Sir Tom Jones & the Sexbomb Girls: A Case of Reciprocated Capitalisation of Fame
Legendary Welsh superstar Tom Jones had once again conquered the entertainment culture in 2000. Sexbomb was a massive hit in the Philippines. Like a typhoon it swept the country. And the people welcomed it.
It had a bombastic effect on our contemporary popular culture. I kid you not. I normally ride all means of public or mass transports in metropolitan Manila, and whenever I do I hear that song. In taxis, buses, jeepneys, and even motorcycle sidecars. It was maddening. It was something one might consider the bombardment of the unwilling senses.
Perhaps the only rest from it was to take a Metro Rail Transit ride. But the sigh of relief was short lived. You will hear people humming or whistling that tune. There was no escape from it. Even in the subliminal level. Let me be clear, I did not hate the song nor disliked Sir Tom. I was annoyed by the excessive attention given to it. It had an invasive effect on me. However, in my opinion nothing still beats Ms. Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On.’
Out of this circumstance a group of pretty young ladies with growing popularity arose to become more famously known as Sexbomb Dancers. I’m not well informed about their background or where they are now but from what I heard and read was that they were originally known as ‘Chicken Sandwich Dancers.’ Don’t ask me why. They regularly performed as in-house dancers at Eat Bulaga!, the country’s longest running and most popular noon time show. ‘Bulaga’ is an archaic Filipino expression equivalent to peekaboo (close enough perhaps).
Inevitably they became associated with Mr. Jones’s hit when the noontime show ran the Sexbomb dance search. This time you won’t only hear the sexy timbre of Sir Tom but also see the peppy moves that accompanied the voice. The typhoon became a tsunami.
The group grew in number. After sometime, they re-branded themselves and became Sexbomb Singers and then later Sexbomb Girls. They released their own series of albums with original songs. Their popularity was phenomenal. Allow me to demonstrate.
This story happened in one of my Sunday school classes. I asked my students what they want to become when they grow up. One young lady raised her hand and said “I want to be like my mom, a business woman.” Another one declared “I’ll be a lawyer like my dad!” Then one student immediately stood up and proudly announced, “I want to be a Sexbomb Dancer!” and performed some moves. Everyone was stunned. Then I asked “Are you serious?” And I got a yes. Then the whole class laughed. I made a gesture to all to calm down. And I said to the student “Well, that’s a unique ambition, but I don’t think they accept boy members.”
Just like every trend its grip soon shrivelled. I looked back and realised that it was a strong example of a reciprocated capitalisation of fame. The girl group was at the right place and time when the song became a hit and they did not fail to capitalise. And true enough, they provided the fuel that would add mileage to the very thing that drove them farther. It was a clever move on the part of the people behind them.
I think it would be fantastic to watch Sir Tom perform Sexbomb while the girls dance and sing behind him. I already imagined the promotional campaign would go like: The Welsh Knight and the Filipina Dancing Fairies together on stage! It will be phenomenal. The question is, is there someone audacious enough to organise this sort of performance? It will be unheard of but it will be an instant classic.
Header Image: The Original Members of the Sexbomb Girls