I got a call one day at work from my daughter asking if I would prefer to be a judge or a contestant in a talent show. With my theater background, without hesitation I said, "contestant!" only to find out that I would be participating in an actual talent show.
A family one, that is.
I was told to prepare a song of my choice and that I had to "dress like a rock star." So, I put on my pajamas for the night, added a scarf and urban chic hat and I was ready to rumble. Then my daughter came out in my heels, skirt, lipstick, earrings, and hot pink fingernail polish. Hmmm...apparently I was up against a master.
Kai and Aaron sat at the judging table with their well-written judging criteria sheets. We were going to be rated. I began to panic.
As my daughter grabbed the laptop and typed in youtube to access music for her song, I sat waiting for my stage performance to begin. What in the world was I going to sing? The judges looked harsh...already speaking amongst themselves about my outfit...but perhaps...my sheer vocal talent could win them over?
I introduced myself. My name is "Sally" I told them. The first judge quickly cut me off. "What? Did you say your name was Sally Hooker?" I glared. "Yes. Sally Hooker. And I have prepared an original piece that is very near and dear to my heart. It's about my grandfather and his dog--who recently passed away and I wanted to honor his impact on my life."
"There was a farmer who had a dog and BINGO was his NAME-O."
But right after my first verse I got a hand signal "X "and an obnoxious verbal buzzer from the judging table. Still I continued...the judges lack of kind conduct would not sway my performance. I would prevail! So, I finished my song and I had tried my best. What more could they ask of me?
The next contestant began her overzealous charade with a soundtrack and a hip-hop beat. I knew the song, and I also knew that she was reading the lyrics on the laptop like karaoke. CHEATER. But before I knew what hit me--the melodramatic melody flowing from her mouth had the judges in awe. As if the competition could not get any worse, they began to tap their pens to the drum beat as though they were performing with her. WHAT was going on here?
Finally, after the clapping and cheers subsided, I stood alongside her and the judges rated our performance. They called out my name first.
"Miss Hooker," the old and obnoxious one said. "I have given you a -7"
"OUT OF TEN?" I said.
The next judge spoke more quietly, but at the prodding of the first judge said, "You were awful!"
Then it was HER turn and the judges began their positive rant.
"You have been given a 40."
"OUT OF TEN?" I said again.
They continued with their rating explanation and then the younger one (whom I personally believe to be bias due to having a history of sharing toys with her) piped in, "It was beautiful!"
I get it. I do. She deserved a higher score then me...but seriously? He gave me a -7?
I left the contest a bit peeved as the clapping continued and strawberry milkshakes were promised as a reward to the star of the show. I had to wonder if perhaps favoritism was at play?
After mentally wrestling with myself throughout the night and into the morning about what really went wrong, I finally came to the conclusion that I am certain will present a different result at the next show.
Next time....I am going to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and forgo the hat.