I’m not a huge fan of country music, but when my friend Erica offered up a free lawn ticket to Thursday’s (July 11’s) Luke Bryan concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), I figured I’d tag along. I made it through opener Cole Swindell’s set and about half of Bryan’s before starting to get antsy to leave. “We can leave after ‘Knockin’ Boots,’” Erica kept saying.
While Erica was expecting a classic performance of the catchy tune, she got much, much more than she bargained for. When it was time for Bryan to sing the song (Erica had the set list open on her phone, so we knew), he instead told the audience to bear with him for ten minutes—a camera crew would be filming a segment for an upcoming CBS special called Lip Sync to the Rescue. Then, a group of officers from the Saratoga Springs Sheriff’s Department walked out onstage.
Inspired by the #LipSyncChallenge, a social media phenomenon that encouraged first responders such as police officers, sheriff deputies, fire fighters and EMTs to engage with their local community by posting YouTube lip-syncing videos, Lip Sync to the Rescue is an interactive one-hour entertainment special hosted by Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood) that will air on September 9. The interactive part? Viewers can vote for their favorite #LipSyncChallenge video online, and the top 10 will be revealed during the show. The top two will advance to a live vote conducted during the broadcast.
The Saratoga Sheriff’s Department lip synced “Knockin’ Boots,” with choreographed dance moves not once but twice, all the way through. Then Bryan came back out and performed the song again with them. Since voting for the best #LipSyncChallenge is already live, the performance won’t be one viewers can vote on, but will still be part of Bryan’s segment of the show. (In 2018, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office created their own lip sync video to the song “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, but it apparently wasn’t nominated.)
I have to admit, for not being a country music fan, I do really like “Knockin’ Boots.” And sorry, Luke, but I think the Saratoga officers stole the show.