Braiinnnnns! Giivve Usss Paullla Abduuul'ssss Braiinnnnn!

Zombies Descend Upon Erwin Center

from The Daily Texan

Thursday outside the Frank Erwin Center, a horde of zombies attacked the American Idol auditions. No one was hurt.

The zombies, 15 fake-bloodied actors in all, lurched out from under the IH-35 overpass and shuffled toward the Erwin Center, where they encountered the pop-star hopefuls.

Most of the 100 or so young people gathered outside had just been rejected by the American Idol review board, and they were talking, singing, and waiting for rides home when the zombies arrived. "Braaaaaaains!" the zombies said. Nick Muntean, a UT radio-television-film graduate student who organized and participated in the zombie horde, added, "Television rots your braaaaaaains!"

The pop-star wannabes were largely unimpressed. "I don't get it," said Jacob Gandia, a singer.

Muntean organized the zombie horde using the online forum Craigslist. He posted an ad soliciting people who would like to "raise awareness about the brain-melting nature of television by pretending...to be a zombie, and terrorizing throngs of vapid pop-star hopefuls at the American Idol auditions."

Muntean says that the event, although meant to be subversive, was mostly for fun.

Little did the zombies know that the American Idol organizers had seen the Craigslist ad.

"We've been on 24-hour zombie watch," said coordinating producer Patrick Lynn. "We thought it would be fun to have them on the show."

And that is how the zombies ended up squatting down on the concrete of the Erwin Center's second level, signing release forms to allow their images to be broadcast by Fox TV.

"Zombies, I need you back here!" Lynn shouted. "All you zombies, I need to get a group shot!" The undead complied, waving their bloodied limbs about for the TV cameras.

Even flesh-eating ghouls, it seems, want to be on TV.

Other recent occurrences of zombie horde street-theatre have raised attention. On July 3 in Montreal, Canada, a horde of people in zombie makeup took to the streets for fun and lurching. They also did mock battle with some live-action role-players in a park.

Later that month, a man named David, who would like to keep his last name confidential, organized a zombie mob in San Francisco. The actors shuffled across the city on July 24, ending up in front of an Apple store, where they smeared fluids on the windows and looked for brains.

They didn't find any.

David says he supports all groups of zombies.

"We stand beside them in their quest for more brains," he said of the Austin event. "If they find any brains there, they should let us know."


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9:03 AM  

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