Reality Rocks (New)

Marc Martel Officially Selected to Fill Freddie Mercury’s Platform Boots Via ‘Queen Extravaganza’ Talent Search

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Oh, if only this had been an actual reality show and not just an online competition. I would have tuned in every week.

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Marc Martel's first audition

Earlier this year, the members of Queen got fed up with the glut of unauthorized Queen cover bands out there sullying Freddie Mercury's legacy. And so they decided to host a talent search to create a sanctioned cover band for the 2012 "Queen Extravaganza Tour," a Cirque de Soleil-style royal road show, overseen by Queen drummer Roger Taylor, celebrating the music of one of the best stadium rock bands EVER. This week, Queen's nearly three-month talent search culminated at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Los Angeles, and now Queen have finally announced the winning lineup. Unsuprisingly, the official Queen Extravaganza band will be fronted by YouTube sensation Marc Martel, who also lends his mind-blowingly Mercury-like vocals to the Canadian band Downhere.

[Little aside here: Obviously, Adam Lambert, who recently sang with Queen at the MTV Europe Awards when the band accepted a Global Icon Award, would be a fabulous choice for the Freddie role here. But, um, he's a little busy right now--you know, appearing on reality shows like "Project Runway" and "Majors & Minors," hanging out with Nile Rodgers, and readying his sure-to-be-amazing sophomore opus. Plus, while Adam has the pipes to hit those Mercury-rising notes, he's not a copycat singer. We may see the real Queen and Adam perform together again, but not right now.]

Soooo anyway, it's no surprise that Marc Martel is the soundalike singer chosen to fill Freddie Mercury's mighty big platform boots. Marc became a Interweb sensation the instant his amazing first audition was posted online, because really, THE GUY TOTALLY SOUNDS LIKE FREDDIE. I've seriously not heard such a ringer singer since Arnel Pineda was recruited to replace Steve Perry in Journey. Marc sounds incredibly Freddie-esque, to the point where it's almost surreal. When I first watched his online auditions, and later his "Ellen Show" performance, I almost thought he was lip-synching.

I'm interested to see what sort of stage presence Marc will exhibit on the Queen Extravaganza Tour--because fronting a Queen cover band has just as much to do with showmanship as it does with vocal ability--and if he'll dare to wear a plunging-front unitard or white satin pantsuit onstage. He better at least rock a dirty 'stache.

Below are the rest of the Queen Extravaganza winners. Do you think this lineup will be able to, as Roger Taylor puts it, create "a rock celebration in the royal tradition"?

SECOND VOCALIST
Jennifer Espinoza - San Antonio, TX
1st audition, 2nd audition

GUITARISTS
Tristan Avakian -Toronto, ON
1st audition2nd audition

Brian Gresh - Tulsa, OK
1st audition2nd audition

DRUMS
Tyler Warren - Camden, TN
1st audition2nd audition

BASS
Francois-Olivier Doyon - Quebec City, QC
1st audition2nd audition

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Related links:

Adam Lambert sings with Queen at MTV EMAs

Classic Queen music videos

Sacha Baron Cohen to star in Freddie Mercury biopic

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