Comedian Jay Mohr (left) was Master of Ceremonies, and Ben "Leroy Jenkins" Schulz made a special appearance
Comedian Jay Mohr, famed for his role as the host of NBC's "Last Comic Standing", was on hand last Friday night to emcee the highly anticipated fan contest portion of BlizzCON 2007. The contest, which was split into 4 segments - sound-alike, dance, machinima, and costumes - walked the line between amateur and professional rendering of in-game visuals and audio from the three principle Blizzard IPs - the Warcraft franchise (including World of Warcraft), Starcraft, and Diablo.
As might be expected, fan entries were dominated with Warcraft representations, with Starcraft mimicry a distant second and imitations culled from the aging Diablo franchise a token third. Leeroy Jenkins, a.k.a. Ben Schulz, stopped in between contests to let loose his iconic battle cry after the sound-alike contest. More suprisingly, Schulz went on to do an incredible job as a sort of play by play commentator during the 5v5 WoW Arena matchups Saturday night.
Due to Mohr's masterful, if lengthy, ad-libbing and banter with contestants, the sound alike competition, though scheduled to take only 15 minutes, stretched on for over an hour. Seventy plus participants were scheduled to take part, but due to no-shows and format restrictions, the audience heard 20-30 sound-alike entries, including an very well done gnome female representation from Ten Ton Hammer's all-expense paid BlizzCON trip winner Theresa Perkins. In the end, though, the Blood Elf "not enough blood!" monologue from Robert Liden won out.
|Hit the play button to hear the winning entry...|
Going Farley in the Dance Competition.
Next up, the dance competition wowed the crowd with everything from the comedic to the undulating and erotic. Contestants performed to the music that inspired the WoW in-game dance animations.
For example, Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend", which Chris Farley danced to as an out-of-shape Chippendale dancer in a classic Saturday Night Live, served as the inspiration for the dance animation for the Druid class in their Moonkin form. Two entrants enthusiastically gyrated to this particular riff, one nearly belly-thrusting his way off the front of the stage.
But Blood Elf terpsichore won out in the end. While at least 5 female dancers performed to the Brittney Spears-inspired Korean iDance stylings of the Blood Elf female, only one, Susan Curtis, drew the air out of the hall by throwing off her wrap to reveal a skimpy Blood Elf costume and launching into a flowing, deadpan imitation of all things good and Spears. However, the grand winner, Alex Gross, performed a convincing adaptation of a Blood Elf male's dance, the classic dance scene from the nerd manifesto Napoleon Dynamite, completing the image with a "Vote for Kael'Thas" t-shirt.
Between the excitement of the dance and costume competitions came the comparative drag-out letdown of the machinima contest. While the comedy winner, "The Grind: Halloween Special", was well received by the light-hearted audience, the drama ("Interlude" by Slashdance) and Action/Adventure ("Snacky's Journal: Episode 3") were a little tedious to sit through during an already lengthy evening.
When you're down in Texas, look behind you...
Finally, 90+ entries filed onto the stage for perhaps the most glamorous and highly anticipated portion of the contest event, the costume contest. And nothing about this costume contest screamed thrown together or papier-maché, these were as close to professionally done costumes as you'll see. Though many of the contestants hurried across the stage, never facing front for the gaggle of press photographers huddled in the orchestra pit, some performed quite a flourish center-stage. One Blood Elf female even launched into an impromptu Macarena in good fun.
Costume Contest Winner, a Warlock in Tier 6 gear
Entries included a roundhouse kicking Chuck Norris, a Naga sea witch who "feared" the humans stalking her, and an entrant dressed in the in-game murloc suit given to all attendees at BlizzCON. But there could only be four winners, and the runner-ups included a sleek, seductive human female rogue, a huge, feathered druid Moonkin (complete with aforementioned Chris Farley dance), and a Terran Ghost from Starcraft. A female warlock in fearsome tier 6 ruled the day, though, in a costume whose breadth almost sandwiched her in place at the curtained stage right entrance.
Despite running several hours longer than planned, the BlizzCON 2007 fan contests, it was a memorable and entertain night for all. Thanks to Blizzard and all the fans who participated, and check out our costume contest feature for a montage of all the cool costumes we saw last Saturday night!
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