21-YO Student Is Jubilant After Being Crowned the “Best Screecher” in a Seagull Imitation Competition in Belgium
A one-of-a-kind seagull screeching championship was held in the Belgian coastal town of De Panne. The panel crowned the best screecher out of 50 participants across Europe. On Sunday, April 23, 2023, a panel of five judges announced the winner. For all the seagull enthusiasts, it was not a new experience. Well, at least for some because it was the third European screeching championship, per VRT NWS.
The contest had some first-timers and also some returning participants in attendance. The championship had its inception five years ago, beginning as a local event and expanding to the whole of Europe in its second year. The competition saw exceptional seagull screechers who showed off their vocal abilities to the judges. The professional jury judged each participant on how well they imitated the seagull's squeaky voice. They were awarded fifteen points for that and five points for their behavior. However, a first-time participant beat everyone and took the crown of the best seagull voice.
Jarmo Slutter, a 21-year-old architecture student from Eindhoven in the Netherlands impressed the jury with his emulation of the gull's voice. He was crowned with the title of 2023's best seagull sound. The Dutch participant, Slutter shared he participated in the competition by accident, reported by VRT NWS. He said, "I just imitated a seagull once, and apparently it sounded good." His friends looked up to find if there are platforms or competitions where Slutter could showcase his unique talent. They found this championship and made him sign. He added, "I signed and never thought I would win." The winner wore a seagull costume out of choice, although it was not the competition's requirement. He has been awarded a gold medal draped over his gull outfit.
Twitter users had quite a bit to say about this unique championship. A Twitter user, @cat4catherine wrote, "There's not enough PR magic in the world to fix the accurate reputation of seagulls." @ResiRichard tweeted, "This is the sort of thing one would find in Norfolk." @rodgerkibble had a complaint: "Do they add to the authenticity by stealing tourists' frietjes?" @FredJon54013957, commented, "Meeuwenschreeuwen looks great on a poster. Every town & city needs more of this kind of thing."
April 24, 2023
The Belgian-only competition began with the aim of "bridging the gap" between humans and seagulls. People have negative views about the sea bird because it is too loud and dangerous. The organizers of this competition had initially wanted to get rid of the seagulls' "bad image." Since its launch five years back, the competition has become popular as a 'mini-festival' in Belgium. They intend to enlighten humans with a better understanding of the bird. The bird is also infamous for their opportunistic eating habits and inconvenient defecation locations. "Humans should be intelligent enough to avoid conflicts," the contest's website states. We agree.