Southeast’s Taylor Blake Wins MTV Video Music Awards Moonman


Photo of Southeast student Kent "Taylor" Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., performing in a music  video that won the  MTV Video Music Awards for Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band.

Southeast student Kent “Taylor” Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., (front row at right wearing striped shirt) performs in a music video in which he and several high school classmates won the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video.





Sept. 21, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University freshman Kent “Taylor” Blake Jr. of Chatham, Ill., won the “2009 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video” for a music video he and nine former high school classmates made entitled “Nerds in Disguise.” 

Blake and his friends received a trip to New York City to reveal their winning music video at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13 and a spread in the November issue of Spin Magazine. 

Contest judges chose the video and four others from more than 650 entries, and online voting then determined the winner.  The creative “Nerds in Disguise” video proved to be a crowd favorite.

The music video takes place at a Saturday night house party, in which Blake and his friends perform as a rock band called “Nerds in Disguise.”

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 tha many viewers 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. 

To view the “Nerds in Disguise” video, visit

In addition to Blake, other performers in “Nerds in Disguise” include:

• Alec Veldhuizen, freshman at University of Colorado, • Ben Parks, freshman at Miami University in Ohio • Charlie Clausner, freshman at Tulane University • David O’Brien, freshman at Iowa State • Jake Giganti, freshman at University of Colorado • Matt Hartzler, freshman at Amherst College • Mike Ranos, freshman at Elmhurst College • Shane Reynolds, freshman at University of Kansas