By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com December 20 2009 5:30 PM ET
Beyonce, Miley, Shakira... and Sukhwinder Singh? The lead singer on the 2008 hit "Jai Ho," Singh is the latest vocalist to have his video reinterpreted by one or more nimble gays on YouTube. Earlier this month, Boston's gay flag football team took to Beantown's frigid streets — from a "T" station to Copley Square —to perform the goofy, joyful choreography from the Slumdog Millionaire theme song. The flawless execution and adorable factor (a bunch of beefy, slightly goofy adult men punching the air repeatedly while grinning) has led to almost 35,000 views in just a few weeks.
"I do an end of the year movie every year [for the football team] and we do skits," explains Christopher Swank, the video's mastermind. "We did 'Jai Ho' and it was originally only 40 seconds long. Then I thought, I’m going to buy Ellen DeGeneres t-shirts for us to wear when we do the video." Why, exactly? "To get on the Ellen show — we all watch her and love her — and she loves to dance and she loves "Jai Ho."
Swank, a 41-year-old speech pathologist, says that most of his footballers knew most of the choreography already, so it only took a few hours of rehearsals. The shoots were of the flash mob-variety; no clearance from city officials.
"We just ran in, did our thing and ran out," Swank says. "We went to about six different spots, and then it started raining."
Response on the street was universally positive and fawning. The guys were even asked to do their routine on Saturday at Logan International for a marketing video supporting the airport (weather permitting — a huge blizzard barrelled through the East Coast during the weekend). But the best news came before the snow did. On Friday, Ellen posted the video on the homepage of her show's website.
"Getting closer!" Swank says.