Milli Vanilli

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Milli Vanilli in the "Kootie Pie Rocks" episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Milli Vanilli members Rob Pilatus (left) and Fab Morvan (right)
“Hello, New York!”
Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli was a German-French R&B duo consisting of Rob Pilatus (June 8, 1965 – April 2, 1998) and Fab Morvan (born May 14, 1966). The band appears as a guest star in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Kootie Pie Rocks", voiced by their real selves. They are Princess Toadstool's favorite music group. Milli Vanilli are the only guest stars to appear in the show.


In the episode "Kootie Pie Rocks", Mario and Luigi go to Brooklyn with Princess Toadstool for a Milli Vanilli concert. Cheatsy Koopa overhears them talking about this and tells Kootie Pie Koopa back at Castle Koopa, making her enraged that she cannot also go to the concert. In the middle of the band's concert, however, the Doom Ship arrives and King Koopa kidnaps them. They are taken back to Castle Koopa, where Kootie Pie wants them to sing for her. The two refuse, which leads to Kootie Pie using her Magic Wand to turn them into accountants, and she tells them that they will be trapped in Dark Land forever unless they perform for her. When they try to escape, two Sledge Brothers block the exit. Kootie Pie then threatens to transform them again, but Milli Vanilli tell her that they cannot perform without a backup band.

Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad take advantage of this by disguising themselves as a band to sneak into Castle Koopa (with Milli Vanilli recognizing Toadstool from the audience at the concert), and they trick Kootie Pie into turning the band back to normal. When Milli Vanilli tries to perform with them, however, Mario and friends play cannot play their instruments, and everyone in the castle flees from the terrible music, allowing them to escape. Back at their proper concert in Brooklyn, Milli Vanilli dedicate their next song to Princess Toadstool.

Controversy and episode edits[edit]

Despite their popularity, Milli Vanilli attracted suspicions of lip syncing during their shows, rumors that were exacerbated by Morvan and Pilatus' thick German speaking accents (compared to their American-sounding singing voices) and a notorious live performance where a guide vocal locked up mid-song, only two weeks after the initial airing of "Kootie Pie Rocks", and one week after the group won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In November 1990, producer Frank Farian revealed that not only was this true, but the pair also never recorded a single note on their studio recordings. In actuality, the vocals were performed by four different singers - Brad Howell, John Davis, Jodie Rocco, and Linda Rocco - who Farian saw as unmarketable. Morvan and Pilatus relinquished their Grammy in light of the confession, with conflicting accounts stating that they either returned it voluntarily or had it revoked. The band's US label, Arista Records, additionally pulled their catalog from print and erased the master tapes that they possessed.

In the wake of the scandal, subsequent airings of "Kootie Pie Rocks" cut their songs and replaced them with different instrumental music (the pair still move their lips while performing these songs in the re-releases, however, as the episodes were not reanimated to reflect the change), as well as cutting any references to Milli Vanilli throughout the episode. Milli Vanilli's song at the end of the episode was completely cut, without even an instrumental replacement.