Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ra Ra Ah Ah Ahhh!

OK, so I knew this was coming a few days ahead of time. I played it cool. I didn't make a fuss. And when I saw the photo request on the photo budget, I casually volunteered to shoot it...but inside I was bursting with anticipation!

Lady Gaga is not coming to town, but a local radio station was having a contest to send the best Gaga look alike performer to her show in Dallas. Two concert tickets, airfare and a hotel stay were up for grabs, attracting a gaggle of Gagas and hundreds of onlookers to the local mall. And I couldn't have been more excited to be there!

Now, I wouldn't say I'm a big Lady Gaga fan (especially compared to these people). I only recently bought the album after kind of ignoring her music for a while. Some of it is just so damn catchy. After seeing a couple of her interviews I realized she actually has some talent and wasn't there to bring the world of pop music to new lows. No, that's Justin Bieber's job (Oh! Bieber burn!).

Anyway, the Gaga look alikes had a minute and half to either dance to a Lady Gaga song or sing. Most chose to dance, and "Bad Romance" was the song of choice. What, no love for "Paparazzi"? Not that I didn't get to hear the song. I had at least three different Gagas sing parts of it to me as I was shooting. I wasn't sure what to think about that.

This Gaga was probably my favorite. Not only was the look straight out of the "Telephone" video, but the passionate impersonator was a 13-year-old boy! Most of the Gagas were dressed and ready when they arrived, but this kid had some changing to do. I saw the boy and his mother walking by with a soda-can wig in one hand and a black leather jacket in the other. I chased them down into a clothing store next to the stage and followed them into a dressing room. I'm not even sure they knew who I was at first, but they were so nice and welcoming. There was also something kind of loving and sweet about the mom helping her son get ready for the contest. "I don't know how I feel about helping my son get dressed in drag," she joked at one point, but then quickly worked her magic to pin the hair in place, finish up the makeup and comment about how cute the shoe were. They are both my new heroes!

The winner was quite impressive on stage. He (yes, he) had the moves from the video down, and he finished off his performance with an homage to Miss Gaga's blood spattered performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. And the crowd went wild.

I had hoped for a little more Gaga/mall shopper interaction. It would have been so wonderfully awkward. For the most part, the Gagas were kept together and away from the crowds. Although I did enjoy watching people ride up the escalators and get an eye full of Gaga when they got to the top. Fantastic.

You can see more photos from the event over at caller.com, plus a little video put together by Caller-Times videographer Michelle Christensen.