VTV’s “Lip Sync” Returns by Popular Demand


Photo by Lailah Taylor

Ninth annual “Lip Sync” winners “Lemonheads” react to them being announced the winners.

The highly esteemed and much-anticipated Viking Television’s Lip Sync returned on Dec. 6 for H-F’s students only.

Viking Television’s Lip Sync is a live talent show where H-F student participants compete against each other for a cash prize of $400. Students and groups who make it past tryouts perform on stage in front of a live audience. Participants lip sing to songs of their choice, hence the name “Lip Sync,” and perform their own choreography. 

Participants’ performances are scored by a panel of judges. This year’s H-F staff judges included Crystal Perez, Courtney Alexander, Anthony Barajas, Krystal Davis and Dana Noble. The sixth judge, Justen Pippens – a senior at H-F – was selected on the night of “Lip Sync”, after signing up for a chance at the position at the door. 

This was VTV’s ninth production of “Lip Sync”. VTV did not present a “Lip Sync” production for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, due to restrictions from Covid-19 and construction to the fine arts department.

The entire show was sold out within a matter of days. On Nov. 29, seniors had first pick at seats, since this is their last year, and they haven’t had the chance to experience “Lip Sync”. The following week, ticket sales were open to the rest of H-F students.

Before the start of the show Camryn Mcgill, a senior at H-F, was asked how she felt about seeing “Lip Sync” for the first time.

“It feels great to see it live! I am so excited,” Mcgill said.

Nine groups participated in this year’s production, totalling the number of participants to 30. The groups were “4SM”, “Borderclown”, “Charlie & the Chipmunks”, “Fellas in Paris”, “Jamychal Johnson”, “LegBender”, “Lemonheads”, “Mindful Behavior” and “Snow Angels”.

All individual and group performers received very positive feedback from the audience. Participants lip sang to remixed music and some even danced their entire allotted time.

Throughout the show randomly drawn audience members were called up on stage and given bags filled with treats, and some were given the opportunity to win cash prizes.

The winners of the 2021 “Lip Sync” is a group who dubbed themselves the name “Lemonheads”. One song performed by the group is a song called “Determinate” from the hit Disney movie “Lemonade Mouth”. The audience responded to their entire performance with a great deal of applause.  

The group consisted of seniors Athena Davis, Margaret Cutrara, William Goldberg, Oscar De La Torre and Sandra Aldape.

Overall, the group was thrilled at their win. 

“Given the chance to participate again, I would because I like to perform. Altogether it was a  great experience!” said Davis.

Before the winners of “Lip Sync” were announced, Mark Ciesielski – the creator of the hit production – asked the audience to vote on their favorite performance, while the judges tallied up the scores.

Although the group “Fellas in Paris’’ did not win the contest, they were the crowd favorite. By winning the crowd favorite, Isaiah Adeleke, Brendan Kaffo, Jairus Miller and Jaden Sharp were given $100 to divide amongst themselves.

Many felt that “Fellas in Paris” deserved to win the contest instead of the winning group.

“Fellas in Paris should’ve won, because their performance was the most entertaining”, Mcgill said.

According to executive producer Nia Williams, the VTV staff put in a lot of effort to organize “Lip Sync”.

“It was a lot of work, but turned out to be a fun experience because I got to work closely with my VTV peers,” said Williams.

Although Covid has had a tremendous effect on the lives of people at H-F, it has not put such a strain on the production of “Lip Sync”.

According to Ciesielski, COVID-19 did not impact “Lip Sync” significantly.

“Only half the tickets being available to be sold is the big thing, but nothing [else] so far,” Ciesielski said.

As Ciesielski notes, the only modification made to this year’s performance was that the auditorium ran at half capacity. Previously the auditorium seated around 720, this year the auditorium only accommodated about 330 to account for social distancing rules.

“Lip Sync” was also live streamed this year for viewers at home who were unable to get a ticket. During the performance, H-F students and families engaged through the comment portal. 

As of Tuesday, Dec. 7, there were more than 2,700 views of the performance on YouTube.

Despite the threat of COVID-19, “Lip Sync” will return. VTV has high hopes that “Lip Sync” will continue to be an annual production. 

“We had done it for eight straight years before 2019, and since it’s such a big hit with the school, we plan on doing it for as long as people love coming to it,” Ciesielski said.