The first-ever Seawolves Lip Sync Battle and the student-athletes raised $1,291.85 for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. The event, organized by the Undergraduate Student Government and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, was held in the auditorium of the Student Activities Center on Wednesday, April 27.
Football players Hasan Farraj, Connor Davis, Kevin Fennell, Jaelen Vazquez and Olan Abner took home the winning belt while dressed in color-coordinated wigs and shorts after battling the women’s basketball team in the first round and winning the audience over in the final round.
“The hips baby, it’s all about the hips man,” Abner said, referring to how his football skills translated onto the Sidney Gelber stage on Wednesday night. “The wig covered my eyes. I couldn’t see anything.”
Davis also said football skills that he learned in practice came in handy during the performance.
“That jump in ‘Let It Go’, I could have got that height,” he said.
“I personally looked right at my teammates in the back, and those guys were cheering us on just like practice, just like anything else,” Faraj said.
The event was planned by Lo Hathaway and Gabe Vazquez, and the idea was thought of as far back as December of 2015.
“Athletes say they don’t have talent,” Hathaway, a member of Women’s Volleyball, said, explaining why they chose to do a lip sync battle over a talent show.
“We wanted to make it as simple as possible,” Vazquez, a member of Men’s Track and Field, added.
The lip sync battle took almost five months to plan.
The battle was hosted by Jules Mayard, last year’s homecoming king, and Chris Murray, the assistant athletic director for marketing.
Stony Brook’s Project Sunshine also collaborated with the event, using it as a fundraiser for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Various teams and the Stony Brook University Athletic Band took to the stage to show off their dancing and lip syncing talents.
The night started off with the Men’s Basketball team challenging the the Men’s Lacrosse team to the first round. Men’s Lacrosse came prepared in wigs and crop tops. Men’s Basketball members wore their basketball shorts with different wigs as well. The ballers forgot about the singing though, as judge Brody Hooper, vice president of communications for USG, noted.
Jameel Warney could be spotted sitting in the crowd. Warney said that he and his teammates had creative differences in the song choice, so he decided to sit this one out. Bryan Sekunda said Warney wanted his team to perform Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.”
“The diversity is real,” Chris Murray said about the Men’s Soccer team’s performance. The team had the cultural advantage, using its members’ different nationalities to create a unique set including “Breaking Free” from High School Musical and “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee. They ended their mashup of songs with none other than “Party in the U.S.A.” The men waved around flags from their respective countries.
“For the lift, I used more of my goalkeeping skills and my hands more,” Jeremy Keckler, a member of the Men’s Soccer team, said, referring to the lift done during “Breaking Free.”
Their competitors, members from Women’s Lacrosse, had a routine that showed off their athleticism and flexibility. The women used their lacrosse sticks as guitars to dance to “It’s Tricky” by Run-DMC. Their routine was entertaining, with plenty of energy and tricks like flips and splits, setting them apart from their competitors.
Each ticket holder was given five raffle tickets. Throughout the night, raffles were given away to the students with the winning tickets and the prizes included a Love Your Melon gift basket, free Jamba Juice smoothies and an $80 Catour Faces gift card.
Men’s Soccer was not the only team to use Miley Cyrus in its performance. Women’s Soccer had its very own Miley Cyrus on the stage as Franki Priore dressed in her famous music video look, while the team danced to “Wrecking Ball.” They competed against the marching band for round three, who performed to songs like “Toxic” by Britney Spears and “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys. They went up against the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band.
The night went on as the Volleyball Team members broke out their heels and Beyonce, strutting their stuff on the stage. They ended their number with “Sunday Candy” by Chance the Rapper which had the auditorium clapping along. They competed against tennis who performed “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys.
Women’s Track and Field challenged its male track and field counterparts in a close battle. The men did a medley of Michael Jackson and brought the moonwalk.
“As an athlete, we’re all in front of people all the time anyway so it was natural,” Bradley Amazan, from Men’s Track and Field, said.
The women had a clever mix of songs that described a typical freshman experience on their team. It included songs such as “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani and “I Love College” by Asher Roth. The last round had Women’s Basketball facing Football.
“We have certain plays that we run in basketball, so we had to synchronize those plays on the dance floor and we were really able to pull it together,” Brittany Snow, of Women’s Basketball, said.
“I didn’t expect a big crowd like this but it was pretty awesome having everyone cheer for us and having the whole athletic department get together for this big event,” Megan Liu, a member of the Women’s Track and Field team, said.
The judges were Ellen Driscoll, assistant dean of students; Shayna Stahl, director of Athletic Bands; James Vassallo, vice president of external affairs for Project Sunshine; Brody Hooper, vice president of communications for USG; and Elisa Ruoff, development coordinator for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
The judges decided the finalists were Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Volleyball, Men’s Track and Field, and Football.
The competitors were then narrowed down to four finalists by members of the audience who texted SBUHOWL to the number provided by the event with their favorite team.
The winners of that vote were Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Track and Field, and Football.
The four remaining teams all had a chance to perform one last time with only two people from each group. All teams gave impressive performances, with Men’s Lacrosse performing to “Canned Heat” from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, Women’s Lacrosse performing to “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, and Men’s Track and Field performing to “Jump Around” by House of Pain. Football stole the show with an acrobatic performance of “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen.
Correction: Friday, April 29, 2016
A previous version of this article reported that the money was raised for the student-athletes. The money was raised by the student-athletes for the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.