Students battle in lip sync competition

The second annual St. Olaf Inter-Hall Council Lip-Sync Battle was a night full of laughter, applause, puns and memories. With a full line-up of 11 acts, each with their own song and style, complete with costume, it was a memorable night. Fortunately, the show did not disappoint. It all started with an introduction by the two moderators, Erin Engelhardt ’17 and Preston West ’16. To add a cherry on top, Jimmy Fallon even made an appearance (albeit in cardboard form). With a panel of three celebrity judges, made up of the Mohn/Thorson Area Coordinator Peter Costanza, Campus Pastor Matt Marohl and the SGA St. Olaf/Carleton Liaison Emma Lind ’17.

To begin, each contestant or group chose their own song to perform. The first act got the show started with lots of laughs, as Jacob Johnson ’19 and Jakob Otten ’19 took the stage together. Johnson wore a dress and a wig in order to complete the male/female duet of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” As Johnson’s wig flew off, there was no way he could disguise his true identity. He didn’t miss a beat, however, and the show went on without a hitch.

The third act had its own memorable moments. As Lucas Judson ’16 and Hamsitha Dontamsetty ’16 took the stage, the audience roared in appreciation of Judson’s costume choice: a homemade toga. This was an incredibly apt choice of costume, because the dynamic duo sang Susan Egan’s “I Won’t Say I’m in Love,” from the soundtrack of Disney’s Hercules. The judges appreciated this attention to detail and voted to send the duo to the final round.

The toga-wearing team was followed up by another performer who was also attentive to detail. Salvador Alvarez ’19 not only dressed the part of Michael Jackson during his performance of “Billy Jean,” but he channeled the King of Pop’s dance moves as well. It was evident that Alvarez had rehearsed beforehand, because his performance was quite the thriller. He had the crowd singing along, and wondering how much time and effort he had put in, in front of a mirror, in order to be able to move like Jackson. Whatever the case may be, it was well worth it, as it earned him a spot in the final round.

At this point, the emcees were curious what the judges thought of the contestants’ costume decisions so far in the competition. The judges, unaware that they would be giving feedback throughout the competition, were all caught off guard. However, when called on, Costanza noted that the costumes had been “present” and that he had approved of them thus far. After the first round was over, Marohl was asked what he hoped to see in the final round. Acknowledging that they didn’t have much to work with, Marohl said that he would like to see how creative the contestants could be with their costumes in the final round.

Rounding out the Top Three, all of whom made it to the final round of competition, were Colin Alexander ’19 and Whitner Schellingerhoudt ’19, performing “Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros,” by Flight of the Conchords. Once again, the costumes ruled the stage as the duo stripped off their jackets to reveal their suspenders and ties beneath. Once they made it into the championship round, they forgot their jackets all together and simply went with suspenders and ties. Though they did not win the grand prize, they certainly won some serious style points for their costume creativity.

After the preliminary round, the Inter-Hall Council treated the audience to an unexpected surprise. During the intermission, they all took to the stage, along with the night’s contestants, to perform the infamous Silento’s “Watch Me.” In the championship round, Judson and Dontamsetty performed Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance with Me,” Alvarez lipped “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and Alexander and Schellingerhoudt sang along to “Cheerleader,” by OMI.

The night began with 11 contestants, but could only end with one victor. This year, that victor was Judson and Dontamsetty, who stunned the judges with a combination of their faux-vocals, out-of-this-world dance moves and throwback costume design. They chose the aptly-named “Netflix and Chill” prize package, which included a year-long subscription to Netflix, and are now fully equipped with endless procrastination options for the next year. Congratulations to Inter-Hall Council and all of the contestants for a fantastic show!