Pop songs old and new rang out loudly in Friends Hall on Friday night, as competitors in a “lip-sync battle” hosted by the College Programming Board silently rapped, danced and sung onstage.
Students entered both themselves and their unsuspecting friends in the contest at a podium set up before the stage, signing a sheet with their name and the song they wanted to mime in front of an audience of over thirty. The competition started slowly: the first two contestants had barely ascended the stage before leaving, hunched over with embarrassment and laughter as their song, The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,” played. But as the night went on, students’ performances grew longer and more outrageous, as each performer strived to outdo the last.
“It was a blast,” said freshman Julia Castro, whose energetic rendition of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” drew cheers and applause from the audience.
“I chose it because it’s a classic,” said Castro.
Members of CPB handed prizes to the winners, who were determined by audience members’ applause. The prizes included gift cards to Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse and Starbucks. Chinese takeout was also provided for the spectators: attendees helped themselves to sweet-and-sour chicken, lo mein and rice.
“I enjoyed it very well,” said Emma Thor, a junior who attended the event with her roommates, and found the meal provided by CPB to be “delicious.”
Following lip-synced performances of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and “My Boo (Hitman’s Club Remix),” an announcement was made by a member of CPB:
“This one is for the ladies – we got TJ and Israel performing ‘Dive In’ by Trey Songz.”
Two students then climbed the stage, mouthing along to the song while dancing provocatively as the audience clapped and laughed.
Another well-received act was a rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” performed by freshman Miriah Melendez, who attended the event with her friends. Melendez chose Bieber’s well-known track because it has long been a favorite of hers.
“I loved that song, since I was a kid. I really did. I loved that song since I was a fetus,” Melendez said, laughing.
“I was trying to serenade my roommate, Hannah Hirst,” the freshman continued wryly, explaining why she left the stage during her performance and waded through the crowd.
While most contestants ended their performances before their respective songs had concluded, one student had his rendition of J Cole’s “Wet Dreamz” cut short by the event’s hosts. The performer – who opened his song by shouting humorously, “I went double platinum with no features, baby,” – was about to mime an especially provocative lyric of Cole’s, when the karaoke video playing behind him was paused from the CPB podium. Cries of confusion and disappointment briefly rose from the crowd, before the next student took to the stage and began their song. The performer of “Wet Dreamz” left the event soon thereafter, and was unavailable for comment.