On the edge of glory: Students battle for lip sync domination

The annual lip sync battle hosted by Baruch College’s Undergraduate Student Government was themed “Lucha Libre” this year — a term used for a type of professional wrestling in Latin America in which wrestlers wear special masks to cover their faces.

The event took place in the Multipurpose Room on Nov. 16 and was centered around a “ring” in which each team would perform their act and compete with other teams to win a USG cosponsorship. The teams were judged on their choreography, lip sync consistency, synchronization and energy.

The lip sync battle was hosted by USG member Josh Castillo, who kept the audience entertained with tracks such as Future’s “Mask Off” as the event transitioned from one team to another.

The first team to start the event was PAWS, Peers Advocating Wellness Services. They performed some of the rock band Queen’s hits such as “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” to get the show started.

Followed by PAWS was Baruch’s yearbook club LEXICON. The club’s performance began and ended with songs from the musical and movie Mamma Mia.

The third performance of the night was a four-woman-led dance and lip sync group by the United Sikh Association. They incorporated Indian dance moves with Western music to provide a performance blended of two cultures.

The fourth team that took the boxing ring was a relatively new club: Pre-Recorded Friday Nights. This comedy club embraced the Lucha Libre theme as they revolved their dance moves and lip syncs around a complex plotline of a girl’s struggle to become a wrestler.

The performance began with a conversation between the young girl and her dad as he objected to her decision of becoming a wrestler. It ended with the dad finally accepting his daughter’s choice. This turn of events was shown in forms of iconic Queen songs like “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat it.”

The event continued with more performances from teams such as AIESEC and the International Student Organization. Led by four women, AIESEC’s performance was Ariana Grande-themed, and they lip synced to Grande’s famous numbers such as “Bang Bang” and “No Tears Left to Cry.” “Cute,” “fun” and “sexy” were among some of the words the judges used to describe AIESEC’s act.

ISO also received praises and cheers from the crowd as the club performed a few throwbacks and ended its performance with a recent hit song: “Taki Taki.” It was during ISO’s performance that there was a disagreement between the judges as one believed the performance picked up a little late, while the other judge believed it was strong all along.

The sixth performance of the night was done by F.U.S.I.O.N. Known by the crowd for their dance team CONFUSION, this Filipino club received applause and cheers even before they took the stage. Their performance incorporated a strong story line, complex dance moves and engaging choreography.

Even the judges agreed with the audience as they complimented the team on its ability to both fully involve the crowd and stay in synchronization.

UCLA performed after F.U.S.I.O.N. and delivered a nostalgic performance with a series of songs from the Disney movie High School Musical. During this act, audience members turned on flashlights on their phones and waved them back and forth as they sang along to the words from the movie.

After UCLA, the competition paused for a performance by a duo known as the Blasian Lovers. The performance consisted of a woman dressed as a man and a man dressed as a woman. The duo gave an energetic and fun performance of some New York-themed songs such as Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”

The last and final act was performed by Baruch’s own USG. USG members, including President Radhika Kalani and Vice President Emma Jorgensen, delivered an entertaining performance and ended the show on a high and positive note, making way for the announcement of the competition’s winners.

After much anticipation, UCLA came in third place and received $200 in cosponsorship, PAWS came in second and received $300 in cosponsorship and F.U.S.I.O.N. came in first place and received $500 in cosponsorship.

PAWS and F.U.S.I.O.N.’s team members were very excited when asked to describe how they felt about their win. Danny Kaplan, a member of PAWS who played Freddie Mercury in his performance, explained that one reason they chose to do a Queen-themed performance was because he was such a big fan of the band.

F.U.S.I.O.N.’s Karina Villafuerte, who choreographed the performance and is also the director of the dance team CONFUSION, also explained the theme and reason behind her song choices.

“We are a Filipino club and since Bruno Mars is half-Filipino, we chose his song,” Villafuerte said. “We also incorporated boxing in our performance because boxing is a huge sport in Philippines.”

November 19, 2018

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Sheron Virani

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