G-RF grad waiting on Hollywood after defending state title in hog calling

G-RF grad waiting on Hollywood after defending state title in hog calling

GEORGETOWN — For the second consecutive year, Andrew Metheney captured the state hog-calling championship. And for the second time, his newfound talent may lead the 19-year-old from the Illinois State Fair to a Hollywood studio.

"I'm a small kid from cornfield Illinois. Who would have ever thought I'd end up in Hollywood?" Metheney said after winning his second title at the state fair in Springfield and about four months after his first-ever television appearance — on VH-1.

Metheney, a 2016 Georgetown-Ridge Farm graduate, owes his possibly budding TV-guest career to Google.

About a month after winning his first hog-calling title at last year's state fair, Metheney got a Facebook message from a producer who Googled "hog callers." He was looking for someone to do a hog call on the VH-1 show, "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party," and saw a video of Metheney's hog call, among others. The producer liked that Metheney was young.

That message led to a phone conversation, where the producer told Metheney about the new cooking show starring rapper Snoop Dogg and TV personality Martha Stewart. For a hog-roasting episode, producers wanted to fly Metheney to their Paramount studios for taping.

"We want someone to make the hog noises," Metheney recalls the producer telling him over the phone. It didn't take him long to answer.

"Well, of course I would," said Metheney, who didn't grow up on a hog farm. Rather, it was just horsing around with friends and at school where Metheney started making silly noises, including a hog squeal.

It was a teacher who told him about the hog-calling contest at the state fair last summer, and on a whim, Metheney entered.

About a month later, he took his first flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles on Sept. 11 with his mom, Jami, who didn't think her 18-year-old son should navigate Hollywood on his own, according to Metheney. He worked a full eight-hour day, including three hours of taping for the 30-minute show that aired in March on VH-1.

He even got paid for his appearance, he said.

Metheney opened the live show with his hog call and performed it two more times during taping but was only in the beginning when the show aired.

"I got cut out of the other two parts," Metheney said, recalling that Snoop Dog thought he was going to sing a song when he first came on the set and sat on a stool next to the show's guitar player. "When I did the hog call, it took him (Snoop Dogg) by surprise. He told me to do it again. He just loved it."

Metheney said both stars were nice, but he liked Snoop Dogg a lot more than Stewart.

"They're celebrities. They're their own breed of people," said Metheney, who returned to the state fair last weekend to defend his title against two other competitors, a previous long-time champion and a newcomer.

Although he was less nervous this year and developed two more hog calls — a hog caught in a fence and hogs fighting — in addition to his original, Metheney said he was still shocked when he won again this year.

"I think it went rather well. The crowd liked it," said Metheney, who has put thought into his delivery, ensuring he doesn't hold the microphone too close or too far, speaking into it first to get the right range and then pausing after each call to let the crowd react. "They clapped after every single one of them."

Metheney, who is a semester away from his associate's degree in criminal justice at Danville Area Community College and may continue on for his bachelor's degree, said for him, the hog-calling competition is a lot of fun, and he will keep doing it.

But if a few more paid Hollywood television appearances come his way, he sure won't mind. The same producer is in contact with him again after he defended his title, and another appearance on a different production is very possible, Metheney said.

"It's been interesting. I've really enjoyed it. I never thought (this) would happen, but here I am trying to be a little famous," he said.