Southeast’s Taylor Blake Makes MTV Award Finals

Photo of Kent "Taylor" Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., and his friends performing in a music video that made the final round of the 2009 MTV Video Music Award competition.

Southeast student Kent “Taylor” Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., (front row at right wearing striped shirt) performs in a music video that made the final round of the 2009 MTV Video Music Award competition.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 18, 2009 — Southeast Missouri State University first-year student Kent “Taylor” Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., performs in a music video that made the final round of the 2009 MTV Video Music Award competition.

Contest judges chose Blake’s video and four others from 650 entries. Online voting will determine the winner, who will receive a Moonman Award at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sept. 13.

Blake appears in the video with nine former high school classmates. They perform as a rock band called “Nerds in Disguise” that plays at a Saturday night house party.

The contest rules restricted each video to 10 or fewer performers. The “Nerds in Disguise” video appears to include twice as many actors because each one plays both a rocker and a nerd. The director separately filmed the rockers and the nerds, and then digitally combined the video clips so each actor appears twice, dressed differently, in the same party scene.

In one scene, which uses the split-screen technique made famous in “The Parent Trap,” Blake as a nerd talks by telephone to himself as a rocker. His appearance in each role is so dramatically different that many views fail to realize it is the same person.

In one of the funniest scenes, the nerds arrive uninvited at the door of the rockers’ party. An awkward moment of silence precedes an enthusiastic welcome when the nerds reveal their large supply of Pepsi, one of the contest sponsors.

The voting continues online at http://pepsi.yahoo.com until Sept. 1. After registering, voters may submit up to 10 votes every day. Blake said he hopes Southeast students and employees will vote daily to help him win a Moonman.