Lip-sync challenges are a thing in the age of viral media, with actors, actresses, and celebrities of all kinds getting in on the fun. The summer of 2018 in particular witnessed a new challenge based on a “vintage” 90s hit.
It started when Deputy Alexander Mena of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department in Texas posted some videos of lip-syncing in uniform on Facebook. One of the songs, “Fuiste Mala,” by the Corpus Christi-based group Kumbia Kings went viral. His song became a challenge to the San Antonio Police Department, and before long, the trend was sweeping the country.
As the HuffPost wrote, “from California to Connecticut, law officers and firefighters with astounding performance capabilities (or not) have been dancing, gyrating, leaping, grimacing, goofing and embracing during videotaped performances that have become increasingly sophisticated and have grabbed millions of Facebook and YouTube hits.”
Then on July 25, 2018, the Savanna Police Department in Georgia threw their hat in the ring with a standout performance.
The music video opens with a criminal fleeing the police on foot with officers in pursuit. But as the suspect falls to the ground running through a park, the synthetic keyboard sounds of one of the 1990s’ biggest hits open.
Two officers soon have the suspect pinned down and cuffed just as the opening lyrics begin, which might sound familiar:
I know there’s pain.
Why do you lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you.
As the officers begin the chorus, even millennials will catch on to the name of the song: “Hold On,” by the all-female group Wilson Phillips. This unforgettable tune won the Billboard Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year in 1990 and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1991 Grammy Awards.
Officer Heard of the SPD, who takes the part of Chynna Phillips (daughter of The Mamas & The Papas members John and Michelle Phillips), lip-syncs the lyrics as a message to the wayward young man, while her fellow officers in the background take the parts of Wendy and Carnie Wilson (daughters of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson).
As the confused criminal looks up to see what’s going on, Officer Heard lets him know that there’s hope if he gives up his law-breaking ways:
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day.
For the last verse, the officer in Carnie Wilson’s part takes off his cap and reminds the prisoner, “You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness. You’ve got yourself into this mess.”
First our very own Officer Heard, the Neighborhood Resource Officer for Southside, showed off her moves as the star of…
Finally, a huge group of officers deliver the finale with a big reprise of the chorus, complete with dancing steps provided by the department’s horses.
The video was made with the help of the city local’s baseball team, the Savannah Bananas, and local radio station WCGO Hot 98.3.
The last lyrics “Don’t you think it’s worth your time to change” embody their message. The video became a big hit locally and helped the Savannah Police Department respond to the challenges of their fellow officers in the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department.