POINT PLEASANT — Hundreds of people turned out over the weekend for the “hottest ticket in town” – The Kitchen Table’s Lip Sync Battle Part II.
The competition, which was held at the PPJ/SHS Wedge Auditorium, may’ve not had air conditioning (making it literally the “hottest ticket in town”), but it had 16 competitors prepared to do battle for a good cause.
Where else could an audience witness a county commissioner pretend to sing “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred, or a car salesman morph into Miley Cyrus? Then, there was the mother of two who wore the Rick James wig and reminded everyone of why “Super Freak” is such an amazing song, and the band director taking on the persona of Prince. Not be outdone, music teachers wore mullets and gloves to convince an audience they were Joan Jett and Michael Jackson. Then, there was that Olivia Newton-John moment from “Grease” which included a beauty queen in matching black leather pants preceded by a dinosaur suit which contained a high school counselor. Don’t forget the preacher who brought the “Uptown Funk.” These were only a few of the unforgettable moments from the contest which also included a KISS character, Justin Timberlake, Kris Kross, a “fight song” as well as George Michael, and Miley Cyrus, again.
The show was kicked off by a return of Axl Rose who was brought to life by R.F. Stein. Stein performed an encore of “Welcome to the Jungle” which was a song that got him to the final battle of the first Lip Sync and was one of the most memorable performances of that first competition, according to organizers and audience members.
Participating in this weekend’s battle was Pastor Matt Dotson of Good Shepherd UM Church, who returned to defend his Lip Sync Battle title won in the original contest held in April. Joining Dotson were Richard Green from Wilcoxen Funeral Home, educators Chipper Hendricks, Matt Cottrill, Daniel Tench, Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley, stylist Kenny Grady, businessman and real-life singer Brandon Sweeney, Hannan High School counselor Jessy Scott, surgical tech and community organizer Ashley Cossin, attorney Tanya Handley, Miss Ohio USA Megan Wise, and educators Kayla Tucker, Rachel Reynolds, Sarah Thompson and Ruthie Sheets. Emcees were Jerry Barkey and Dave Diddle from 93.1 The Wolf.
After performing the first of two songs, the audience chose who won the initial battles and then voted, via donations, who should go to the final battle round. During this portion of the contest, over $1,100 was raised in donations alone for The Kitchen Table programs which help feed local residents. Pushed into the finals via donations were Dotson, Handley and Cossin. After watching the contestants perform their second songs, audience members then voted with their ticket to decide who won the competition. Coming away with a second win, and another trophy, was Dotson.
Included in the evening’s entertainment were live music performances by Sammy Doolittle, Levi Billliter, Eli Wilson, Jordan Decker.
In all, the Lip Sync Battle Part II grossed around $5,000, making it a “huge” success, according to organizers.
The Kitchen Table volunteers said the event was successful thanks to the generosity of the community, the contestants, volunteers who worked the concessions, took tickets and helped in any way.
The Kitchen Table recently became part of the Pleasant Valley Hospital Auxiliary’s Outreach Committee, though all of its programs are donation driven and all donations benefit those in need in Mason County. Since forming in February, the group has provided free community meals and started a Kid’s Kafe program to feed area children. Future plans are to establish an emergency food pantry and being able to be mobile with a portable food trailer.
The food trailer would allow The Kitchen Table to go everywhere in Mason County to serve meals. The group has recently been given a 28-foot pull behind camper to renovate to meet this goal and though just in the planning stage, events like the Lip Sync and more donations, will help turn this dream into a reality. This will mean no one in Mason County will be left out of a meal because they can’t get to the serving location – the serving location, and The Kitchen Table, will come to them.
To learn more about The Kitchen Table, follow it on Facebook.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.