Even in this tiny corner of the world, the international viral online hit “Gangnam Style” struck a cord with both judges and the audience, sweeping the awards at the 5th Annual Rotary/Optimist Lip Sync Contest on Saturday, Feb 16.
The event also set a record by raising more than $4,000 for local scholarships, through both ticket sales to more than 300 people and a silent auction.
Payson High School (PHS) students Daniel Walling and Cody Schuler replicated the complicated, high-energy moves of singer/dancer PSY, while lip-syncing flawlessly in Korean to win the Comedy first place with the judges and the audience award.
“Oppan Gangnam Style Gangnam Style Op op op op oppan Gangnam Style ...” sang the two, while Walling made the audience gasp with his perfect moonwalk move. Then Schuler donned a mop of long hair to mimic the moves of PSY’s back-up dancers, provoking gales of laughter.
The second-place winner in the comedy category went to Reid Wiles and Zac Harney for the hilarious elderly men costumes they donned before jiving to LMFAO’s pop song, “Sexy and I Know It.”
“This is how I roll, come on ladies it’s time to go
“We headed to the bar, baby don’t be nervous
“No shoes, no shirt, and I still get service.
“Girl look at that body
“I work out ...”
Synced the two with their high-water pants, suspenders and gray hair.
Third place in comedy went to Devon Marcus who sang the hit TV show Glee’s version of Cee Lo Green’s song “Forget You.”
Her top-of-the-head ponytail bounced and flopped as she flung herself into the performance.
Su Connell, Payson Town Council member and Lip Sync judge for the last five years, said it’s possible for acts to receive up to 90 points, with categories for lip sync ability, timing of the piece, characterization and energy.
When Connell votes, she said she looks for how the performer projects the personality of the singer and whether they stay in character throughout the piece.
That philosophy helped the first-place winner in the traditional category, Sierra Ramos, who mimicked Taylor Swift’s dance moves and facial expressions in “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The audience could sense her pain and gave her a huge ovation after she lip synced:
“I knew you were trouble when you walked in
“So shame on me now
“Flew me to places I’d never been
“Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground …”
The second-place traditional winner was Nathan Crane, who held tight to his mic as the lead singer of Aerosmith might have while singing “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing.”
Third place in the traditional category went to Zoia Brouwer, who dressed as Peter Pan and sang, “I Got to Crow” before finishing with a cartwheel.
“I liked the Peter Pan song,” said fifth grade student Margaret Armstrong, “there was just something about it.”
This year, teachers had their own competition to entertain the crowd while the judges tallied the scores. The winner would take home a cash prize to their school or department.
The winner of the teachers’ lip sync was Peggy Miles, principal of the Payson Education Center.
Miles rounded up a student to pretend to play the guitar and three other teachers to act out the Paul Simon song, “Down by the School Yard.”
PHS English teacher Halli Kinnick and drama instructors Kathy Siler and Thomas Walling also took up the cause, performing for the pleasure of the audience.
To purchase images of the Lip Synce Contest scroll to the top of this page and click on the link Buy Photos.