Shelly Silberman Crowned Lip-Sync Duels Champion

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Last night nearly 300 people packed the Paddington Town Hall for the first ever Lip-Sync Duels event, a major fundraiser for Mardi Gras presented in partnership with IVF Australia.

Over the course of the evening, 12 contestants became just 2 - Shelly Silberman and Jenny Leong - for the Grand Final round, each competing for the title and a $7000 fundraising prize for their chosen organisation.

After a thoroughly entertaining bout that had the audience up on their feet cheering and dancing for both performers, the audience vote awarded Shelly Silberman the 2015 Lip-Sync Duels champion title, trophy and prize for Dayenu.

Earlier in the evening, the audience was treated to a spectacular and hilarious opening performance show from Rhys Nicholson who shared some his best jokes before wowing everyone with a special lip-sync performance of "And I Am Telling You". From there it was onto the first round with our fabulous hosts for the evening, Gretel Killeen and Polly Petrie, keeping everything running smoothly on stage.

The first round saw Shelly win against James Brechney, Amanda Crammon was victorious over Alex Greenwich, Laurence & Romany just edged out Fran & Paul, Senthorun Raj beat out Cate McGregor, Jonnie Swift prevailed against Geoff Field and Jenny Leong won her bout against Dan Murphy.

Round 2 duels saw incredible performances from all but Shelly continued her winning run to beat out Amanda; Senthorun just outshined a playful Laurence & Romany performance, while Jenny continued to delight the audience and won her bout against Jonnie. 

Eliminated contestants from Round One were able to be brought back into the competition through a special wild card vote, with James Brechney and Fran & Paul competing for a place in the semi final round. Fran and Paul won that duel and rejoined the competition.

The Semi Finals performances did not disappoint any in the crowd with Shelly victorious against Senthorun, whilst Jenny won her duel against Fran & Paul. This set up the spectacular battle in the grand final round between the 2 crowd favourites - Shelly and Jenny. 

Towards the end of the night the chairman of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, rallied the audience on the back of the historic US Supreme Court announcement that granted marriage equality in the United States. This was followed by a sublimely soulful surprise performance by Shauna Jensen of Heather Small's 'Proud' which brought the auditorium to its feet yet again.

Whilst proceeds from the night are still being tallied, all indications are that it was a huge success raising many thousands of dollars as well as being a wonderfully fun night out. 

David Watson

221 Sydney Park Road, Erskineville NSW 2043, Australia

Chief Strategist David Watson is a 20+ year sales and marketing veteran that has worked across different industries with a diverse range of businesses. Prior to launching Strategy Point, David was employed by photo print retailer Momento for over 7 years and in that time was instrumental in growing Momento from startup into a successful brand and service with millions of dollars of annual revenue. This experience provides his clients with unique insights and an unparalleled perspective of photographic consumers, sales and marketing, and maximising business opportunities. David has a Diploma in Strategic Marketing and is currently undertaking an Advanced Diploma of Marketing course. He is an associate member of the Australian Marketing Institute, a member of the National Board for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, and is a member of the advisory board for the Head On Photo Festival. In his spare time David walks his pooch Rosie around Sydney Park, hones his photography, cheers for the Sydney Swans, indulges in reality TV and dreams of overseas holidays. He also supports two organizations that are close to his heart - Twenty10 who provide support for homeless gay and lesbian youth, and Assistance Dogs Australia who provide freedom and independence to people with physical disabilities.