The Internet has spoken: Miami-based rapper Pitbull appears to be coming to Kodiak.
As part of an online contest where the Wal-Mart with the most likes earned a concert from Pitbull -- who is perhaps best known for his hit "I Know You Want Me" and being featured in the songs of what seems like every other artist on the planet -- a couple of writers from the website Something Awful started a campaign to "exile" Pitbull to the most remote Wal-Mart in the U.S. They settled on Kodiak.
Once the story got going, it was tough to stop, and by the time the voting period for the contest closed at 4 p.m. Sunday, the Kodiak Wal-Mart had amassed more than 70,000 likes on the page. Impressive, when you consider that the entire island of Kodiak has only about 13,000 people living on it.
On Tuesday, Pitbull posted a video to his official YouTube page announcing, "I heard Kodiak, Alaska has the most likes, due to someone that thinks he was playing a prank."
"What you gotta understand is, I will go anywhere in the world for my fans," he said.
The contest is intended as a promotion for Sheets Energy Strips, and even though the competition likely took a turn that the Wal-Mart promotions people didn't expect, it appears they'll follow through on their promise, as a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart told the Associated Press in early July that Pitbull would "definitely" come to Kodiak if that store ends up winning the vote.
That was when the page had only about half the likes it ended up with, and it was leading the contest at that time, though it wasn't clear what other stores (if any) might be close. Employees of the Kodiak store even voiced their opinion and posted a photo posing with a banner saying they would love to have Pitbull visit.
A last-minute gasp to earn likes for Pitbull's hometown Wal-Mart fizzled over the weekend, and the Twitter hashtag #ExilePitbull seems to have proven too strong to overcome for any cities with any real interest in seeing a Pitbull concert.
In his video, Pitbull acknowledged the way the contest was won, inviting "that someone who thinks that its a joke" -- referring to Something Awful writer David Thorpe -- "to Kodiak, Alaska with me."
On the plus side, the opportunity for a real celebrity to visit Alaska at the height of their career has provided ample opportunity to witness the geographic ignorance of everyone's favorite paparazzo websites. PopCrush admitted "We've never heard of Kodiak, Alaska" and saying that the city of Kodiak -- not the island, mind you -- is "populated with bears."
Alaska Dispatch sure would love to see this mythical bear city, so if anyone has pictures for us, send them along.
We'll keep readers posted on times and dates as they become available.
Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at)alaskadispatch.com