Boy Bands, Gorillas, Cross Dressers? A Say What? Karaoke Recap

By Sam Dennis

I never thought that in my high school career, I would see a foreign exchange student win a student singing contest. But at the National Honor Society’s Say What? Karaoke competition last Friday, I finally was able to experience such an event. It was a terrific show hosted by Sara Barazesh, Kate Donohue, Vidhaath Sripathi, Kelly Yu, and Jon Yuen from NHS, with Ms. Warren, Ms. Fischer, and Mr. Mastropietro as the teacher judges. Warren Dennis, who was in the audience, said, “This year’s show was terrific! The emcee act last year was horrible, so I’m very glad it was such a better show this time!”

Gorilla (aka Jessica Fritz) singing her heart out (Courtesy of Steph Ranque)

Gorilla (aka Jessica Fritz) singing her heart out (Image Courtesy of Stephanie Ranque)

The great showcase had a total of six singing groups. They included Rock of Angleos, consisting of Christina and Anthony Angelo; Teddy Valinski and Sarah Kilbride’s A Whole New Need for Earplugs; Lucia Capelo; Thieves Guild with Tom Lanzilotta, Alex LaValle, and Will Powick; The Gorilla (aka Jessica Fritz) featuring Will Powick the Banana; and The Sons of Rick, a boy band of Chris Ratanski, Bob Lanzilotta, Aaron Lewy, and Tre Mansdoerfer.

The show was broken up into three rounds, and the first featured all of the groups’ individually planned performances. Rock of Angelos kicked off the show with a classic rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” A Whole New Need for Earplugs did a unique version of “A Whole New World” from the Disney classic Aladdin: Valinski (singing Jasmine’s part) and Kilbride (singing Aladdin’s) cross-dressed and pretended to fly on a magic carpet. Capelo performed a beautiful, captivating song entitled “Si no Estas” in Spanish. Thieves Guild paid their respects to The Beastie Boys and rapped “Fight for your Right (to Party).” The Gorilla’s heart was broken by the Banana, so, as any regular gorilla would do, she sang out her feelings through Celine Dion’s mystifyingly ironic “All By Myself.” And finally, The Sons of Rick safely danced “The Safety Dance” into the next round.

Thieves Guild with Tom Lanzilotta, Alex LaValle, and Will Powick preforming on stage (Image Courtesy of Stephanie Ranque)

Thieves Guild with Tom Lanzilotta, Alex LaValle, and Will Powick preforming on stage (Image Courtesy of Stephanie Ranque)

The second round had the top four, judge-picked groups (The Gorilla, The Sons of Rick, Lucia Capelo, and Thieves Guild) sing T.V. streaming karaoke. Each group spun the magical Wheel Of Songs, and the song the wheel chose was the song the group had to sing. This round was very intense and heartbreaking for some of the groups because, unfortunately, not all of them knew the song they were singing. Gorilla, who was in fourth place, started the round off with “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. She was followed by The Sons of Rick in third place with “Haven’t Met You Yet,” then Capelo in second singing the infamous “Call Me Maybe,” and finally the Thieves Guild trio in first with Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.”

The third and final round was a lightning round! It featured the last two, judge-picked singers duking it out over “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift. Judges Warren, Fischer, and Mastropietro picked The Gorilla and Capelo as the final two groups. The tension in the auditorium was tight, the audience was on the edge of its seats, and all eyes were on the duo whose eyes were on the karaoke screen. Vidhaath smashed a gong to initiate the final performance. And in the end, the audience witnessed Lucia Capelo get the gold!

Though in the mix of things, the emcees placed a plot around the show that took place in between songs: the five of them wanted to get Vidhaath YouTube famous! With hysterical videos and skits, the NHS hosts showed the crowd their misadventures and failed attempts to make Vidhaath famous. But finally, they got together on stage and performed a mind-blowing Evolution of Karaoke medley starting all the way in the 1950s and  ending in present day with songs like “Gangnam Style.” They all did a choreographed dance routine as they sang and each member even had their own solo.

Overall, it was a fun night on December 14th full of watching judges and people as they sang. I’m definitely going again next year.

Featured Image Courtesy of Stephanie Ranque & Video Courtesy of Erica Avery

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