Ballad battles of first years

First-year area council puts on second annual lip sync battle in Upper Gwinn

Alexandra Miller, Staff Writer

On Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., Seattle Pacific University’s Upper Gwinn Commons was filled with an electric and welcoming atmosphere. An atmosphere that contrasts that of the usual quiet and often serious lectures and conferences that take place in the space. The event that delivered this uncharacteristic feeling was the 2023 lip sync battle hosted by the first-year area council. 

Music flowed through the hallway as students entered, and decorations painted the walls. Welcoming hands offered raffle tickets, glow sticks and temporary tattoos. As students found their seats, amidst the eager participants, they saw posters illustrating each genre to be performed that night. Before the event, each floor from both first-year dorms, Arnett Hall and Ashton Hall, was assigned a genre to perform. From there, the floors each created singing and dancing routines to engage in head-to-head competition with the other first-year floors. 

The massive effort put into the preparation was fueled by the teams’ desires to win the grand prize of a visit to a rage room. Besides the first-place prize, participants also had the chance of winning a paid-for day out for landing in second place and a pizza party for third place. 

Although the night’s goal was to create a community for the teams, audience members also had the chance to win prizes in raffles and games, including zoo tickets, gift cards, plants, protein powders and many other exciting gifts. 

First-year exercise science major Faith Hamilton attended the lip sync battle, and her expectations for the night were exceeded. 

“The lip sync was unexpectedly exciting and made me feel closer to my peers,” Hamilton said. 

To begin the melody-filled night of fun, the teams competing in the first category, dad radio, took the stage. This category kicked off the event with a classic retro dance-off. Before moving on to the next genre, participants and spectators were launched into the first game of the night. Volunteers approached the stage and paired up to commence a wheelbarrow race.

The winners of the race were given well-deserved protein powder as their prize before they were quickly rolled into the next act, whose genre was Disney music. The team blessed the room with their rendition of nostalgic childhood favorites. The audience’s jaws dropped in awe of their good use of props and comedic timing. 

The Disney team expertly excited the crowd, leaving them ready and craving for more. Following this performance, a competition of animal impressions ensued that allowed students to let loose and tap into their wild sides. 

When the game finished, the Disney team’s performance still lingered in the audience’s minds. It would prove hard to beat, but the country team was not afraid of the challenge. They roped everyone in with their heart-wrenching Dolly Parton impressions coupled with a vengeful routine. The game that accompanied the country team’s performance was a surprise present underneath selected seats. 

The next team to perform dazzled the audience with their versions of love songs using famous heartfelt lyrics of some of the most beloved ballads. Following that heartwarming and lovely performance, the mic was handed off to the K-pop team, whose choreography surpassed expectations. They included a variety of moves, including a stunning backflip. 

From there, students were swiftly pulled out of their seats and into another game. This time, competitors engaged in a high-energy game of musical chairs. Throughout the game, the competitors grew thin and the chairs slowly got removed until there was only one left standing. 

Following the chaotic and competitive game of musical chairs, the final act of the night was brought onto the stage, Pop Divas. The divas captivated the spectators and left a lasting impression that summed up the glamorous night. 

Finally, as the night came to a close and the energy of the room began to dissipate, a drum roll ensued as the crowd patiently waited for the winner to be announced.

Third place was awarded to the K-Pop team, and second place went to the Disney team’s nostalgic performance of “High School Musical” songs. As the second and third-place teams approached the stage to collect their trophies, the audience’s anticipation to see the winners grew. 

After a few painful seconds of waiting, the winners of the night were announced. Third east Ashton, who performed in the love songs category, took home the grand prize for their performance of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me.” 

The night was a clear success and one of the winners, first-year fashion merchandising student Emeri Beitler, shared her experience. For Emeri, if there was one word that could sum up the whole night it would be boom. The feeling of the night stood out to her more than anything else. 

“It was high energy and fun. The event was aesthetically amazing and unmatched,” Emeri said. 

With cheers and applause, the winning team ran up to the stage as their song escorted them there. They held their trophy in hand and danced in victory. Even though the other floors were not victorious, all the teams were truly “All in this Together.”