What's in a name?
There's John Mayer, the famous singer. Then there's Mayor John (Romano) of Ballston Spa. Sunday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), they both had their turn to belt out ballads amidst rowdy applause.
Local radio station FLY92 sponsored a karaoke contest just outside the main gates at SPAC as hundreds in the hot sun waited to buy lawn tickets to hear singer John Mayer. The hook? Contestants had to sing karaoke with Mayor John Romano.
We started researching something unique for a contest, and we didn't have to look too far, said FLY92 DJ Brian Cody, broadcasting live from SPAC. "The name connection is just so cool. And we couldn't believe how accommodating Romano was; he agreed to do this without my having to even give him a hard sell."
Potential karaoke stars purchased raffle tickets for a buck apiece; the dollar bills were collected in an empty guitar case. Around 6 p.m., five lucky numbers were selected at random. After cranking out the tunes with Romano, the singers were judged by their parking lot audience. The contestant receiving the most cheers won a coveted pair of front row tickets and backstage passes.
Romano said he agreed to ham it up because the ticket sales were donated to the village's two museums, The National Bottle Museum and Brookside History Museum.
"I honestly don't know any John Mayer songs," Romano admitted before the karaoke began. "I'm planning to mostly dance and lip-sync."
The raffle winners were Laura Nitchman of Schuylerville; Alicia Jones of Mechanicville; Kristen Santucci of Rhode Island; Nina Cervini of Mechanicville; and Grace Mattoon of Schenectady.
The women, most of them around 18 years old, had exactly 92 seconds to perform songs including "Bigger than My Body" "Daughters," and "Waiting on the World to Change." Their props included tinsel-silver wigs, purple inflatable guitars and orange plastic tambourines.