Who cares if you didn't get to Hollywood to perform on American Idol? So what if the producers of Are You Hot: The Search for America's Sexiest People deemed your inner goddess cold, bland, and pretentious? Despite recent rejections, you cling to the conviction -- like our favorite jilted reality TV personalities Butter Jones and Frenchie Davis -- that you are a star beyond stars. Big deal if you have thunder thighs and you sing off-key.
The Hot, Wet Miami Beach Show may be your chance to show your, er, talent to the world, or at least unleash it on a mass of tourists huddled on Lincoln Road. Hosted by a freaky-looking pair of producer/musicians, who go by the names Saint and Kuut (pronounced Kaü-ku 'tah), Hot, Wet Miami provides an open-air platform for performers from all walks of life and of all talents. Anything, pretty much, goes. The heavily made-up Saint and Kuut break up the monotony of the acts by conducting in-depth interviews with shop owners and local politicians.
A recent show featured singer J.C. Andrews, a hottie in tight pants and J.Lo specs, doing his best Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias covers of "Shake Your Bon-Bon" and "Bailamos." At a table near the stage, pictures of pretty boy J.C. and his CD were hawked as Saint and Kuut interviewed the young wannabe star. Next GB6, a hip-hop boy band representing local label Mo' Money Records, performed a sweet fifteen-minute set, rhyming out such goodies as "Hip to the hop/You know we can't stop" from beneath Louis Vuitton visors and gold-capped teeth.
But the biggest hit of the evening came when local street troubadours Al Moreno and Sam Caballero took the stage. Moreno had been spotted just moments before whistling the haunting Godfather theme in the faces of distraught-looking Lincoln Road diners. He roused the audience with his frothy vocal rendition of "Besame Mucho." But the elder Caballero won the crowd over with his incredible voice, custom-made for the rancheras and boleros he winningly yodeled again and again. Holding clear and well-rounded high tones until cheers erupted from the crowd, he belted out more money notes than Celine Dion, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Barry Gibb combined. And it seemed as if he could do it all night if he had to. As the crowd begged Sam for more, he graciously thanked Saint and Kuut in Spanish for "the opportunity to express myself as I really am. Because I really believe I was born to do this."
This Saturday Hot, Wet Miami Beach moves its monthly seven-hour extravaganza to the breezeway at Ocean Drive and Tenth Street. The same spectacle featuring street musicians, local-label recording artists, out-of-work actors, and comedians will take over the seawall. Expect a fashion show and an interview with Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer too. We can only hope for more Sam Caballero.