Guys and girls compete at popular spring event
Joshua Gilmore and Monique Eldridge were named Mr. and Ms. Blazer in the annual competition held during Blair Fair on April 22. The act drew a large, supportive audience interested in viewing student talent.
The event was hosted by Senior Class President Alejandra Barberena and Vice-President Tigisty Berhe. Together, the two introduced the audience to the contest, which Barberena described as "a chance for students to show off their talent," and throughout the evening kept the audience up to date on each act. The hosts informed the receptive audience that the male and female finalists would each receive a pair of free prom tickets as a reward for winning the crown.
Before beginning the show, the girls introducted social studies teacher Lansing Freeman and science teachers Summer Roark and Wendell Hall as the judges for the evening.
Act One: First Performance
Senior Joshua Gilmore impressed the audience with his dance skills as he rhythmically moved to the tunes of Justin Timberlake while wearing a black hoodie with his head covered, blue jeans and Air Forces. Throughout his routine, Gilmore incorporated various popular moves in his steps, like those of R&B sensation Usher.
The first act of the show continued as senior Tamea Stover was first to perform among the ladies for the title of Ms. Blazer. Through an original song, Stover told the audience she wanted her "baby boy" to "Come Back." The contestant amused the audience when she passionately sang "I want you" to judges Hall and Freeman to illustrate her desire for her young love to return. Stover was a good example of originality and creativity, and received support in the form of cheers from the audience.
Senior Sam Wight brought his own uniqueness to the show as he veered away from the usual music and song display and instead introduced the audience to the "sport" known as cup stacking. Wight first described the game and the way in which each cup would be stacked, and then humored the audience when he strapped on a leather jacket and black glasses and executed the routine as fast as he could to the theme music from "The Matrix."
The mood of the show shifted back to that of love as senior Jenny Metellus marched on stage in a white skirt and blouse suit and sang Mary J. Blige's "I'm Goin' Down" while the audience clapped along. Metellus confessed her feelings on the loss of her love to her understanding listeners, reciting, "'Cause you ain't around baby/ My whole world's upside down."
Senior Idara Aquaowo continued on Metellus' melodic lead as she sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with musical accompaniment provided by her mother, who played the piano. Aquaowo's heartfelt rendition of the beloved "Wizard of Oz" tune was enhanced by the beautiful melody resounding from each key her mother played on the instrument.
Senior Tyson Flowers gave the audience soul as he sang Luther Vandross' "A House is not a Home" a capella under a spotlight while seated on a stool. Several audience members showed their appreciation for his selection at the end of his act by tossing teddy bears and beanie babies on stage.
The audience was awed once more as senior Stephon Millet danced to the Destiny's Child hit, "Lose My Breath." Millet had the audience taken back with each twist, split, jump and hop as he expertly executed moves seen in the group's music video. Millet's focused facial expressions and flawless choreographed dance routine provided him with nothing less than a standing ovation at the end of his act.
Senior Yenikah Fon and junior Monique Eldridge ended the first act of the competition with a duet performance. While Fon struck the keys of the piano, Eldridge performed Blige's "Not Gon' Cry" and sang to her audience, "No I'm not gon' cry/ It's not the time/ Cuz you're not worth my tears." Eldridge also uses the judges to her advantage and, like Stover, expresses her emotions to Hall and Freeman.
Act Two: Question & Answer
Hosts Barberena and Birhe appeared next on stage with a paper bag containing index cards and took the audience to the portion of the show in which each contestant would have to answer a question they selected out of the bag. The questions and answers went as follows:
What's your favorite cartoon character?
Blustein first informed the audience that he prefers singing because the words are already scripted out, however stated that he'd answer the question because "I like the sound of my own voice." Blustein stated that he favors Stewie from "Family Guy" because the character is like him in the sense that not only is he talented, but he wants to take over the world.
If you could take one person out to dinner, who would it be and why?
Gilmore replied that he would take his "good friend" Janee Scott because they have known each for so long. This response received an "aww" from audience members aware of the great friendship the two share.
What's your most embarrassing moment?
Stover's embarrassing incident occurred one day at school when she "tried to look cute" wearing her pink heels and slipped in front of students that spared her no mercy and laughed in her face.
What would you do if you were to hang out with Gainous for a day?
"I would go to a Nationals baseball game, have nice big hot dogs or nachos and then a soda," answered Wight.
What's the nicest thing you've ever done for someone?
Metellus admitted that her kindest deed was "giving somebody a piece of my chicken teriyaki."
Why should you be Ms. Blazer?
Aquaowo began with "because I want world peace," which received laughter from the audience, but then continued, "because I am actively involved in school and music programs at Blair."
What is one thing you would change about Blair?
"Open lunches," said Flowers without hesitation.
What is your best high school memory?
Millet proudly answered, "When I brought my GPA up from a 1.17 to a 3.71," and received a well-deserved applause from the audience.
What is your favorite thing about Blair?
"My friends and the education that I get," Eldridge responded.
What would you say and do if you approached your crush?
To help Fon better visualize a scenario, Berhe acted as the girl that has captured his heart. Fon told the audience that he would tell her of his lack of courage to speak to her on many occasions, but would confess, "Today I stepped up as a man to tell you that I want to be with you."
Act Three: Second performance by five finalists
After careful deliberation, Roark announced that the judges selected Stover and Eldridge as finalists for Ms. Blazer and Gilmore, Blustein and Millet as finalists for the male crown. Next each finalist performed a second act to show the judges and audience why they should win the competition.
Blustein was first to perform among the boys and executed a highly skilled performance of "Yesterday" by Paul McCartney, as he managed to have both his voice and the keys of the piano dominate throughout his recital.
Eldridge sang the Fugees' "Killing Me Softly" while Fon provided musical accompaniment on his keyboard. The contestant's movement about the stage and alternation of musical notes allowed the audience to appreciate her skills of performing on stage.
The show took a turn towards gospel as Gilmore sang Kirk Franklin's "Brighter Day" while the audience sang along.
Stover performed Beyonce's "Be With You" and expressed to the audience, "I'd rather be with you 'cause I love the way you scream my name." She once again allowed the judges to sense the intensity of her emotions, and this time involved the audience as she ended and pointed to the crowd, "I'd rather be with you."
Millet once again impressed the audience with his dance ability as he expertly executed a well-choreographed routine to Janet Jackson's "All Nite (Don't Stop)" and performed moves completed by true professionals.
Feza Kikaya. Feza Kikaya is finally a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys driving, hanging out with friends and laughing. Most importantly, Feza is counting down the days to graduation so she can begin a new chapter of her life in college. Her favorite … More »