Silver City, NM-It looks like “lip-sync fever” is here to stay. This lively and free event, held by WNMU’s own Marketing Club in a packed Light Hall theater, was a delight for students who enjoyed seeing their peers having fun up on stage as characters from widely loved groups and lip syncing to their favorite songs.
Starting off the night with a slight twist, Harry Wetton, the show’s emcee, informed the audience that there were three pieces of paper with the Marketing Club’s logo attached to the desks.
The three people who found them were told to go on stage and be voted upon as the third judge by their peers. They were Steven Loucks, Morgan Lyneis, and Vince, who didn’t give his last name when asked. After doing a quick cheering vote, Vince ultimately won the coveted third judge spot along with the other judges who included Lawrence Garcia and Ben Skinner. The battle had a total of eight acts, which were a combination of solo performers and dance groups.
The first solo act up was Juwan Sumpter, who lip synced to Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” from the movie Dreamgirls. After his emotional rendition was over, the judges weighed in. Lawrence Garcia gave him a ten. Vince said that he appreciated how much he loved that the song was from one of his favorite movies, and Ben Skinner said it “made him feel things besides Juwan’s touch.”
The second performance of the night was from Vladimir Gnilozubov with a party hard portrayal of LMFAO’s song with Lil Jon, “Shots.” All decked out in a muscle shirt, glasses, and an afro of curly hair, Vladimir had a great time onstage getting the crowd into the song and chanting along with him. Lawrence said that Vlad “did Kazakhstan proud” with his performance and the confidence he had in his lip syncing skills.
Next to go up was the softball team with Bre Aker leading as Justin Bieber and performing a dance routine to his current hit, “Sorry.” Lawrence and Vince both agreed that it was a good performance and that they worked well as a team to crush the song. Ben Skinner told the ladies that, “Whatever it was you did wrong, you are most definitely forgiven now.”
Halfway through the show, Jazmin Hernandez, Jessica Dominguez, Josette Membrila, Michelle Quinonez, and Claudia Osuna teamed up to become the throwback boy band, N’sync, paying homage with dance moves to their song, “Bye Bye Bye.” The judges all said that it was a good representation of one the biggest boy bands of the 90s, and Lawrence Garcia even said that he, “didn’t think that the stage had ever seen so much action.”
The next contestant, Kassandra Segura, came all the way from the Deming campus, and Harry Wetton also said that, “she was super excited to be doing this.” Kassandra danced and lip synced to Chris Brown’s old hit, “Run It.” The audience sang and clapped along to the song with her, and the judges all expressed that it was a great dancing performance, which included “an amazing hair flip” and “great popping and locking.”
Cole Coffeen did a sensual interpretation of Shania Twain’s, “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Dressed in a tank top, tight vest, and cowboy hat, Cole pranced around the stage, taking command of the audience, and causing lots of frantic cheers from the crowd repeatedly to take his clothes off. Ben Skinner voiced that he didn’t think, “Shania could look so good with a goatee,” while the other judges were speechless.
Ross White paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston with, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” in the seventh lip-syncing act. Clad in a pink bathrobe, Ross left everyone in the audience wondering what in the world he was wearing underneath it. Then halfway through the song, it was revealed. First to the host, Harry Wetton, who’d been coaxed by Ross into a chair, and then the audience. Wearing only a purple bra with pink sheer underwear over his boxer briefs, Harry said that he had gone to Wal-Mart earlier and purchased this just for his number. The judges remarked that Ross’s lip syncing was a great scene that was well paired with an amazing Whitney song. Ross’s additional comments after the judges were that he hopes, “everyone in life should feel comfortable to do this.”
Finally, the last act of the night was a duet between Matt Baxter and Jazmin Hernandez, lip-syncing along to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” In a gender switching performance, Matt was dressed in a pink halter-top polka-dotted dress, complete with plenty of muscles, a blonde wig, and a padded chest. Jazmin kept her short, blonde wig on to lip sync the male part of the song. With synchronized moves and a costume change in the middle of the song by Baxter into a bikini top with a tight mini skirt, it was entertaining to say the least. The judges had plenty to take in from this last performance, and all Ben Skinner had to say was, “I have no idea what to think of this right now.”
Lawrence Garcia commented that, “Barbie’s got some guns.”
Vince found it to be a great performance done by the two of the contestants as a pair.
Though all of the acts were great in their own way, there was ultimately only one winner.
First, the judges proclaimed Cole Coffeen the runner-up with his scintillating interpretation of Shania Twain’s song, then crowned Ross White for his on-point lip-syncing of Whitney Houston.
When he was asked how he felt about winning, White said, “It’s like when you’re really hungry, and you have a really big slice of cake.”