The Next Best Thing

So I only saw the finale episode of “The Next Best Thing” sometime this summer. Was not the remotest bit interested in the show, because I thought the premise was a little lame. The finale was the teeniest bit interesting, but only because I was marveling at the way the show lived up to my expectations of being one of the lamest shows on TV. A contest between professional and amateur impersonators to see who makes the best double? I might have understood if these people were auditioning to be the next legend on staff at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas hotel. But what I didn’t get was what all these people (especially the pros) wanted to accomplish. I’m sure there was some sort of prize, like a free pull on a slot machine, but how is this going to further their careers? Maybe get them more corporate gigs?

This doesn’t even take into account that there were two Elvises in the top five. I almost threw up on the spot. I guess I just didn’t get it (the Elvis thing and the show).

UPDATE: More comments on this here.

14 Responses to The Next Best Thing

  1. maggie katzen

    I read a very short article a couple months ago about this lady in Louisiana that became a Cher impersonator. It takes a LOT of money to do, but she also averages 3,000 bucks an appearance. so yeah, I imagine winning the show could help with bookings.

  2. Janna Bradley

    Regarding the Next Best Thing comment above about the Louisiana Cher Impersonator mentioned in the article above. Just keep in mind that just because someone says it, it isn’t necessarily true. A lot of impersonators are notoriously guilty extreme exaggerations to try to validate themselves to the public. No LEGITIMATE look alike would ever quote their income to a publically printed paper…especially those that make a great income from it. It would be just plain stupid.

  3. maggie katzen

    funny, cause she’s not shy about it on her website.

    http://www.gigmasters.com/Impersonator/LisaIrionCher/

    and the article I read was a brief reprint in the Wilson Quarterly about her winning a competition.

  4. Janna Bradley

    It is interesting how the most insecure people do the most bragging. I think they try to validate their shortcomings by making gross exaggerations. I have friends in the look alike business who have told me about this gal. From what I hear, she is desperate to validate herself anyway that she can. These “awards” are voted on by a handful of agents and look alikes attending a small annual convention THEY PAY to attend. Whoever campaigns the hardest usually gets some kind of little prize. They are virtually meaningless and do not reflect who is truly the best in the business. There are MUCH BETTER look alikes and performers out there who are not voted on simply because they aren’t at this particular convention.
    They are the ones making the real money in the business…and they are smart enough not to talk about it to publicists!

  5. maggie katzen

    so you’re saying someone could be a bad look alike and still make good money? I mean, I don’t make nearly that much per public appearance. someone sounds bitter. ;D Let’s just say I see this same kind of stuff in the singing and theater community, it’s not flattering.

  6. Janna Bradley

    You are right…it is not flattering at all! Bad look alikes can certainly fool people into booking them initially…before word gets out that they are mediocre. To be fair, there are some GREAT look alikes who don’t know how to market themselves and don’t work nearly as much as they could. What I am trying to say is that the look alikes who BRAG the most…especially OVER THE TOP bragging (as you noted above), are typically doing so to compensate for what they are lacking professionally. You won’t see the top (or should I say “smart”) look alikes disclosing their rates or annual incomes to the newspapers or to the general public. I think that it is unprofessional no matter what your job is.
    I can only speculate that a top professional like Trent Carlini makes a lot more than $100,000 a year doing his Vegas act. Winning The Next Best Thing, for him, was simply a great way for him to get publicity and sell more tickets to his show.

  7. I’d like to claify some things in this blog. I am the Cher impersonator from Louisiana that you are talking about. The Wilson Quarterly article stated that I earn UP to $3,000 per appearance, which is true. I don’t AVERAGE that per appearance. Believe me, I did not “brag” about what I earned to the reporter in this article. He merely asked me what I typically charge for an appearance. Since ALL of the impersonators listed on Gigmasters.com display their price range, including me, I disclosed that range when he asked me, but I told him I wanted it off the record. He decided to print it anyway.

    The celebrity impersonator conventions are NOT small, and ballots are available to the entire industry…not just the attendees. I did not campaign for either award that I won, and they are not meaningless, in my opinion.

    As far as whether people think I’m a good impersonator or not, that’s a subjective thing. The only opinion of my work that matters to me is that of my clients, and based on the testimonials I receive from them, they are quite satisfied. I have received multiple bookings and referrals from many of them.

    I’ve never made a gross exaggeration in any of my interviews nor in my marketing. I don’t use “best”, “the only”, or any superlatives like that describing myself. Any superlatives come from the testimonials of clients and/or agents I have worked with. All of my marketing is pretty straightforward and any accomplishments on it are true and verifiable. We must market ourselves to get work, and that includes putting forth your accomplishments and selling your strengths. If that is called “desparate validation” in some people’s opinion, then so be it.

  8. Pingback: mountaineer musings » Blog Archive » I love the things that bring people to my blog!

  9. I’ll bet some people wish they could “turn back time” now.

    Or not.

  10. I am not going to get into a one on one with Ms. Irion. It is a free country and she can be as defensive as she likes. Her actions, numerous interviews (which all make the same exaggerated claims) and her over-inflated website speak for themselves. My opinion is unchanged. Anyone here can take a look at them and see for themselves.

  11. Sorry, Janna, but I have to point out that you’re more than happy to talk about her behind her back where she isn’t defending herself but unwilling to engage her in discussion once she does.

  12. Excuse me? Numerous interviews which all make the same exaggerated claims? Lady, I don’t know where you get your info, but except for the above mentioned, misquoted Wilson Quarterly article, NONE of my interviews with the press talked about what I earn, nor did I go on bragging about anything. In fact, most of them talked about me being a normal mom with an unusual career, or talked about the misconceptions of celebrity impersonation being a “cheesy” profession. Most of the articles which I was interviewed for also contain interviews with other impersonators who did talk about their incomes, and maybe you are confusing that with me.

    Here’s a link to an article that came out last week. Is this bragging and over-exaggerated too? Many of my peers and agents in the industry read it and commented that it was a nice article.

    http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/11012441.html

    I welcome anyone to see my “over-inflated” website. All of the testimonials are from my clients and people I’ve worked with, and they sell me better than anything. http://www.lisaascher.com

    I have no idea who you are, but you seem to be a really bitter woman, to go bashing someone you don’t know. Do us all a favor and give it a rest.

  13. Lisa, I read the article, and you come across as a humble woman who loves her job. Congratulations on all of your success.

  14. Thank you, Sarah. I found the link to The New York Times interview I did at The Reel Awards. According to Janna’s previous comment, I make gross exaggerations and brag about my income in all of my interviews. I’m also searching for the Singapore article as well, but cannot seem to find it in the archives.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/us/29fakes.html?_r=1&oref=slogin