• Rock Around the Town alerts

BOY SHAKIRA IS ALL MY FAULT

boyshakira4 During the last season of America's Got Talent, the most controversial contestant was easily Boy Shakira, a heavyset man in a blonde wig and halter top, enthusiastically belly-dancing to both cheers and jeers.

Didja know that the Reader not only discovered Boy Shakira, but that he took his name from a Blurt that was his first-ever press writeup?

boy1

I found BS - then calling himself (somewhat clumsily) Luigi, The Live Impersonator Of Shakira - while browsing a list of local celebrity look-a-likes seeking gigs. I wrote the Blurt and a Reader editor wrote the headline "Boy Shakira." The one-time Luigi liked it so much that he changed his stage name accordingly.

So, if you're one of the thousands who posted anti-Boy Shakira comments all over the internet, blame us. We encouraged the guy (and it really is hard to take your eyes off him, whether in fascination or horror).

Below is a compilation of our two Blurts on him, one from last year, and a more recent writeup. For a little DVD-extra flair, included is some unpublished material.

boyshakira3 BOY SHAKIRA: "I don't do drag, I do impersonation," says Louis Padilla of his Shakira look-a-like act. "Drag is about looks, about being as much like a lady as possible, but an impersonation is a whole show; it involves duplicating someone's entire performance, [including] their attitude and moves."

Padilla admits that not having hips makes it a challenge to mimic Shakira.

"I practice barefoot in the sand near water, which actually goes along with Arabic mythology, and that's something Shakira herself is into."

boy3 Padilla, a 29-year-old who cashiers at the EastLake Wal-Mart, earns between $400 and $1000 for a ten-song, hour-long performance. He lip-synchs to recorded Shakira tracks, while he interprets her signature belly-dancing performance style. Barefoot.

He began impersonating the Colombian-born singer around eight years ago, and makes his own costumes. "It's when I put on my Middle-Eastern belts that I really take on her persona. I pay a lot of attention to copying the exact outfits she wears, and a lot of it has to be special ordered from different countries to be authentic."

boyshakira4

When the real Shakira kicked off her first world tour at the Sports Arena in November 2002, Padilla was right up front, standing on a riser. "She made eye contact and was smiling at me. There was a connection. I could tell she was really surprised to see someone dancing just like her, especially a boy!"

boy5

Later changing his stage name to Boy Shakira (from a Blurt headline about him), Padilla became a contestant on the 2007 edition of America’s Got Talent. From his first appearance, he polarized the show’s three judges. Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan approved him as a contestant, while David Hasselhoff angrily argued on-air with Morgan. “Are you sitting on the same stage as me? Oh, my God! The world has gone mad!”

Hasselhoff actually seems to storm off stage. He's seen backstage making more disparaging comments about Padilla's act. "This is for a million dollars, and that [act] ain't worth ten cents."

boyshakira5

Contacted by phone the day after his first AGT performance, Padilla said “He [Hasselhoff] didn’t like my original style and walked off the set....A lot of people on the internet are saying bad comments I’m not even reading, but two of the judges liked me! After ten years of struggle, I finally made it.”

boy2

Over the next week, clips of the heavyset man belly dancing in a halter top and blonde wig aired on Good Morning America, MTV2’s The Week In Rock, Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, and VH1’s Best Week Ever.

Padilla's performance was repeatedly aired on the TV Guide Channel, where bemused host John Fugelsang was seen quipping “I’m so glad Horatio Sans can still get some work.”

boy4

A YouTube video of Boy Shakira's AGT appearance has been played over 500,000 times.

Padilla’s mother – a Palomar Wal-Mart employee – also appeared with him on the TV show. “She’s really proud of me," he says. "I might have to get a manager soon, so many people are calling.”

At the time, he was tightlipped about future episodes, for which auditions were taped far in advance of broadcast. “We’re not even supposed to talk to reporters without permission from the producers,” he says. “They don’t want us giving anything away.”

Boy Shakira appeared on several more episodes and nearly made the final five, but was then voted off the program.

On the show's website, commentator AvisLee posted "I think Boy Shakira was pushed forward in a cynical attempt to generate another 'Sanjaya can't sing' type controversy. You know how you pay to get into a carnival, where the flying teacups are right at the gate, but the long lines are always way in the back, where the two headed chicken and the bearded lady are. Boy Shakira is the show's bearded lady. Literally."

boy6

I FOUND NIRVANA (NEXT TO THE FOO FIGHTERS)

After exhausting myself with hours and hours of filing records in a massive album collection, I was inspired to pen this little ode to OCD:

I found Nirvana - next to the Foo Fighters

I saw Asia with ELP

I caught Badfinger pointing at the Beatles

and Velvet Underground burying Lou Reed

I filed Buster Poindexter with the NY Dolls

And placed Ted Nugent with the Amboy Dukes

I mixed Meatloaf with Rocky Horror

and Southside Johnny with the Asbury Jukes

I have Box Car Racer right next to Blink

I placed Yes with Wakeman and Howe

I have Roy Harper mixed in with Pink Floyd

And the Doors with “Apocalypse Now”

I split Fripp with King Crimson and Gabriel

With Bowie, there’s Eno and Pop

Roxy Music includes Manzanera and Ferry

and Texas Jam's there with ZZ Top

Denny Laine's filed with Wings, not the Moodies

Ronnie Wood's with the Stones, not Small Faces

And Cream just goes perfect with Clapton

Like A Night At The Opera goes with A Day At The Races

ELP has Greg Lake, 3 and Carl Palmer

But Emerson’s under the Nice

Bauhaus has Pete, Love & Rockets

(and an audio book read by Anne Rice)

Tommy Bolin’s with Deep Purple and Zephyr

Frampton’s solo, not with Humble Pie

Alan Parsons has Ambrosia AND Pilot

(most of whom played on Eye In The Sky)

I found so many folks with the Dead

they needed their own separate box

a mystery worthy of Behind The Music

given I think that all Dead music sucks

I'm so sick and tired of filing

and remembering where things are filed

but it's better than trying to find things

in a mountainous, long-playing pile.

  • Rock Around the Town alerts

Comments

Sign in to comment