RHA hosts Lip Syncing Bee to raise breast cancer awareness, gives away an Xbox One

Performances included dancing, gymnastics and a lot of Beyoncé.
MU students pose for the third annual Paint it Pink photo Oct. 8, 2015, at Tiger Plaza. Paint it Pink Week is seven days of activities hosted by RHA to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Maneater File Photo

Among the usual crowd of quietly working students, a stage was set up in Bengal Lair on Oct. 20 to accommodate the Residence Halls Association’s Lip Syncing Bee, an event full of dancing, gymnastics and a lot of Beyoncé.

The Lip Syncing Bee was one of many events being held this week for RHA’s Paint it Pink Week, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The rules of the event were simple: contestants had to pick a song and lip sync the words in the most entertaining way possible. In the end, the top three contestants and one group were announced as winners.

“This event gives people who are kind of in the shadows or have a hidden talent a chance to come out and express themselves in a fun and individualized way,” RHA Programming Committee member Hollee Lynch said.

Before the event began, Lynch sat in the middle of Bengal Lair Handing out free Buffalo Wild Wings and drinks that were available through RHA. As students sat down with their chicken wings, Programming Committee Chair Emily Aiken took the stage to announce the start of the event as well as prizes for potential winners.

A panel of three judges from RHA reviewed each performance and decided on four winners. The first place winner recieved their choice of an Xbox One with the game Madden 16; a Beats Pill wireless speaker; or a $100 Visa gift card. Each member of the winning group received a $50 Visa gift card.

“We originally decided on gift cards and then we were like, ‘Hey, we can up the ante,’” Aiken said. “(The prizes) got more people to come.”

Twenty performers had their shot at the prizes over the course of the night, and some performed twice — once in a group and once as a solo act.

First place winner freshman Collin Arcynski performed an acrobatic rendition of “Ice Cream Cake” by Red Velvet, a South Korean girl group, complete with a back handspring and splits.

“I’m glad I didn’t get booed off the stage, that’s always nice,” Arcynski said. “I’d say (my legs) feel good, but I’d be lying. They’re a little sore, but it’s worth it.”

Arcynski’s pick for his first place prize was the Xbox One. He said that if he did not choose it, his floor-mates at Schurz Hall might not be happy with him.

Some performers, such as third-place winner freshman Haley Broughton, did not show up to the event planning to participate, but, after seeing the crowd grow closer to 50 people, decided to sign up. Broughton’s on-the-fly performance was a rendition of RUN-DMC’s “It’s Tricky.”

“I came out here not knowing what to expect and it ended up excellent,” Broughton said. ”I walked in and (the event coordinators) were like ‘you should sign up’ and I really like performing in front of people. I just wrote my name down and up I went onto the stage.”

Broughton took home the $100 Visa gift card after second place contestant, freshman Ashley Morris, who performed “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé, took home the Beats Pill speaker. Broughton plans to go on a shopping spree with her prize, she said.

Alexis Ditaway, RHA Programming Coordinator and judge of the competition, performed “Ignition Remix” by R. Kelly to end the night.

As Bengal Lair cleared and students threw away their empty plates of Buffalo Wild Wings, Aiken reminded everyone that the event’s goal was to raise awareness for breast cancer, which is why organizing the event was an important task for her.

“(Organizing the event) was a challenge, but I feel like it was a success,” Aiken said. “We had a lot of people perform and we had a lot of people come to watch. It was really fun putting it on.”

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