Six First Years Secure Jenkins Suite at Revamped Lip Sync Competition

The lip sync competition, long a campus tradition, returned from a pandemic hiatus. Four groups of performers competed for the first pick in the suite selection process.

Six First Years Secure Jenkins Suite at Revamped Lip Sync Competition
Four groups of students lip-synced for the chance to have the first pick in the suite housing selection process. Photo courtesy of Alicia Xin ‘27.

Keefe’s Friedmann Room was packed to the brim on Monday, March 25, for the return of Student Affairs and Housing Operation’s Lip Sync Competition, which grants the winning group first pick in the suite selection process. Four groups performed, and a boy-band medley carried a group of first-years to victory and guaranteed them a Jenkins suite.

The competition, which for years granted students the opportunity to perform and earn the first pick in the housing process, was halted as a result of the pandemic in 2020.

After increased demand for the competition’s return, the new and improved “Lip Sync+” once again granted students the chance to control their own fate and, for the first time, allowed for slam poetry as a lip sync alternative. (No competitors chose this option.)

The winning group was decided by a panel of judges—President Michael Elliott, Dean of Students Angie Tissi-Gassoway, and President of the Association of Amherst Students Lori Alarcon ’24.

Five total groups signed up and prepared their own lip-sync performances—one group, The Miniature Schnauzers, ultimately didn’t show up to the event. The other four groups each put on brief 4-minute performances packed full of skits, choreography, bribes for the judges, and an oddly high amount of backflips.

Sync-Cerely Desperate, a group of four rising sophomore women, opened with a skit and transitioned into a full lip-sync performance to Britney Spears’s “Oops I Did It Again.”

A group of 10 rising juniors on the baseball team under the group name Jivey Jenkins 10 performed next, lip-syncing to a mashup of popular hits like “Suavemente” and “Call Me Maybe.”

The Immobile Greizman Son’s, consisting of three students: two rising juniors and one rising senior, took the stage last to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” They also threw gummy bears to the crowd and gifted the judges with lion plushies during their performance. Although all drew hearty applause from the audience, none of the aforementioned groups managed to win over the judges.

The victory was claimed by the first group to perform—Motion Club, which consisted of six rising sophomores: Aiden Taghinia ’27, Sam Creelan ’27, Simon Pearl ’27, Parker Smith ’27, Luke Bardetti ‘27, and Kyren Khiarah ’27.

Their performance opened with a skit—a lip-synced rendition of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s famous “I Want It That Way” scene. Then, the group launched into a full-on lip sync of the same Backstreet Boys song, followed by a mashup of various other boy band classics.

Mid-performance, the students gifted roses to various students in the audience as well as the judges, whom they ultimately won over.

Smith, who created the mashup of the songs, explained the decision behind what songs to include.

“We were sitting in Val and thinking about what songs would work with our group and we all immediately thought of classic boy band hits like Jackson 5, One Direction, Backstreet Boys, and we went from there,” Smith said.

In terms of choreography, Bardetti gave all the credit to his sister.

“It started the first weekend of break, [my sister] was kind enough to help me create a choreography to the mashup Parker had created,” he said.

The victors also said that preparation for the performance was relatively quick.

“It was actually a really quick turn-around; we were all back home over break, but Sunday night and all day Monday, we kept rehearsing and eventually got to a point where we were really happy with what he had,” Bardetti explained.

Although Motion Club was crowned the winner, the student audience wasn’t completely in agreement.

Prior to the winner's announcement, Ritzman allowed the audience to cheer and applaud for each group to see which ones were fan favorites. Both Sync-Cerely Desperate and Jivey Jenkins 10 received the loudest applause by far compared to the other two groups.

Nife Joshua ’26, one of the many students who showed up to watch, confessed that she was surprised by the winner. “I honestly felt that the performance by [Sync-Cerely Desperate] was going to win,” she said. “I thought they had the best and most cohesive choreography.”

While there was disagreement with the winner, ultimately, students who came to watch were impressed by all the performances and had a great time.

“It was a great way to see how creative people can be and take away some of the stress associated with housing selection,” said Feisal Kiiru ’26.

The victory earned Motion Club its first pick in the suites and triples selection process. Since the only six-person suite available is in Jenkins Hall, they said that’s where they plan to live next year.

“Big kudos to all the other groups; everybody made amazing performances in such a short amount of time,” they said.