who took home the top spot and the coveted first prize – the opportunity to record a promo CD at NX Phase Recordings, a Zipcar “swag” bag, and $20.00 to Uber. Just remember, when you see them on “America’s Got Talent,” you can say you knew them when.
And so as the sun sets and our meetings adjourn
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
But never fear, we shall return
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…