Photo Credit: FOX 2000/ 20TH CENTURY FOX / THE KOBAL COLLECTION / TENNER, SUZANNE
On various celebrity talent shows, ABC has already made stars dance like Fred Astaire, skate like Dorothy Hamill and dive like Greg Louganis. What's next? Here's an idea: Let's make them literally impersonate other famous people! Specifically, pop stars.
ABC has ordered six episodes of Sing Your Face Off, the network's latest take on a wacky reality show currently airing in Europe. (Overseas, the series is called Your Face Sounds Familiar.) How it works: Every week, with the help of choreography, coaching, and hours of transformative makeup, each of five competing celebs will perform as a famous singer. They'll be judged by how well they pull it off. There are no eliminations, but the best overall impersonator will be announced in the finale. Watch the trailer for the international versions here:
With the right style team and a gift for mimicry, some stars have already shown a surprisingly good knack for this sort of thing. Among our favorite stars-as-singers, four of them won Oscar nods for their roles. (We think all five deserve love.)
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon played a very convincing Johnny and June Carter Cash in 2005's Walk The Line. ''I could shoot Joaquin from the back, and without seeing his face, you would be able to tell what he was feeling," said the film's director, James Mangold. "He never impersonated Johnny Cash -- he became him.'' Ironically, though both received nominations, it was Witherspoon who took home an Academy Award.
Jamie Foxx won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie Ray, which arrived just months after the icon's death. "His impersonation of Charles is uncanny," wrote film critic John Hartl. "It’s all there: the shyly ingratiating manner, the gentle swaying back and forth, the perpetual wide-screen smile (and the tough businessman behind it)."
Cate Blanchett also got Oscar recognition -- though just a nod -- for her version of Bob Dylan in 2007's I'm Not There. We agree; she was scarily good as Dylan. In this interview with Huffington Post, Blanchett confessed how much she leaned on cosmetic help. "You learn so much about how you can sculpt your face, hold your face; you experiment a lot with the makeup artist, it really informs the performance," she said. "So makeup is a real ally."
While he may not have received an Oscar nomination for the role, we can't leave out Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrisson in 1991's The Doors. Plus, well, it was just a great movie!
Granted, these performances set the bar a little high! Can anyone transform into a pop star this well, with only one week to prepare? No way! But we'd like to see them try! How about Kathy Griffin doing Katy Perry? Or Andy Dick doing Chris Martin from Coldplay? The possibilities are endless!