Archive for the ‘contest’ Tag

The Final “Cut”: Music Video Contest Entry

I now present to you my entry for La Cieca’s (parterre.com) light-hearted lip dub video competition:

http://www.vimeo.com/12347347

Although a winner hasn’t been announced, happily, my entry was featured today on parterre.com: Darkest Before the Dawn

[UPDATE: I won! My video received the winning prize worth $200.00, and cries of “Bravissimo!,” “genius,” “brilliant,” “poignant” and “hilarious.” Woo-hoo!]

The song is opera diva Renée Fleming’s recent crossover single “Endlessly” (originally by Muse). It was GOBS of fun to create, and this is Faux Paul’s official video debut! A tragic tranny mess? Visionary? You be the judge, but it’s nothing if not fun. Plus, I didn’t know I was a blonde (the look chosen to APPROXIMATE the album cover)…the results proved me SO wrong.

For non-opera aficionados, the paper dolls are of Peter Gelb (he runs the Metropolitan Opera), Barbara Walters (operagoer), Mary Zimmerman (director), James Levine (music director and conductor at the Met), and La Cieca! (Yes, the inside jokes abound.)

I invite you to share comments directly below the video at vimeo.com link provided above! Praise me, roast me, sex me up, and so on!

Here’s the official collectible album cover:

The Fine Art of Plate Portraiture

For my 40th Bday (last saturday) I commissioned some of the finest artistes in the Bay Area to create a distinct portrait of me or other luminary present.

(Translation: A bunch of friends drew a face on a plate.)

Here are the results…from brilliant, to f!@#$d up, to amusing:

Me as Chang, in Thrillpeddlers' Cockettes' "Pearls Over Shanghai." (Won "Most Creative.")

Me as Chang (Back, same artiste; Depicting my backside, revealed through satin boxer trap door!)

Cro-magnon Paul (Won "Most F!@#$d Up!" Created by artist without looking down at plate.)

Fuzzy Paul (Very impressive symbology in the ex-Zillerating linework.)

Continue Viewing Stunning Visual Displays —>

Giddy With #OperaPlot Nods & Early Booty

Wow, the pleasing aftershocks of #OperaPlot have proven to be just as fun as the contest itself. Here’s my latest happy news!

Short Lists & Nods


#OperaPlotter extraordinaire, and former winner muzicbizkids posted Highlight Reel, featuring his favorite “top 3%” on his blog ambling with i am. Two of my entries were included:

Her name was Violet, she was a call girl. With camélias in her hair & consumption in the air. At the AH-PRAH! Don’t fall in love!
[La Traviata]

My head says Turandon’t! But my heart says Turando! [Turandot]

Then, musicvstheater posted How to write an #operaplot, on his blog Music vs. Theater. It’s a fascinating “semi-scholarly taxonomy” of entry trends and categories. My above “Copacabana” Traviata entry was included under “The Lyrics.” I jokingly told him that I’m really a dramatic coloratura trapped in a lyric’s body.

MMmusing has created a genius audio version of my winning entry, using text2speech.org. Thanks MM!!!

Premature Booty & Glory


It only gets better!

Next, blogger opera-toonity announced her top 4 results from the #OperaPlot Don Giovanni entries. I was thrilled to discover that my Right Said Fred entry received 2nd Place:

I’m too sexy for amor—too sexy for Seville. I’m a charmer—I shake my lil tush on the piazza. I’m too sexy for this opera. *burns*

Finally, I fell off my chair when Decca sprang a surprise on the eager proceedings, and offered 5 early, unexpected prizes. My “Copacabana” entry landed Best Pop Culture Reference,” and a copy of Jonas Kaufmann’s latest CD (Thanks Decca and Miss Mussel)! Just a CD, you ask? Well, it’s more about the glory and pleasure of winning than the prize itself. ;-) Boy, I’m going to owe a lot to Barry Manilow for this!

Or, perhaps being chauffeur for 3 different Violetta’s, including Anna Netrebko in SF Opera’s Traviata last season rubbed off on me? What a wonderful way to start my 40th birthday festivities! The fun of it all was alone worth the participation, but I’m no closet competitor, so this has me positively giddy. It looks like pop references might just be my calling card.

[UPDATE: Jonas has spoken! His picks have been announced. Congrats to all the winners! No more glory for me…but I’m not complainin’. Til next time!]

jcm’s Best of #OperaPlot

In attempting to peruse all 907 entries of #OperaPlot, I realized that there are so many great ones, taking so many diverse approaches that the result is and will be HIGHLY subjective. Honestly, there are probably 20-30 deserving tweets. But, it will all come down to Jonas’ particular funny bones ;-)

Well, as far as my own take, these are the best of those that were posted by midday today on T.O.M.! Hopefully, at least a few of these (and my own!) will make the prize list. My top favs by “chickenfeet2003″ and “patty_oboe” are proof that simple can be better. Also, interestingly, very few bel canto operas were tackled…perhaps proof that they are indeed all about the beautiful singing.

The Best of Other’s OperaPlots


villa_lobos Be vewy qwiet, I’m hunting wabbits – Oh Bwunhilde, you’w so wuvwy – stwike da wabbit! [dead] What do you expect, a happy ending? [Die Walküre]

chickenfeet2003
Batter my ears three noted score [Dr. Atomic]
Witch son was that? [Il Trovatore]
Hunchback ticks off boss. Get’s the sack. [Rigoletto]

Patty Oboe She dances just to get a head. [Salome]

musicvstheater Ego Rex,yo! With my mad flow. Tiresias be hatin on my bling tho. Cuz I’m the king, aint no other. Is my ho fly? Word to my mother! [Oedipus Rex] (This entry was accompanied by an amazing rap audio track!)

pschleuse Though cigarettes can be a killer, they’re nothing to a Seguidiller. As Don Jose’s been known to quip, love can really be a gyp. [Carmen]

devoncestes Cougar on the prowl, her cousin shows up. Random Italian Tenor. A silver rose later, prey finds a girl his own age. Time flies. [Der Rosenkavalier]

Bonnie Situation Alb. makes a ring, Loge & Wotan plan a sting. Erda: give up the bling! Fafner: Ka-ching! [Das Rheingold]

DrGeoduck Their relationship was doomed from the beginning. Elsa wanted a champion, but he preferred swanning about. [Lohengrin]

musicbizkid WhenCleverDalilaFinesses/MightySamson,HeDumblyConfesses/
SourceOfHisStrength/IsInHisCoiffure’sLength/&DameColdlyHacksOffHisTresses [Samson & Dalila]

gtheule Cigarettes are unwise and bullfighting is nuts, but a mezzo has them beat for crazy any day of the week. [Carmen]

Sam Neuman The Princess is double-parked, so she has to be succinct: kid’s dead, sister’s engaged, love the habit, sign here, kthxbye. [Suor Angelica]


My Five Best


“Ice Ice Baby” [Jenufa]

My head says Turandon’t! But my heart says Turando! [Turandot]

I’m too sexy for amor—too sexy for Seville. I’m a charmer—I shake my lil tush on the piazza. I’m too sexy for this opera. *burns* [Don Giovanni]

Her name was Violet, she was a call girl. With camélias in her hair & consumption in the air. At the AH-PRAH! Don’t fall in love! [La Traviata]

TwoMenWageToProveWomenFickle/LandingThemInQuiteAPickle/
AsAlbaniansTheyKnew/BothSistersThey’dWoo/AudiencesAgelessHijinksDothTickle. [Così fan tutte]

jcm’s #OperaPlot Contest Entries: Redux

Thank goodness today is the final day of The Omniscient Mussel’s contest. I’m feeling the need to race off to #OperaPlot 12-Step after this week (it’s insanely addictive)! I want those tickets to Ireland so bad, I can smell the shamrocks.

Now, cross your fingers with me, and pray that hunkentenor (Jonas) chooses right! In my next post I’ll share my favorites from ALL the entries (there are some doozies), and then follow up with the actual prize winners. But for now, here’s my second round of tweets

My Final 13 Entries


“Ice Ice Baby” [Jenufa]

My head says Turandon’t! But my heart says Turando! [Turandot]

“It Takes a Village (To Ice a Child)” [Jenufa, variation]

“It Takes a Village to Raze a Child” [Jenufa]

“Kaiser & Kaiserin Plus 8″ [Die Frau ohne Schatten, variation]

TwoMenWageToProveWomenFickle/LandingThemInQuiteAPickle/
AsAlbaniansTheyKnew/BothSistersThey’dWoo/AudiencesAgelessHijinksDothTickle. [Così fan tutte]

Irish ♀ + Breton ♂ = ♥ death [Tristan und Isolde, variation]

My dazzling beauty, vast pleasure palace & pearly fioriture weren’t enough for “The Six Tenors”? Screw love, revenge is sweeter! [Armida]

A cautionary tale about eloping with Papa Smurf, honeymoon feng shui & baggage. Behind door #7? “The Real Housewives of Hungary” [Bluebeard's Castle]

“Women Are Like That/Thus Do They All/The School for Lovers/Tit for Tat/Fiancée Swap/Such Are All Women” (Call it what you will!) [Così fan tutte]

Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, but mum’s the word…smooch, smooch, glub, glub. [Rusalka] (via Gil)

“Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was freak like me? Don’t cha, don’t cha?” [The Threepenny Opera]

I ♥ NY [West Side Story]


The 2010 #OperaPlot Twitter Contest Begins!

Today, The Omniscient Mussel launches her second annual “OperaPlot” contest. The goal? To synopsize any opera in 140 characters (including the hashtag #operaplot), and post up to 25 on twitter.com, before midnight EST, friday, April 30th. Anyone can enter, so hit her with your best shots!

T.O.M. scored a major coup, landing the biggest hunken-tenor on the intl. scene Jonas Kaufmann as arbiter! It was tempting to tailor my entries to his repertoire (ie: Werther, Tosca, Die Walküre, etc.), but I maintained my integrity! My entries milk song lyric adaptations, current mainstream celebrity fixations, whimsical text icons, and my love for the melodramatic side of the art form.

(Photo by Johannes Ifkopvits, 2006)

Follow all submissions here. Here are the Rules and FAQs, the 2010 Prize Pool, and the 2009 Winners & Prizes.

My First 12 Entries


I’m too sexy for amor—too sexy for Seville. I’m a charmer—I shake my lil tush on the piazza. I’m too sexy for this opera. *burns* [Don Giovanni]

Her name was Violet, she was a call girl. With camélias in her hair & consumption in the air. At the AH-PRAH! Don’t fall in love! [La Traviata]

Irish ♀ + Breton ♂ x ♪ leitmotifs in ♠s = ♥ death [Tristan und Isolde]

(Inappropriate for Children) “Je-rry! Je-rry!” A chick with a *BLEEP*. Commercial break. Satan/Jesus fued *BLEEP*! Final Thought. [Jerry Springer: The Opera]

All that stands between Turandot and her man: a millennia-old feminist grudge, “Hope, Blood, Turandot,” slave girl and frigidity. [Turandot]

The primacy of words or music? Inseparable! A poet or composer’s heart, and whose operatic ending? Hmm…what’s a Countess to do? [Capriccio]

Shadow chasing ensues, proving Her Heart Belongs (nicht) To Daddy, but to hubby. Next up: “Empress & Kaiser Plus 8″ or Octomom? [Die Frau ohne Schatten]

3 protagonists enter. 3 cries of “Turandot.” 3 gongs. 3 riddles. 3 correct answers. 3 ministers lament. 3 “Vinceròs!” 3 Acts end. [Turandot]

1) Death by strangulation on a barge on the Seine in Paris, 2) by poison in a convent near Siena, 3) and by old age in Florence. [Il Trittico]

The Don’s Hectic Calendar: Seduce. Rape. Duel. Kill. Flirt. Lure. Flee. Regroup. Accuse. Swap. Fool. Invite. Revel. Refuse. BURN! [Don Giovanni]

The Empress needs what the mortal woman has, decides she doesn’t want it badly enough, but gets it anyway. Typical daddy’s girl! [Die Frau ohne Schatten]

“Questo è il fin di chi fa mal!” So, don’t seduce, rape, accuse, fool, desert, lure, beat, or kill, lest you be dragged to hell! [Don Giovanni]

Perhaps I’ll be inspired to generate a second phase of entries! This is VERY addictive, and I wanna win!

jcm’s Olympics’ Predictions Contest Winners

Congratulations!


Kudos to the winners of jcm’s Olympics Podium Predictions contest!

"Santa Queer Lucia": Patron Saint of Queers

Pairs: Jean-Samuel Gagnon, with top 3 correct = 15 points

Men’s: MIZ, with top 2 correct =
11 points

Ice Dance: MF (perfect!), with top 4 correct = 16 points

Ladies: LJ, with top 3 correct =
15 points

Your Amazon.com prizes will be sent via email to you winners this week, and once you confirm your email address. (Please respond to the private email you received.)

Many winners benefited from early submissions, as their were multiple ties in several disciplines.

Personally, jcm predicted the ice dance top four, as well as the ladies and pairs top three correctly. Not too bad. However, I failed miserably on the men’s.

The Collective Opinion of Participants


As per the collective opinion of contest participants, the ice dance result ended up EXACTLY (top 4) as predicted. The ladies top three were correctly predicted. The pairs’ gold was a slam-dunk. But, overall the pairs, and especially the men’s were, as we all know less predictable.

Thanks for taking part, and keep your eyes open for jcm’s next contest!

Your Vancouver Olympic Podium Predictions

The Writing’s on the Wall


Well, not that it’s a surprise, but the collective opinion of contest participants consider Yu-Na, Plushenko, Shen & Zhao, and Virtue & Moir the ones to beat. Out of 28 submissions, Shen & Zhao received ALL BUT ONE first place prediction ordinal, and Yu-Na received all but three. Sound like a load of expectation and pressure? Sure does! But, they’ve proven to be able to carry that gracefully, far more often than not.

The few renegade, dark horse nods were appreciated, such as the lone ones predicting gold for Flatt (by Aaron at AL&S) and Delobel & Schoenfelder (by Jahiegel), and silver for Dube & Davison (CEB’s, one of only four nods they received)…perhaps goodwill gestures, or just a contest strategy in betting on underdogs? Receiving a single vote each were Nagasu, for bronze, and Weir, Kostner, and Zhang & Zhang, all for pewter.

Interestingly, although Rochette and Ando received a few first place predictions, not a single one was given to Asada! Just not her time, eh? She, Lysacek and Savchenko & Szolkowy were very strongly settled in second place. And, you have confidently placed Belbin & Agosto just off the podium (except my mom, who has them in first…wishful thinking?).

In the mens, you have predicted the first double medal since the U.S. sweep in 1956 (Cortina d’Ampezzo), and only the third double medal in history. And, Chan and Takahashi are considered to be in a near dead heat for pewter. They are the masters of the component score, but apparently not considered consistent enough in their jumps.

The contest is now closed. You can post further predictions for fun, but they won’t be elligible. Here are the combined results of your predictions. They seem reasonable…now let’s see how this REALLY plays out!

Drum Roll Please…


Ladies

1) Yu-Na
2) Asada
3) Rochette
4) Ando

Mens

1) Plushenko
2) Lysacek
3) Abbott
4) Chan/Takahashi

Pairs

1) Shen & Zhao
2) Savchenko & Szolkowy
3) Pang & Tong
4) Kavaguti & Smirnov

Ice Dance

1) Virtue & Moir
2) Davis & White
3) Domnina & Shabalin
4) Belbin & Agosto


Vancouver: A Final Shout-Out

Seven Days & Counting!


The light’s at the end of the tunnel now, with the opening ceremony just one week away. Now is the time I start wishing I had forked out the dough to attend (waaaahhhhhh!!!). Thankfully, I can live vicariously through blogger friend Aaron, at AL&S. He’s been selected as the Gold Blogger, all expenses paid! This honor couldn’t have been awarded to a nicer, more knowledgeable guy. I am so proud of, and excited for him (…can you say insane jealousy?). I’m lobbying to be his towel boy. Be sure to follow him online, if you want the real behind-the-scenes (click on button at right). Go Aaron!

I just posted my own predictions for my Olympics’ Podium Predictions Contest (which of course don’t count). I’m so pleased at the level of participation, and it’s especially nice to see a few fellow bloggers and family represent: incl. Aaron, Matthew at VR=A, and my mom! The men’s result is easily the hardest to predict. A coin toss or Magic Eight Ball consultation (ala State of the Skate) could probably offer an equally accurate result, given how deep that field is.

The Russian Surge


A lot has shifted in the skating world in the eight months since my post about the end of some long-standing Russian reigns. It revealed my not-so-covert desire for these “reigns” to be passed on. With Plushenko’s successful comeback since, that’s now much less likely in the mens. Even DomShabs” (or “Moksana”), who barely held it together at Russian Nationals will probably make it onto the podium, with a fight and some helpful nudges from a few biased judges. And, Kavaguti & Smirnov are raising the bar with each competition. Just shows you how resilient and determined the Russian skating community is.

Torino Ice Dance: OD Hawt Mess


We all remember the gasp-inducing affair that was the ice dance competition in Torino, with costly mistakes from several top teams. First, there was Denkova & Staviski (gold medalists one month later at Worlds!) falling out of contention with a botched spin, as well as some biased judging. Then there was Fusar-Poli getting dramatically dropped by Margaglio on their final lift. And, who can forget the stare-down that ensued afterwards, worthy of a Latin Telenovela!

Most tragic of all was Dubreuil getting hurled across the ice by Lauzon, also during their final lift. I wonder if any such slip-ups (or fizzles) will be deal breakers in deciding the medals. I certainly hope not, but it did make for some unforgettable and unexpected outcomes in Torino.

My Wish Short-List


I’m praying that Akiko Suzuki, Johnny Weir, Jeremy Abbott, and either American woman (see below) lands on the podium. Akiko and Sparkly-Boy are probably longshots, and really only viable for a bronze, but I can dream! I’d also really like to see Takahashi and/or Oda snag a medal. And, of course, many of us are also hoping for an historic U.S. ice dance gold!

Will he be "on", or lost in the icicles?

Historic Sweeps?


Speaking of ice dance, wouldn’t a North American sweep in ice dance be positively scrumptious?! I would also find it compelling to witness an Asian sweep (ala the Asian Invasion) in the ladies’ competition, in which case, maybe Morozov was right?

Ladies’ Dark Horse Trend


Will the next Sarah, Tara, or Shizuka please stand up? Who might be the unexpected dark horse for gold here? No, neither Tara nor Shizuka came out of nowhere (having won a previous Worlds), but they certainly weren’t the favorite. Judging from recent past results (offering varying degrees of surprise), perhaps we should really be putting our money on Ando, Flatt, or Suzuki, the current viable underdogs, rather than Yu-Na, Asada or Rochette?

My fingers are crossed that Flatt and/or Nagasu deliver. If not, as I speculated, this will be the first time in 11 Olympics (40+ years, since ’64) that an American woman doesn’t stand on the podium. Oy vey!

I wish all the best to each and every Olympic skater (and athlete). My truest hope…that they each may perform to the best of their ability, and walk away from the Games with only the best of memories of what they laid down on the ice, and experienced throughout!

jcm’s ‘10 Olympics’ Podium Predictions Contest

It’s nearly one month til the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics! In celebration and anticipation, I invite you to take part in my contest, the second of its kind on jcm, since my 09 Worlds’ Contest. You contribute nothing but figure skating placement predictions, I make no profit, and it’s not linked to any organization or business…it’s just for fun!

TO PLAY

Post your predictions for the top 4 medal placements (including the fourth place “pewter” medal), in any or all 4 figure skating disciplines in the “Comments” for this post. If your username is not linked to your email address, be sure to include your email address as well, or email it to me, so I can contact you should you win. Refer to the early submissions for the basic format, and you may use your initials only, if you wish. Predictions or resubmissions must be posted before midnight, February 12th. I will announce any skater withdrawals in the “Comments” for this post.

SCORING

  • 15 points for correct top 3 placements (gold, silver, & bronze) for 1 discipline (if achieved, the next 3 scoring items are not added)
  • 6 points for 1 correct gold medal placement
  • 5 points for 1 correct silver medal placement
  • 4 points for 1 correct bronze medal placement
  • 2 points for 1 correct medalist in any top 3 placement (ie: you post “Jane Doe – silver medal”, but Jane wins bronze)
  • 1 point for 1 correct fourth place “pewter” medal placement
  • 1 bonus point for 4 correct top 4, in any top placement (ie: you post correct top 4, BUT some or all are in wrong placement)

PRIZES

The winner for each discipline will be awarded a $20 online amazon.com gift certificate, the week following the Olympics. (A total of $80.00 in prizes are at stake!)


ATHLETES

You can review the Vancouver Athletes, in all 4 figure skating disciplines here. (Once an official competitor list is published, I’ll provide the link.) Check out the season’s best total scores for men, ladies, pairs, ice dance.

And, keep an eye on the official Olympic Schedule and Results here.

The small print:

If there are any withdrawals before Feb. 12, you may resubmit your predictions, but I discourage you from doing so for unaffected disciplines, as you will risk losing a tie-breaker because of resubmitting later. If a withdrawal in any discipline effects your prediction, your 4th place prediction will be counted as your bronze medal prediction (this is why the 4th place prediction is essential.) If there are 2 withdrawals in any discipline that effect your prediction, the remaining skaters in that discipline will be counted as your top 2 prediction. If there are no withdrawals in a discipline, the fourth place prediction serves as a top 3 tie-breaker. In the case of a top 4 tie, the earlier post prevails (including any resubmissions).

I have revised the scoring, since my ’09 Worlds’ Predictions Contest, to increase fairness, and account for more possible scenarios. Have fun y’all!

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