Get your lips ready!

What is one to expect when one decides to go to a Rendezvous event in November?

It would not be strange for this thought to cross your mind as you went to check out the preliminaries for the Ultimate Lip Sync Battle. Everything seems kind of normal at the Town & Mountain Hotel, as I roll in (just after 7 p.m.). I am greeted by a jovial-looking fellow wearing a red plaid. He lets me know his name is Dashing Dan and that, if I want (for a small fee), I can get in on the preliminaries for the Ultimate Lip Sync Challenge.

The Town & Mountain is handing out gift certificates for first, second and third place that night, and I could go on to win up to $750 on the Rendezvous stage. It sounds like a good deal, but I pass for the time being … I think I want to get the lay of the land first.

Over the next half hour the bar begins to fill, and though it’s not straight-up Rendezvous, I do notice the occasional garter being worn, and more than a few plaid shirts coming out. Our hostess for the evening, one Musical Marjie, takes the stage near 7:30 and lets us know things are about to get started. She reminds us of the prizes and that Dashing Dan will be taking sign-ups all evening, so it’s not too late if anyone gets a little braver as the evening rolls on. With that out of the way, she calls up the evening’s MC, “Just Stu,”—not the cleverest of Rendezvous names, but the fellow is equal-parts charming and suave and quickly gets the crowd riled up about the first act. A local woman takes the stage, with confidence and enthusiasm. She is not just a lip syncer, but she has painted on a beard and dances as the music hits its stride. The song is Sam Hunt’s “Break Up in a Small Town” and the crowd eats it up and showers her in applause.

After that, Just Stu lets us know that the judges will be deliberating for just a moment; and while they do, they call up a Rendezvous board member to keep the crowd entertained. “Top Shelf Tyson” and his sister Jessica rock out to “Bohemian Rhapsody”; and, whereas our first contestant had talent and skill, these two had raw enthusiasm and joy. They let us know, through their performance, that you need not be a professional to come up and have a good time, and they easily set the tone for the remainder of the evening.

The night progressed as such, with Just Stu peppering the crowd with lip sync and Rendezvous trivia, as attendees worked with Musical Marjie to track down the perfect lip sync song from their collection. There were the standard shoutouts to the sponsors, Apex Energy Services and the Town & Mountain, for putting on the show, and all in all it was a good time. Then, just when you thought this was a wrap and you’d seen everything, Rendezvous pulls out another surprise and in walks the Air North Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Can Can Line, four dancers who gave us a sneak preview of what we can expect to see in February.

I would say that the lip sync prelims are a bit like a Christmas-in-July party; it’s not really Rendezvous, but it gives you just enough of a taste to whet your appetite and get you excited about what’s to come. That particular evening had three big winners: Leigh, in first place (“Break Up in a Small Town”); Emily, in second place (“Rock Star”); and Gabrielle, in third place (“Mama Mia”). All three of these lovely ladies will perform at the Ultimate Lip Sync Battle on February 22, 2019, at the Kwanlin Dűn Cultural Centre.

In addition to that, it’s not too late … Rendezvous will be hosting another lip sync preliminary on November 24, back at the Town & Mountain. If you think you have the stage presence to go all the way, or just want a fun-filled evening with a taste of Rendezvous, go check it out (you won’t be sorry).

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