Q&A: Jennifer Johnsey, Instigator of the Southern Women Expo's Cup Song Contest

Jennifer Johnsey is the instigator of the July 20 Cup Song Contest that's part of Night Moon Productions' Southern Women Expo July 19-20 at the Knoxville Expo Center.

Pardon our uncoolness, but what is the Cup Song?

The Cup Song is bigger on social networks right now than the Harlem Shake! It was made popular again by the recent movie Pitch Perfect starring Twilight's Anna Kendrick. The song originated in 1937 by Mainer's Mountaineers. Lulu and the Lampshades covered the song, adding the "cups" routine, and Kendrick revived it with her performance in the movie. It's a routine using a cup and some song lyrics. Contestants have to do this routine over and over again without messing up. They mess up? They are out. Last one wins tickets to the upcoming Hunter Hayes concert.

Why'd you think it would be a good fit for the Southern Women Expo?

I wanted to add something fun for the younger ladies as well. The youngsters love this and they are really good at it! As adults, our brains seem to turn to mush—it's harder for adults to do the Cup Song.

How long did it take you to learn?

I cannot do it. I have tried. So I am anxious to watch these contestants. It will be so exciting!

Is it risqué?

Not at all—it's good, clean fun!

Has any tough competition already registered?

We have about 10 contestants registered so far and each has expressed a great desire to win these Hunter Hayes tickets. I think it will be an aggressive fight to the finish.

Can you predict who will win?

I predict the winner will be a female age 12 to 14. We'll see!

Is there still time to enter?

Yep! Contestants can sign up in advance on our website or they can show up by 4:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Expo Center on Saturday, July 20th at the entertainment stage. We've also included a video of Anna Kendrick doing the Cup Song on David Letterman that you can use to learn the routine, and the lyrics on a separate video. Contestants will sing a capella, so it's a good idea to practice, practice, practice.

Is there required attire?

No, but contestants must bring their own cup and they will be sitting on the floor, so comfortable attire would be good. Remember, all contestants will begin together as a group and drop out one by one if they make a mistake.

What part makes the most people drop out?

Performing the routine with the cup using your hands and then also singing the lyrics required can scramble the brain a bit. It will take careful concentration.

Will any of the hot guys from the Expo's men's fashion show Friday compete?

I hope so! Only girls have signed up so far.

Who will judge?

We will select some of our exhibitors and special guests to help us watch the contestants and eliminate them as they mess up. It will take a lot of careful eyes watching.

For more information and registration forms: southernwomenexpo.com


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