Mics off, battle mode on

Students lip sync their way to stardom

Rita Chetty, Staff Writer

Emerson Hall resident Tyler Gagnon uses a fake microphone and see-through mask for his lip-sync rendition of Rick Astley’s “Never Going to Give You Up.” (Gabrialla Cockerell)

Get the mics ready, set the speakers on blast and go give the best performance. 

On Feb. 25, Hill Hall and Emerson Hall held a lip sync battle, while on Feb. 27, Ashton and Arnett hosted one as well.

Both the events kicked off the night with booths filled with fun accessories for the audience. Clappers, scrunchies, tattoos and glow sticks increased everyone’s expectations and excitement surrounding the performances.

The contestants put their best feet forward, and teams from Hill and Emerson did not hold back during their ‘80s-themed night. With performances to songs such as “Never Gonna Give You Up,” ”I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “Take On Me,” the contestants kept the audience singing along with their engaging energy.

Second-year Christian theology major Cadence Moore mentioned how the positive environment made the Hill and Emerson event much more enjoyable.

“I think everyone was just excited and everyone was cheering for each other, and that’s so great to see the supportive atmosphere,” Moore said.

Moore also went on to say how her team had prepared for the second-year event to ensure a memorable performance in a short period of time.

“Today, we figured out our whole choreography,” Moore said. “I wanted to do something with a story because those are more fun to watch so I chose the song ‘Let’s Hear It for the Boy.’”

Second-year economics major Christopher Olsen mentioned how much he enjoyed the ‘80s theme of the night, saying that it gave the second-year event a different quality of anticipation.

“I think that more people should show up to them,” Olsen said. “And I think going with the themed night rather than just a general ‘this or that’ is better too.”

Second-year math major Zachariah Johansen mentioned how his team had won their battle with their song “Eye of the Tiger,” and he offered a metaphoric anecdote relating the rock song to the college experience.

“I think as any true fan of boxing might say, it’s not about the final punch; it’s the things that impacted [us] along the way,” Johansen said.

As the Hill Hall and Emerson Hall lip sync battle ended, an after-party began in the Hill lobby. Students gathered for snacks, drinks and games. They also took this as a break from studying; it was a night filled with fun and relaxation to prepare for finals.

“This is a great way to come across the community and take a break,” Johansen said. “It’s week eight, and we get to take a break from taking our last few tests before finals. And we’re starting to feel that climb to finals.”

Similarly, the first-year students prepared their event with a neon theme with various categories. The emcees and performers engaged with everyone that showed up.

With songs like “Greased Lightning”, “’Kiss Me Thru the Phone” and an outstanding performance of a medley containing “Boyfriend”, “Single Ladies” and “Let It Go”, the first-year students truly made the Ashton and Arnett battle one to remember.

First-year sociology major Abigail Livengood was part of the team that won the first-year lip sync battle with the song “Dancing Queen.” She explained how many hours of work went into their performance.

“We started a month in advance, and we worked really hard for this. We did a couple different rehearsals, we got together to brainstorm a song, we picked out outfits, we made Pinterest boards and we got together two or three times to do the choreography,” Livengood said.

The performance of “Dancing Queen” was an undoubtable crowd-pleaser, and first-year business administration major Ariana Howe mentioned how this performance reminded her of a favorite film.

“I’m a huge ‘Mamma Mia!’ fan, so I was literally dancing along ‘cause I know the dance from the movie,” Howe said. “Watching everyone having so much fun, singing along, dancing and just enjoying the music was one of my favorite parts.”

Howe is a member of the first-year area council that put together the Ashton and Arnett event and gave some insight on how this annual event was initially planned.

“We met every week, and we constantly talked about it and we would plan for two hours every meeting,” Howe said. “Even during winter break, we were planning things and it was just a lot of work and planning and designing. A lot of time and effort went into this.”

The Center of Career and Calling’s program manager Celiz Aguilar McClish was one of the three judges seen at the first-year lip sync battle. McClish explained how events like this engage students and create a great environment and provide lots of fun energy to combat school stress.

“This was a really great event. The first-year area council did a really great job. It was really hard to judge, because you could tell everybody put in a lot of work,” McClish said. “I think it was really sweet to see all the students showcase all the effort and their hard work and their creativity. There definitely should be more events like this: Student-led, student-ran and student-centered events.”

For more information about first and second-year events, visit the first-year area council’s Instagram at @spu.areacouncil and the second-year area council at @areacouncil2022.