#NTL throws it back and takes the crown


Jaida Macklein and Tia Baldwin


These three letters are not unfamiliar to anyone who attended VTV’s annual Lip Sync Contest on Jan. 12.

Throughout the night, all one could hear were the continuous cheers and chants of fans and supporters for the TLC tribute group, #NTL, this year’s winner.

The group consisted of seniors Alisia Dieudonne, Nile Richardson and LaTonia Cohn.

“I saw people I did not know standing up for me!” said Dieudonne, who portrayed TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

#NTL’s originality may have been what set them apart from the rest.
Cohn had only been to one of the contest before, her freshman year, and the first of the annual contest. She was inspired by the winners of that year.

They too were a TLC-inspired group, who won the hearts of the viewers with their rendition of the TLC song, ‘Creep’.

“They were a great inspiration,” said Richardson, who portrayed TLC’s T-Boz.

With that set in mind, they began to hit the pavement hard by starting last summer.

“We already had the first part of our act figured out in August,” said Cohn, who portrayed TLC’s Chilli.

In order to pull off a great performance, the girls dedicated themselves to detail.

“We really got into character,” said Cohn. “We watched their concerts, interviews, music videos, movies, and everything.”

The group worked together, tirelessly, on their performance.

“I could not sleep! Winter break was not fun. We had practice almost every day,” Dieudonne said. “When we got back, we practiced after school every day.”

All of #NTL’s work and sleepless nights were not in vain after they won the contest.

As they performed on the first stage, the team felt as if they had transitioned into TLC, themselves.

“I was feelin’ it, I wasn’t nervous as much, but for some reason, I still had that nauseous feeling,” said Dieudonne. “Especially when I saw the crowd; they were just cheering us on. We didn’t even start the music yet!”

#NTL made it into the final rounds, and performed a Michael Jackson tribute.

“Everybody else was going to look like Michael, dress up like in the video, and the choreography like in the video,” said Cohn. “Where’s the originality in that?”

In the MJ-themed finale, the girls showed their individuality and talent by performing a remix of TLC’s hit song ‘No Scrubs’.

“We definitely did not think we were going to win,” said Dieudonne.

“We had some real intense competition. Everybody did such a good job; Poms, LMT.”

After their final performance, #NLT received much praise from the audience.

“We were not ready for [the crowd response],” said Richardson.

Cohn thinks that every student should do the Lip Sync Contest in their high school career.

“Just do it for the experience and for the fun,” said Cohn. “And the behind the scenes is so cool!”

Cohn’s goal wasn’t to win, but to get recognition.

“I guess they’ll remember us now.”