So You Think You Can Sing?

April 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm (Uncategorized)

Last Sunday, we met several Russian university students at a round table discussion.  One of them, Misha (short for the name Mikhail), called me and offered to give me a tour of Vladimir State University one day after school.  Emily, Erin, Courtney, and I all went, assuming that we would simply have a tour of the campus.  We were wrong.  Misha brought us to a Journalism class, which was bizarre because he isn’t even in that department.  The teacher and her students were delighted to see real live Americans.  They asked us who we were, and whether or not we liked Vladimir.  Without further ado, the teacher popped in a video, and made us watch several short films, none of which remotely related to journalism, or anything for that matter.  The first of these short films, depicted a bunch of women walking together in a line.  The camera only showed their naked legs, all wearing high heels, model-walking in a dance studio, to the song “I’m Pretty Fly for a White Guy.”  The second short video showed a bunch of cats in slow motion.  My favorite of all of these, however, was a video that showed clips of Putin, to the song “I’m Too Sexy.”  It also showed a man who had painted Putin’s face on his leather jacket.

After we finished watching the bizarre, random videos, the students in the class asked us questions about journalism in America.  The question sequence went exactly like this:

“Do universities in America have their own newspapers?”

“Are your school newspapers any good?”

“What do you think of Medvedev?”

“Are you planning on getting married soon?”

Reflecting on this, we probably should not have been surprised.  After they finished asking questions, Misha told us that all the dorms of the university were competing in a battle of the bands that night.  Naturally, we had to go.  Misha himself was playing in the competition with his band.  We heard them warming up before the competition started, and we all thought, “Oh no, they suck, now we’re going to have to lie to his face, and tell him they were great.”  Shortly after, the concert started, and it was absolutely hilarious.  There were three rounds, and each dorm had a band or singer represent them in each round.  One dorm sent one guy up every single time.  He changed into a new sparkling, shiny shirt each time, and sang pop songs in front of American-idol style flashing lights.  He sang one song in English, the lyrics being, “Love and emotions make me so tender, give it to me in sweet surrender.”  Two girls, clad in “dresses” that hid absolutely nothing, got up on stage and sang a pop song.  One of the girls couldn’t sing her way out of a paper bag, but she thought that she was Mariah Carey, and sang the “Oohs” with oomph.  We couldn’t believe her friends actually allowed her to think she could sing like that in front of hundreds of people.  One girl sang a song from the movie “A Walk to Remember,” and she was actually very good, but I could have done without the Walk to Remember montage she played.  In the end, Misha and his group got up, and we all thought, “Oh Lord here we go…” They turned out to be absolutely amazing.  I want the song they played on my iPod.

It is also worth mentioning that the backdrop for this performance was Garfield, wearing a tux, and holding a microphone to his mouth.  He was giving the audience a seductive look, that clearly said, “Come hither.”

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