Lithgow less than thrilled
The event was part of Lithgow’s Halloween celebrations, and an official attempt to smash the Australian record for the largest number of costumed people dancing in unison to the Michael Jackson song ‘Thriller’.
It stood at 450 dancers, according to the town’s website, and with thousands expected as grizzly ghouls from every tomb, what could possibly go wrong?
When the big day came the crowds were huge and the atmosphere electric. Jason Jackson, billed as Australia’s top Michael Jackson tribute artist, performed a high-voltage set of Michael Jackson songs and readied himself to lead the ‘Thriller’ record-break attempt.
Sadly, things did not go according to plan. Jackson and his dancers strode onstage to lead the attempt but too many in the audience seemed unaware that this was no run-through – it was the real thing.
Before you knew it, the moment had passed. “We tried our best,” said a disappointed Jackson afterwards.
The ‘Thriller’ record would have to be broken another day.
Some record-breaking attempts fail far more spectacularly.
When media company BuzzFeed broke Facebook online viewer records by live-streaming its employees putting rubber bands around a melon until it exploded, others found themselves inspired to repeat the stunt.
One attempt by a Chinese duo went wincingly wrong, leaving one man in hospital after a piece of fruit hit him in the face while hundreds of thousands of people watched on.
Facebook lends a hand
Facebook has turbo-charged other, more laudable, record attempts.
Australian actor Samuel Johnson used the Facebook page of Love Your Sister, the breast cancer fundraising charity he launched when his sister Connie was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, to announce that it was time to tackle a new world record.
Johnson already had skin in the game. In 2014, he completed the longest ever unicycle journey, peddling 15,955 kilometres around Australia over 364 days and raising almost $1.5 million for cancer research.
This time the idea was Connie’s: to break the world record for the longest line of coins using four million five-cent pieces. For that they would need almost $196,000. Within 24 hours, supporters had donated almost $160,000.
“I can’t get this silly grin off my face,” wrote Connie on Facebook about the phenomenal support for their world record attempt.
“It’s possible that I am not only the happiest cancer patient in the country right now, but that I am the happiest person, full stop.”