Lip with the kids

Hamline’s annual Lip Sync Competition brought the heat adding this traditional Homecoming touch this fall.

Robin Doyscher and Chloe Kucera

Sena Ross

An electric energy filled the air as the crowd flooded into the Anderson forum. 

The night’s host, drag queen and alumni Erin Bougie stepped onto the stage to introduce the lip-syncers. This commenced the annual Hamline Lip Sync Competition, a long standing tradition among the festivities of Homecoming week. 

Students have the opportunity to show off their talents and earn money in the lip syncing competition, with the winners receiving a monetary prize of $200. 

Each contestant chooses a song and makes up a routine to perform along with it.

Lip Sync competition winner junior Katie Mikesell mentioned their inspiration for performing and expressed enthusiasm about winning the cash prize. 

“I have a huge passion for burlesque, especially queer burlesque and I thought that I could bring something today. And also, I’m very poor and I wanted to win,” Mikesell said.

Mikesell expressed having plans for how they wanted to spend the money, putting it towards a future expense for their education. 

“​​I’ll put it in my savings account, get a passport so I can study abroad in Thailand. There’s a photojournalism opportunity for this J-Term. I’m going on that. I’m very excited about that. I haven’t gotten my passport yet, and I’m also unemployed right now,” Mikesell said. “I have been feeling this fire in me to perform, for sure, but there’s not a lot of platforms, and so I felt like this is a really good opportunity.” 

When talking about their performance, Mikesell referenced queer ballroom and drag culture as driving forces behind their creative choices. Especially referring to the type of music and dance common in these communities. 

“It’s the type of burlesque drag that I want to emit as a performer, so it’s very, like, sexy, old Hollywood, and I’m also paying an homage to all of the Black women who have (as a white woman I feel like that’s the least I can do) given so much to the jazz community and to burlesque, period,” they said. “I felt that kind of, like, channeling their energy to give something new and beautiful. That’s kind of what I wanted to do. It definitely was kind of its own thing.”

Sophomore Annika McClintock attended the Lip Sync Competition, and talked about her expectations before the performances. 

“I am expecting some comedy, some drama. I’m expecting a very good performance. I heard they go all out,” McClintock said.

Senior Essence Boe performed as Cat Valentine from “Victorious.” (Sena Ross)

After the event, McClintock felt that the performers put on a memorable show and that the best parts were the comedic stylings of several acts. 

“I very much enjoyed it. It was so funny. Like, my eyes were watering at one point. I was not expecting it to be that entertaining. My favorite was the ‘Call Me Maybe’ one. I was just not expecting that at all, and it threw me off, but in a good way,” McClintock said.

Competition judge and Director of Student Activities and Leadership Patrick Haught talked about the format of the judging, and the parameters in which performers are graded on. The Lip Sync Competition has a number of performers, but only three will take home prizes at the end of the night. 

“There’s four categories that have 10 points each. The categories are originality, lip sync-ability, appearance and crowd reaction. Crowd reaction is probably the easiest to tell. I try to capture as much of that as I can in a performance. I also try to think of who’s thinking outside of the box,” Haught said. “This is my second year judging it and the two years before I planned and coordinated it, and then shifted it over to the students and the programming board.”

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