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Sports Media Karaoke Report

Mike Wise, dancing.

Yeah, I know some of you would prefer I not produce yet more navel-gazing media reports. But look at it this way: at least this isn't about Brandon Lloyd.

I was going to score all the contestants in last night's Sports Media Charity-oke event from 0-10 in four categories: Vocals, lyrics, performance, and intangibles. But I gave up for several reasons: there were too many performances, and my critical faculties were gradually dulled, and, most importantly, Tony Reali's vocals deserved considerably less than zero points, rendering my scale insufficient. So instead I'll give some Best Of categories. And rest assured that I won't write about the D.C. sports media until, at the earliest, next Monday.

Michael Jenkins and Kelli Johnson, ruling.

Best All-Around: Comcast SportsNet personality Michael Jenkins, and it wasn't close. From an attitude-laced duet with Kelli Johnson (Positive K's "I Got A Man") to a polished solo stint (Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison"), Jenkins was already comfortably ahead. Then he rocked "Nuthin' But A G' Thang," spitting profanity like he was born in Compton, settling easily into a West Coast patter, engaging the audience (comprised largely of Comcast SportsyNet employees) in raucous call-and-response, and, for me, the evening was pretty much over. Plus, he did it all in a sweater-vest.

More Jenkins, stunting.

Best MC: Fox 5's Dave Feldman, who, in addition to performing "Cat in the Cradle" with CSN producer Joe Yasharoff, got off a few choice one-liners, such as "You said it was gonna be packed" when he first arrived, "We need some women, or Dan Hellie," after a string of male performers, "You can see his work on page E13 of the Washington Post," when introducing Wise, and "Disrespectful [bleep bleep]," when he thought some audience members were ignoring his performance.

Best Refusal To Compromise: CSN's Chick Hernandez, who maintained his "I'm Stevie Wonder and I'm Blind" gimmick for much of the night. Very nice pitch from Chick, but I couldn't help but think of the look on Randy Jackson's face when some of the Idolettes attempt to tackle Stevie. "Dawg," I think his advice would start. Chick definitely has talent, though.

Chick Hernandez, pretending.

Best Improvisation: Johnson and Jenkins deserve special mention for their "I Got A Man," which was not on the DJ's playlist. They downloaded the song from Wal-Mart for 88 cents (plus tax) and then performed it nearly flawlessly without the benefit of the blue-screened lyrics. Plus there were frequent suggestive hand motions. And KJ had green boots.

Best Costume/Best Use of Alternate Lyrics: WRC's Lindsay Czarniak and Redskins Radio's Bram Weinstein, in what was obviously a rehearsed "Copacabana" with a whole bunch of lyrics about Alexandria and Channel 4 and sportstalk radio. Plus they both wore strange hats and formal outfits. A little bit too high-school-talent-showish, perhaps, but still a solid B for entertainment value.

Lindsay and Bram, dueting.

Biggest Unknown:
Some guy named Guile (?) who, despite not technically being a member of the D.C. sports media, performed more songs than any of the sports media members, including a very convincing version of "That's Amore."

Best Grungy Growl: Tie, Around the Horn's Tony Reali ("Plush") and Washington Post Live's Russ Thaler ("Jeremy"). Thaler was, to be sure, one of the evening's most pleasant surprises, steady of tone, in control of his vocal instrument, almost unfailingly on key. Thaler was especially strong on "Thunder Road." Reali was, in a word, terrible. But he went first, which is an impossible task, and he had the growl thing down pretty good.

Russ Thaler, surprising.

Biggest Surprise: WTOP's Craig Heist, who, after adjusting his fly, delivered a surprisingly passable rendition of Elvis's "If I Can Dream." When you're used to listening to a guy give full-throated lightning-paced updates from baseball games, and then suddenly he's crooning ballads, it really makes you think, about first perceptions and hidden talents and whether it's ok to eat waffle fries that have landed on the ground.

Biggest Introvert:
So yeah, after screeching his way through "Jessie's Girl," invading the dance floor during several performances to bust a few of his trademark broken-legged-squirrel-on-heroin dance moves and attempting to upstage his MC, Mike Wise finally performed his landmark karaoke version of "Livin' On A Prayer." First the white dress shirt came off, revealing the black "Stop Bitching Start a Revolution" t-shirt. Then the t-shirt came off and our famous columnist was dancing bare-chested while performing Bon Jovi in a Bethesda bar. I have photos, but they're Too Hot For TV. I paid $5 to watch the karaoke show; I'd pay that much to see just one more shirtless stanza.

Tony Reali, growling.

Best Random Line From an Onlooker:
"Better you than Kornheiser," to Wise, following his disrobing.

Most painful no-show: Marc Nigel Sterne, doubtful before the night with a sore throat, was in the building but not in uniform.

Best hip-hop performance by a former Idaho resident:
Kelli Johnson? "Shoop?" This was really a great event.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 26, 2007; 12:28 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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How do I get one of those Charity-oke shirts? They were cool!

Thanks for bogging the event...

Posted by: WGDC- | October 26, 2007 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Where was Jason LaCanfora? I knew that guy was all bark and no bite.

Posted by: Goomba | October 26, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Reali mixing it up with the locals...Good to see. Has he found a place to live yet?

Posted by: the cheat | October 26, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise = Party animal

Posted by: bethesda | October 26, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I can only pray, even though I'm based in Baltimore, that I'll be invited to one of these soirées one day.

Posted by: | October 26, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm such a pussy for bailing out and not singing.

Posted by: Dan Hellie | October 26, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan for the recap.

Only problem is that after looking up the words to "I gotta man", it's going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Posted by: smperk | October 26, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

six words ...


don't miss Washington Post Live on Tuesday for the video evidence that all of this actually took place ...

Posted by: littles | October 26, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Lindsay, grandma called... she wants her hat back

Posted by: onside kick | October 26, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Classic Bog work, Dan. Thank you for that. Now, put all the photos on Flickr! And videos on YouTube, of course.

Posted by: Jamie Mottram | October 26, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Does Mike Wise really write for the Post or just spend all day at the gym?

Posted by: DD | October 26, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I think your man crush on Wise is getting a little out of control. Although he could defend you if JLC ever rounded up the rest of the Mean Street Posse for an attack.

Posted by: Jon | October 26, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

CSN isn't paying enuf?
Whats up with kelli johnsons boots?

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Reali? A Really big dork.

Weinsten? Bigger!

Posted by: George Michelle | October 26, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I've got to agree with Littles. I've never seen such an enthusiastically terrible rendition of Boys II Men. And it was awesome.

Posted by: Jenkins | October 26, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Which accent did Marc Nigel Sterne sing with?

Posted by: Dream Out Loud | October 26, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Michael Jenkins | October 26, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course, yet one more instance of disrespect for DC United. How could you watch both last night? Why not schedule this for four o'clock on Sunday?

(Kidding!!!) Definitely need YouTube videos. I can only hope that Wise's performance shirtless is as good as these guys

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | October 26, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I am still tryin to figure out why Reali was there?

Posted by: Chimp Rage | October 26, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

those green boots are hot

Posted by: new KJ fanboi | October 26, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

there will be a little sneak peak of what this was like tonight on Washington Post Live ... you gotta wait until Tuesday to see the good stuff ...

Posted by: littles | October 26, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"I am still tryin to figure out why Reali was there?"

Probably because he lives in DC and it was a DC Sports [mainstream] Media gathering.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | October 26, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Now I know how Thaler felt when nobody invited him to the last DC Sports Bloggers Happy Hour.

We need to bridge this gap people!

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | October 26, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Where was this location... I've been looking for a good Karaoke place? Someone...anyone... please tell me.

Great recap...can't wait to see on tuesday some video.

Posted by: ZamboniMatrimonyBride | October 27, 2007 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Unsilent Majority: "Now I know how Thaler felt when nobody invited him to the last DC Sports Bloggers Happy Hour.

We need to bridge this gap people!"

You don't know how it feels.... to be me.

Posted by: Thaler | October 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | October 29, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I was going for Petty, but The Who will do.

Posted by: Thaler | October 29, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

you guys ever heard of diversity?

how 'bout some asian, african american, or latino broadcasters---who might actually accept your invitation to some of these events---if they're extended.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 29, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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