Raiderette Kelly stands with Don't Forget the Lyrics! host Mark McGrath.
Raiderette Kelly here to tell the Raider Nation about my whirlwind and fabulous trip to TV land in Southern California! I was chosen to represent the Oakland Raiderettes as a contestant playing for a charity on the hit game show Don’t Forget the Lyrics! The following is a little bit about my journey to Los Angeles and my “movie star for a day” experience!
The show’s producers decided to have a “Cheerleader Week” theme. Football’s Fabulous Females were chosen to be 1 of 4 cheerleader groups to compete and play for charity on the show. When I heard about this opportunity, I thought I would be an ideal candidate because I love karaoke and can entertain a crowd. The producers held interviews where we were quizzed on our knowledge of lyrics, sang 2-3 popular songs, and were asked about our lives outside of the Raiderettes. When I was chosen to be a representative, I was thrilled and began to study lyrics like a mad woman.
The charity I picked was the Oakland Police Activities League (Oakland PAL). The organization provides free education and recreational activities to Oakland’s youth and provides positive mentors to keep kids safe and off the streets. I was excited to participate on the show for such a meaningful organization and I wanted to get them as much money as I possible.
July 22, 2010- At 3 AM, my alarm went off and I jumped out of bed. I felt a surge of energy and excitement, with a hint of anxiety. I managed to do my hair, makeup, put on my Raiders gear, and was off to the San Jose airport.
During my one-hour flight to LA, my nerves began to set in, and it showed to the point where it was noticed by the man next to me. We conversed about my trip and he tried to reassure me that I would do great. I became more relaxed when he started quizzing me on songs. He would sing one unfinished line from a song, and I would finish the lyric. It probably looked silly to the other passengers, but it definitely calmed me down. We finally arrived in LA and I was off to The Culver Studios.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by my producers, Iris and Bobby, and was shown to my dressing room. From then on, it was a quick moving day. I met other contestants including a 49ers Gold Rush cheerleader and a Sacramento Kings dancer. We all sat in on a meeting explaining the game rules, what they look for in a contestant, and what not to do while on tape. The main points that were instilled in us were to sing loud, entertain and be loveable. I was glamorized by the hair and makeup team, put on my official Raiderette uniform, and sang my heart out in a practice session with my producers.
Raiderette Kelly poses with Don't Forget the Lyrics! creator Jeff Apploff.
Mark McGrath, lead singer for the band Sugar Ray, is the new host of the syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics! As they say in the commercials, "You don't have to sing it well; you just have to sing it right." The top prize is $50,000, and the contestants sing 4 songs of different genres ranging from Country, Rock, Pop, and various decades. The contestant chooses a genre, picks from two song options, and is told by Mark how many words are needed to complete the lyric. Music is played and the song’s lyrics appear on a screen for the contestant to sing. When the music stops, the contestant must finish the phrase correctly in order to earn prize money. The levels of prizes go from $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000. If a contestant misses a lyric, they stay at the same prize level and pick a new category. After a contestant sings all 4 songs, they have the option to sing an “Encore” song, which is usually a more challenging song and requires you to provide 10-15 lyrics. Done successfully, one could go home with $50,000!
After my practice session, I was ready! I applied things learned from the Raiderettes while being a contestant, including my traditional “Raiderette run,” entertaining performances, and even my high kicks (I thought this might be really funny to have Mark McGrath participate in the kicks as well! I guessed right - it was hilarious). Even though I threw in some goofy dance moves and may have cracked on a few high notes, I had a great time and rocked that stage! Although I can’t tell how much money I won for Oakland Police Activities League, I can tell you this: I did my very best and LOCKED IN THOSE LYRICS! Tune in for my episode airing on VH1 on Friday, November 19th. Check your local listings for the time.