By AERIEL MARILLAT
What’s the best way to kick off the University of Mary Washington’s Homecoming weekend? What’s an annual event that will get your spirits up, let you forget about the stressful week you just had and make you laugh uncontrollably at the expense of your fellow classmates? It can only be one thing: UMW Class Council’s always much-anticipated Lip Sync contest.
As usual, Dodd Auditorium was filled to the max Thursday night with eager students ready to watch their peers compete hilariously in the concert. Class Council held its 2014 Lip Sync Competition on Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. This popular event annually marks the kick off to Homecoming weekend every year.
“I love that so much of the school comes out to watch and kick off homecoming weekend, but it was definitely nerve racking to get on stage knowing so many people were there,” said junior English major Nicole Contrino, a member of the Alpha Mu Sigma team.
Lip Sync is a competition where participating teams show off their best lip singing to a medley of songs and create a choreographed dance to perform. The teams are judged by a panel of university faculty and staff members.
There were eight teams participating in Lip Sync this year, including Class Council, who performed for entertainment while the judges rallied up the scores.
Teams related to UMW clubs and programs included ARH, who performed as “It’s a Residence Hall,” UMW Sign Language club as “Talk to the Hands,” UMW Women’s Rugby as “Chutney,” UMW Dance Team as “Your Mom” and Alpha Mu Sigma. Other teams included “Balls Out” and “ENGL250A: Intro to Digression.”
This year’s panel of judges consisted of SAE graduate assistant Liz Bradley, Director of the Center for Honor and Leadership Service Christina Eggenberger, Assistant Dean of student involvement Melissa Jones, previous president of the alumni association Patti Kemp, Assistant Professor of political science and international affairs Chad Murphy, Director of development & promotions of athletics Phillip Pierce, Associate Vice President and Dean of student life Cedric Rucker and Associate Director of residence life Matt Troutman.
The scoring is based on five categories: audience participation, costume, lip singing accuracy, choreography and crowd response.
Judge and UMW alumna turned graduate assistant Liz Bradley participated in the event for four years, emceed for two and was finally given the opportunity to judge at this year’s event.
“Lip Sync is one of my favorite events at Mary Wash. It’s a really unique, high energy tradition we have, and I love seeing the hilarious skits students come up with and hearing how loud Dodd can get with the applause and screaming at this event,” Bradley said.
Ian Spangler and Tonto Duncan hosted the event for Class Council. Their witty commentary in between performances gave the audience something more to laugh at.
Popular songs of the night were current radio hits, such as Megan Trainor’s “All About that Bass,” Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”
While there were plenty of unforgettable moments during the performances, some of the more memorable ones included when a member of “Your Mom” ran across the stage in a hot dog suit to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out.” And who could forget the nostalgia filled performance Class Council ended the night with, which included a cameo of nearly every hit nineties show theme song.
“I like watching Lip Sync because Class Council always has something funny at the end, and I have a friend who’s performing with them this year,” said Ellen Peiser, a senior history major.
Class Council’s performances hardly disappoint, and this year’s heartwarming routine had the entire crowd singing along as everyone reminisced about childhood days long gone.
As usual, the UMW Women’s Rugby team gave the audience a scandalous performance full of hilarious booty popping and plenty of grinding. While there was a lot less twerking than last year’s show, the teams did not lack in a variety of outrageous dancing and costumes.
In the end, “ENGL250A: Intro to Digression,” swept away the night with first place. Their witty team name and performance that included several numbers from Disney’s High School Musical, won over both the judges and the crowd.
Second place was awarded to “Your Mom” for their choreography and lip singing accuracy. Rounding off the top three was Alpha Mu Sigma.
The winners walked away from the night with more than just the respect and awe of their peers. First place prize was awarded $250, second place $150 and third $100.
Lip Sync proved to be a more than great way to kick off Homecoming 2014.