A 16-year-old Dunedin student has won a science idol competition tonight with a musical parody of Justin Bieber's 'Boyfriend'.
Instead of singing about how "If I was your boyfriend I'd never let you go", James Mustapic's Covalent Love is about how he has "got electrons in my shell that I'd really like to show".
The youth was one of three winners of the science idol which was held in Dunedin tonight as part of the New Zealand International Science Festival.
US science rapper, Fulbright graduate fellow and University of Otago Masters student Tom McFadden, aka The Rhymebosome, sang Mustapic's song this evening.
McFadden, who was one of two judges, said Mustapic's song met all of the judging criteria including critiquing scientific content, lyrical ingenuity and suitability for performance.
"What makes his song so cool is that it takes a traditional formula of a pop song and maintains that magic while exploring a critical chemical concept with depth, accuracy and pizzazz.
"We've checked his submission for scientific accuracy," McFadden said.
Mustapic, a student from Dunedin's John McGlashan College, entered the competition never thinking that he would win it.
"I knew a Justin Bieber parody would be great. I wanted a popular song that was new; the song is about a boy wanting a girl and the atoms fitted into that well.
"I don't think I'm a very good singer, so I wasn't confident about the song, but I really enjoyed writing the lyrics and knew a fair bit about the science I was trying to sing about," he said.
Mustapic, who won the 15-21 years category, now has the chance to have his song recorded professionally, the opportunity to shoot a music video and also won an iPad.
Ella Cameron, 13, a student at Tahuna Normal Intermediate in Dunedin, won the 8-14 years category with her fun-filled and factual rhyming clip The Heart Goes Boom' and Justin Lee Tripp, a science teacher originally from the US, won the 22 years-plus category, using innovative visual techniques and lyrics in his clip 'Auditory System'.
The festival launched the biennial competition in 1998 following a New Zealand-wide 'science idol' tour courtesy of the US Embassy.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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