Verdi Contest Runs Amuck When Contestants Challenge Judges
The first ever Giuseppi Verdi Look-Alike Contest went sadly awry when contestants became unruly following what they insisted was bias on the part of the judges. The event, sponsored by Deutsche Grammophon Records to commemorate the 200th birthday of the venerated composer, drew hundreds of contestants, including rock stars, heads of state, and the winners of this year’s New York State Chili Cook-off, all vying for the coveted title that one man, and only one, would claim.
The unanimous winner in this year's event was star tenor Rolando Villazón, who exhibited a particularly jaunty flair in Verdi's signature top hat and scarf. Upon the announcement of the winner, a loud cheer erupted, with shouts of “Viva Rolando!” “You da man!” and “Rolandito rules!” shaking the rafters of Rocco’s Tavern and Pool Hall, the site of the evening’s gala festivities.
Several contestants were not as impressed with the results of the contest, demanding a recount of the votes. Among the most vociferous were Aztec Emperor Montezuma II, Kermit the Frog, and perennial cry-baby, Attila the Hun.
Mr. Hun threatened to sack, pillage, and otherwise vex in the extreme the Deutsche Grammophon headquarters in Berlin unless the verdict was overturned in his favor. “Marauding and plundering are great and everything—don’t get me wrong. But this award is all I ever really wanted in my life,” he whined. “Nobody loves me! Fine, I hate you all!” he bellowed, stamping his foot, then storming off in a huff.
Another sore loser was Emperor Montezuma, normally sweet-tempered and affable, who raged, “Award me this prize, or you will feel the wrath of Montezuma's revenge! You and your pathetic bowels will be begging for death after those three days of living hell!”
It should be duly noted that this threat produced a palpable shudder amongst those in attendance, particularly the Americans.
Perhaps the most disturbing remarks came from another loser, Kermit the Frog, long known for his sociopathic tendencies and hair-trigger personality. “Villazón, first you rob me of ‘Rainbow Connection,’ and now this!” he seethed, his left eye twitching with barely-concealed rage. “That song was MY hit, and you tore it away from me. It was all that kept me from the pit of existential darkness. Oh, the agony!” wailed the tortured creature, consumed by the dark deed, the very thought of which made his amphibious blood boil. “And now this! Villazón, you…go…too…far!”
At the center of this firestorm was the panel of judges, which consisted of a veritable "Who's Who" of glitterati and celebrities, including the exalted lunch ladies of St. Olaf’s High School in Rochester, New York. The last group, notorious for its unflinching brutality whether it comes to slinging mystery meat on the plates of young scholars or writing scathing reviews of garden club shows, gave Mr. Villazón an unprecedented perfect score, citing his “je ne sais quoi,” which made them positively giddy.
Mr. Villazón attempted to assuage the wrath of the losers, offering a signed copy of his smash hit CD “Villazón Verdi” to one and all. "Hooray, I'll be first in my cell-block with this baby!” rejoiced Ms. Typhoid Mary, who is seeking parole from the New York State Board of Corrections after her conviction for coughing in the presence of Mr. Villazón, a felony in New York State. Even Mr. Hun melted at the gesture, cooing, “Aw, Roli, I can’t stay mad at you.”
Deutsche Grammophon Records, in the spirit of good sportsmanship and generosity, handed out t-shirts to the lucky throng, noting that the wildly-popular “Rolando is My Homeboy” t-shirts were being superceded by new shirts bearing the blazing hot new affirmation, “Rolando is My Playboy,” all this much to the delight of the lunch ladies of St. Olaf’s.
Emperor Montezuma and Kermit the Frog remained unimpressed with the gesture, vowing to exact revenge upon the unsuspecting tenor. “Just wait for the Wagner Look-Alike Contest next year! We’ll see who’s top dog then!”
Mr. Villazón could not be reached for comment, although unconfirmed reports are circulating that he was last seen franticly running down the streets of Turin, hotly pursued by the lunch ladies of St. Olaf’s, who were enthusiastically waving at him and shouting his name. One bystander witnessed the tenor scrambling up a trellis to elude the shy maidens, all the while crying, “Hey, whose idea was this ‘Playboy’ thing, anyway? Take back this darned red satin suit before somebody hurts me! It was just for fun, I swear…!”
(Delicious, thank you very much, Joanna!)
(Delicious, thank you very much, Joanna!)