It's been nearly three weeks since the Toronto Raptors' first-round exit at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets. It was a pretty tough loss — I wonder how reserve Raptors forward Landry Fields is taking it.
Oh, he's dressing up like Lionel Richie and doing karaoke on ABC? I guess he's OK, then.
Yep, that's the 2010 second-round pick out of Stanford and former New York Knicks swingman all dolled up and belting out "Dancing on the Ceiling" in a performance for "Sing Your Face Off," a "talent variety competition" featuring celebrities performing not only in the style of recognizable performers, but in their garb and manner, as well. (The celebrity judges include '80s pop queen/"Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" star Debbie Gibson and former "Saturday Night Live" star Darrell Hammond, so you know it's going to be good.)
Fields' competition appears to be somewhat stiff — he's squaring off against former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Hammond's fellow "SNL" alum Jon Lovitz, longtime soap opera actress Lisa Rinna, and a young person named China Anne McClain who I'm sure is just terrific — but a man with mastery over both Michael Jackson tracks and Bruno Mars hooks takes a backseat to no song-and-dance man, woman or child. Especially when he's letting it rip on a tune that, as we all know, went to the very top of the Norwegian pop charts.
Fields recently spoke about this new performance opportunity with Matt Gibson of Dime:
Dime: Have you noticed any parallels between playing on basketball’s biggest stage to being on the big stage with “Sing Your Face Off?”
LF: I thought that there’d be more of a parallel but it’s completely two different worlds. Being on the court and playing is one thing in front of 19,000 fans but being in a studio on stage in front of a few hundred people that are live in studio is so much more nerve-racking than being in a big arena full of people. It’s probably because I’ve never done it before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But then singing in front of all of these people and trying to kind of lose yourself in the acting part of it — it’s tough. The preparation for it all is that much tougher so I left the show with a much higher respect for artists and what they do when they go on tour and they have to prepare different songs in the studio. It’s really hard (laughs) but I still think nerves wise, it was much higher for me than basketball. You never know — I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. [...]
Dime: You said that you think this show will make other NBA players “see you in a different light.” How do your teammates in Toronto feel about your new hobby?
LF: I mean (laughs), I’ve told people about it [...] I was kind of bracing myself. I mean, unless I’m on your team, you don’t really know the goofy side of me or the side of me that is able to get out of the “NBA stereotypical role.” I enjoy doing stuff that’s not of the norm, so I think that’s the kind of light the entire NBA will see, but not to the guys that I’m closest with or that I’ve been teammates with before. They’ve already seen that side of me before so I feel that they’ll look at me like, “Ehh, it doesn’t surprise me that he did it.”
Maybe wait until they've had a chance to see you go The Full Lionel before you jump to that particular conclusion, Landry. I mean, I know Steve Novak's got your back like chiroprac-tic, but some of the others might need a little time to adjust.
"Sing Your Face Off" premieres Saturday, May 31, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here's hoping Landry sticks around a while, because I think we'd all like to see him dressing up as other pop and R&B stars from years gone by. Also, if someone out there could do me a solid and make me a clay bust of Fields-as-Richie real quick, that would definitely not be terrifying and would be worth displaying proudly in my home. Thanks.
Hat-tip to FTW.
- - - - - - -