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A Tale of Nokia, Lip-Syncing, and Hot-Air Balloons (Miami and the Nokia Star Sync Event)

December 3, 2007 in Nokia Randomness

Miami. Home to movie sets, nude beaches, ridiculously warm weather, and, for two days, the Nokia Star Sync event. The whole trip was a blast (except maybe a little short) from start to finish. Inside: the N82, a ride in a hot-air balloon, my experience being a lousy lip-syncer, and the rest of my fun-filled trip!



In Pictures:

My flight on Black Friday took off from Newark sometime around 11am. It was a thankfully smooth, uneventful flight and I spent the better part of the three hours catching up on Heroes episodes. By the time I landed at Miami International, found my shuttle bus, and arrived at the hotel (J.W. Marriott, sweet) it was about 4pm. I spent a good two minutes in the room (nice tv!) before hightailing it out of there to explore what was known as the Financial District.
Turns out that there’s nothing in the Financial District but Financial Buildings, and on this particular Friday the place was dead. Guess everyone was at Best Buy.

After a lot of roaming around the hotel and surrounding area, I met up with Donna and Lucy from WOMWorld – the site that sponsored the trip, owned by Nokia. You could call them the bridge between us bloggers and the big guns at Nokia.

At any rate, we had a small meet-and-greet dinner at the hotel’s restaurant where I was introduced to three others – Derek, Wellesley, and Lauren, all of whom I believe are professional lip-syncers pretending to be college students. I remember two things about the dinner: choking on a Dorito that stayed in my throat for the rest of the night, and playing with a new toy – the Nokia N82. (lots more on the N82 to come later, but not today). Okay, we also ate and chatted a bit.

The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel before setting out to see the sights of downtown Miami. Somehow the six of us ended up on some island and walked approximately 100 miles around it before we realized we were right back where we started. Eventually we just took a cab to The Event, the sole reason for the trip: Nokia Star Sync.

Not quite a star-studded, red-carpet affair, Nokia Star Sync actually ended up being a large tent, a Nokia “bus” and a place to register/watch your videos. And by videos I mean the lip-syncing kind: the whole point of the Star Sync events held all over the country was to find the 25 best lip-syncers. Winners get to fly to an undisclosed location to star in an undisclosed artist’s music video (and no, they aren’t telling you who) and that’s about it. (and sadly if you live within 100 miles of the secret destination, you don’t get the airfare or the hotel).

Inside the Nokia tent, the whole setup was pretty simple. You prepped for the video with some wacky costumes and accessories, then come out and bring your lip-syncing A game for the N95-wielding cameradude.

Of course, Nokia isn’t running the Star Sync event just for kicks, they’re also trying to promote some of the newer phone offerings available in the USA – the N95, N75, 6555, 6085, and oh yeah, the 5300 XpressPlastic. Sadly the N95s at the event were the originals, not the NAM/USA 3G version. The Nokia 6555 (you might remember it as the “sexy-back” flip) did not feel like a cheap hunk of plastic – for a really budget-priced phone, it’s not bad. Decent looks too.

So long story short, the members of my little group sang our hearts out to songs like Panic! at the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Temperature” by none other than Sean de Paul. Oh yeah, and Missy Elliot. Good thing I wasn’t in that one. Videos below, rapping and all included.

Before we said our goodbyes for the trip, we had the ride of our lives (at least mine, anyway) in a hot-air balloon that went up several hundred feet in the air. I go nuts after being 10 feet above the ground, so the balloon escapade almost killed me on the way up. Once you’re high enough in the sky, you stop worrying about dying, and start worrying about certain things falling out of the balloon, like, say a) a borrowed N82, b) an n95, and c) a new digital camera. Craziness.

My journey ended right back where I started: New Jersey, currently home to 20 degree weather, lots of ice, and really bad drivers.

I gotta go back to Miami.




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