“Star Search” Was Pretty Bad At Recognizing Stars

Star Search, you had one job. “We were as surprised to win as they were to lose,” says the lead singer of Skeleton Crew, who beat Beyoncé and Girls Tyme in 1993.

With the release of her ridiculously amazing and basically perfect self-titled visual album last week, Beyoncé introduced us all to Skeleton Crew, a band she featured in the video for “***Flawless.” The snippet is from a 1993 episode of Star Search, in which the show’s judges announce that Bey’s group Girls Tyme lost to some old dudes in a pop-rock band.

“We were as surprised to win as they were to lose. It was strange,” William Pilipchuk, lead singer of Skeleton Crew, said of the victory in a phone interview.

Pilipchuk doesn’t recall meeting Beyoncé or any of the members of Girls Tyme that day in 1993. He does, though, remember meeting some young kid backstage who went by Justin Randall. He had been crying after losing the junior vocalist category.

“Oh, you know who else was on that show? Justin Timberlake. He was a 10-year-old country singer with a cowboy hat. We were [backstage] trying to console him.”

Oh. Justin Timberlake. OK.

He also remembers kicking it on the Star Search shuttle bus with a young 19-year-old comedian, who after spending three weeks in the competition, had lost in the fourth round.

“Dave Chappelle was a loser on that show. He did not win Best Comedian. Can you believe that?”

Huh?

So basically, in just ONE season, Star Search passed on three of the most iconic talents in pop culture history.

Scan the list of the show’s winners from 1983 to 1995 and you might recognize one or two D-list celebs. The loser’s roster, though? It’s no secret that performance-based competition shows often get it wrong. But geez, Star Search especially sucked at its job.

3. Martin Lawrence won this round against some dude named Jason Stewart, but lost the season in the final round of competition.

4. Drew Carey lost in 1998.

5. Alanis Morrisette lost the Female Vocalist category in 1988.

6. Aaliyah lost in 1989.

7. Leanne Rimes won against Levi Garrett in the first round of the season in 1991, but didn’t make it to round two.

8. Here’s Christina Aguilera singing Etta James at 8 years old. She lost in 1990.

9. Britney Spears lost in 1992.

10. Dave Chappelle was the youngest comedian to appear on Star Search. He lost in 1993.

11. And here’s Justin just before he cried backstage after losing to Anna Nardona.

Admittedly, Nardona had pipes.

Oh, Jessica Simpson, Adam Sandler, Dennis Miller, Sharon Stone, and Usher (!) lost too.

Clarification: As some readers have pointed out, Lawrence and Rimes won in the videos above — we’ve updated to note that though they won the battles, they lost the Star Search war.

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