Down East Family YMCA staff members, from left, Courtney Wood, Tim Follette, Shauna Esposito-Caldwell and Melissa Tozier prepare for the Spice Girls song they will be performing at The Grand Mouth Off, a lip-sync contest, on Saturday, April 9. Not pictured is team member Taegen Colson. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

Lip-sync teams to battle at The Grand



ELLSWORTH — First there was Dancing with the Ellsworth Stars, followed by Ellsworth’s Got Talent and So You Think You Know Ellsworth.

This year, the community fun fundraiser for The Grand auditorium will be The Grand Mouth Off, a lip-sync battle featuring seven teams vying for the title of best lip-sync squad in Ellsworth.

The event takes place Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and seniors and $10 for children 12 and under.

Ellsworth economic development director by day, Micki Sumpter will take the stage at The Grand on Saturday, April 9 as Kermit the Frog for a lip-sync version of “The Muppet Show” theme song along with other Grand board members.  PHOTO COURTESY OF MICKI SUMPTER
Ellsworth economic development director by day, Micki Sumpter will take the stage at The Grand on Saturday, April 9 as Kermit the Frog for a lip-sync version of “The Muppet Show” theme song along with other Grand board members.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICKI SUMPTER

Kim Fitch, operations manager at The Grand, said each team will perform two songs and be scored by judges. The audience also will be able to vote, putting dollars in buckets to go toward their favorite team.

The winning team, according to The Grand, will be the team with “the highest combination of judges’ scores and donations to the Bucket Brigade.”

Judges are Chris Popper from Townsquare Media, Drew Myers from The Crown Vics and Laura Smith from ABC 7 and Fox 22 TV stations in Bangor. Robin Jones — “actor, director and facemaker” — will host the event.

The following businesses and organizations will each have a team participating in the event: Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, the Ellsworth Fire Department, Machias Savings Bank, Rockett Computer, Darling’s and the Down East Family YMCA’s Early Learning Center.

Fitch said among the songs set to be performed are “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry, “Greased Lightning” from the musical “Grease,” and Bob Seeger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

Teams taking part said they are prepared to have fun in the event. Patricia Patterson King, director of marketing and public relations at the hospital, said Maine Coast’s team consists of six members: Kristen Stiles, Lesli McVay, April Bellatty, Kathy Smith and Ellen Boughman, in addition to herself.

The team will perform Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” She said team members are learning some new dance moves (“Thank you, YouTube,” she said) during the rehearsals.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Patterson King will be pulling double duty during the show, as she is a Grand board member. Board members will be doing their own version of “The Muppet Show” theme song as the evening’s opening number, and will be in costume. Board member Micki Sumpter, for example, will be Kermit the Frog.

The city’s fire department also is fielding a six-man team, consisting of Russell Torrey, Riley Dewitt, Cote Hadlock, Peter Leighton, Tim Pfaff and Keith Jordan.

They will perform “More Cowbell” and “Backdraft Breakdown,” and part of their performance will include turnout gear.

The Down East Family YMCA’s Early Learning Center is fielding a team of five, all of whom teach at the Y’s facility at The Moore Center: Courtney Wood, Shauna Esposito-Caldwell, Tim Follette, Melissa Tozier and Taegen Colson.

Explaining how they came to field a team, Wood said the Y’s CEO Peter Farragher asked if anybody wanted to take part in the lip sync contest.

“Shauna and I volunteered ourselves and dragged three unknowing accomplices with us,” she said with a laugh.

The Y staff will be lip-syncing “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, and each member will be dressed up as one of the Spice Girls: Ginger, Scary, Baby, Posh and Sport.

“We’re all really doing it for fun and to have a good time,” said Wood. “Obviously, as we’re doing the Spice Girls and we’ve got a guy on our team.”

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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