Love, laughter and lip-syncing: MHS Coexist hosts lip-sync battle


Photo by Hadyn Nuttall

Freshman Charles Konczal switches outfits during his first song, “Vogue” by Madonna.

Hadyn Nuttall, Sports/Entertainment Editor

  On February 17th MHS Coexist, MHS’ LGBTQ+ group, hosted a lip-sync battle to celebrate the talent and diversity of MHS students and to just have fun. The acts showcased, teachers, students, tap-dancing, and a banana costume to name a few. 

  The winner at the end of the night, determined by MHS Principal, Alexandria Rios Taylor, and Assistant Principal of Student Life, Stevee Libert, was Freshman Charles Konczal who performed two tap routines, one to “Vogue” by Madonna and one to “Do It For Her” by Zach Callison and Grace Rolek with Coexist sponsor Leah Kolcz. 

  As Coexist moves forward for the rest of this year and in following years, “we would love to have anyone and everyone!  We are hoping to grow our club and be involved more and more throughout our community,” said Coexist sponsor, Leah Kolcz.

  Coexist has been planning this lip-sync battle since the beginning of the year and put in a lot of work to make the event successful.

  “We wanted to bring some fun entertainment to the school,” said Kolcz. “We also were very interested in bringing Drag Queens to our community at MHS as well, and since they are professionals in the lip-sync business, we knew it would be a great time!”

  Lip-sync battles, as seen on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” are a big part of the drag community and are very popular amongst audiences.

  “It’s a way to introduce people to drag,” said Krystal Ball Diva, drag queen. “Drag can be kind of scary. It’s a little intimidating. So seeing us dance and sing is something relatable.”

  Performing in front of an audience can be intimidating as well. Getting up in front of an audience can be scary but performing can be a lot of fun as well. 

  “The adrenaline that comes from getting up in front of an audience is one of my favorite parts of performing. But ultimately, my favorite part is when I know the audience is having fun.” said English teacher, Samantha Rizzo who lip-synced to “Sk8er Boi” by Avril Lavigne. 

  Both her love of performing and her love of her students got Rizzo involved.

  “One of my students asked if I would be a part of it. He was so excited about the event that it made me want to be a part of the show,” said Rizzo.

  People had a great time at the lip-sync battle, coming together, performing, cheering, and enjoying each other’s creativity and company.

  “It was a bunch of people who were willing to be vulnerable and put themselves out there for the sake of entertainment,” said English teacher, Ryan Buck, who performed “I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys.  “The energy from that room and the love and respect behind that energy made me smile the entire time.”

  The show offered students and staff an opportunity to perform and feel that joy in an informal and inclusive way.

  “I thought the entire show was awesome,” said Rizzo. “Our Drag Queen MCs were funny, energetic, and beautiful and all of the performances were so fun to watch!”

  Lip-syncing, drag, and Coexist all work to bring people together and celebrate the beauty of humanity. 

  “My favorite part of being a lip-sync artist and doing drag is getting to meet everyone,” said Krystal Ball Diva. “[I love] being able to share my art and my story with everyone. That’s pretty much my favorite part of all of it.”

  More than just choosing a song and knowing the words, a lot of costuming and character go into preparing a lip-sync routine as well.

  “You’ve got to think about your outfit, your hair, your shoes, what you’re going to wear,” said Krystal Ball Diva, “It’s very challenging, but once it’s all together, it’s very rewarding.”

  Lip-syncing and drag are inclusive ways to celebrate all aspects of people and the creativity and talent they hold.

  “I think drag is a very good thing to have in life. When it comes down to it, it’s just putting on your best self and just putting on a character,” said Krystal Ball Diva. “I’m very shy when I’m not wearing all the clothes and the jewelry, but when I can put this on I can be my most authentic self.”

  The lip-sync battle was a night of entertainment and inclusion that brought the community together for a good time. 

  “We were hoping that the students got joy out of the experience,” said Kolcz. “ The students and staff that performed had such an amazing time doing so, and the Queens brought an extra light to the evening.  It was just a lot of fun!”

The contestants wait for the judge’s decision on the winner. From left to right, English teacher Ryan Buck, SLP teacher Sharon Rzyski, English teacher Samantha Rizzo, Junior Jaxon Wasseluk, Freshman Charles Konczal, Freshman Gissel Castro Mejia, Junior Imelda Gomez, Junior Andrea Rosas Polo, and MHS graduate Ms. Gender. (Photo by Hadyn Nuttall)
To kick off the night, Drag Queen Krystal Ball Diva performed one of her high energy lip-sync routines. (Photo by Hadyn Nuttall)
Junior Jaxon Wasseluk performs his take on “Baby” by Justin Beiber in a banana costume. (Photo by Hadyn Nuttall)
English teacher Ryan Buck lip syncs to “I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys. He listed his favorite part of lip syncing as “The crowd’s energy. Making a memory.” (Photo by Hadyn Nuttall)
Junior Andrea Rosas Polo and Junior Imelda Gomez in their duo lip sync of “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. (Photo by Hadyn Nuttall)