Erin Cebula didn't expect to find herself dancing in the middle of an East Vancouver mini-mall parking lot late at night and being showered with confetti while several cameras rolled.
Four years ago, the Entertainment Tonight Canada reporter went off to interview singer Michael Buble while he was shooting the video for his song "Haven't Met You Yet" at the Killarney Market, a grocery store not far from the star's childhood home in Burnaby. The two knew each other from his days as a regular performer at the now defunct Babalu's nightclub on Granville Street in the late '90s and they remained friendly over the years as his fame grew.
She decided it was finally time for some quid pro quo.
"While I was doing the interview with him, I was bugging him a little bit about how I've interviewed him a dozen times and promoted his albums and his TV specials and said to him 'What do you ever do for me, Michael?'" Cebula explained over the phone from her Mount Pleasant home.
He responded by offering her a spot in the video and she was quickly introduced to the choreographer.
"He tried to get me to learn a few moves but I was too scared so I said, 'Just put me off to the side and I'll do my Elaine [from Seinfeld] moves out of sight by the car,'" she said with a laugh.
The video for the Grammy-nominated love song, which prominently features Killarney Market's distinctive green sign and shamrock logo, saw Buble sashaying down the aisles and atop shelving units with his then-girlfriend, Argentinian actress Luisana Lopilato, before leading the West Vancouver Youth Band out into the parking lot for a big final dance number. (The video is meant to be a tribute to the "Twist & Shout" parade scene from the classic '80s film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Cebula can be spotted channeling Julia Louis-Dreyfus beginning at the 3:29 minute mark.)
Buble and Lopilato have since gotten married, and Cebula was the first to break the news earlier this year that the two are now expecting a baby. She added the couple had only recently started dating when the video was shot.
"I honestly think that is why the video turned out so well," she told the Courier. "It had a great happy feeling and he was just buzzing that day and obviously so in love with that girl."
The "Haven't Met You Yet" video also took on a new life online recently after being given a makeover by Bad Lip Reading (BLR), a notorious YouTube channel run by an anonymous music producer who spoofs video footage based on the lip movements of his victims.
A very different song called "Russian Unicorn" turns the earnest ditty into a synth-heavy electronic dance number with the redubbed crooner instead musing about (among other things) the antics of his pet porcupine Zazoom, the price of Hot Pockets, his regret for having eaten too much beans and rice, and his desire to some day shoot down mythical creatures from the former Soviet Union.
The viral video, which currently has nearly six million page views, also received the thumbs-up from Buble himself, who posted a response on his own YouTube channel.
"It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen," he enthuses in the clip. "I was really proud to be part of it - even though I had nothing to do with it. I laughed my ass off, basically, the whole time."
Cebula is also a fan of the new version and said she wasn't surprised by Buble's amused reaction.
"It's the sincerest form of flattery when someone takes on something you've done and plays with it," she said. "You've got to have a sense of humour and too many people in this business take themselves way too seriously. Obviously I don't either, which you can tell if you've seen the video and seen me dance."
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