Karaoke Night: The Play-By-Play Plan B Finishes Strong

When I arrived at Friday night’s karaoke night, a replacement for the canceled Winter Carnival, there was a total of ten people in attendance—three faculty members, the majority of the Student Activities Board (SAB), myself and my poor roommate. After eleven minutes of being begged to sing and watching underclassmen linger in the Underwood lobby before leaving, I decided to document the experience. 8:11 p.m. – When you have two full plates of cookies, you have a problem. Everyone loves cookies. 8:12 p.m. – It’s fun to watch people stare at the doorway, take a few awkward steps towards the entrance, and then turn around after seeing a totally empty room. 8:14 p.m. – Success! Cookies attract the first person not obligated to be here… who then promptly leaves. SAB is singing Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You,” and the song’s overarching themes of loneliness and confusion thus far encapsulate this event. 8:15 p.m. – Actually, this has become an incisive commentary on Avril Lavigne. 8:21 p.m. – My roommate and I stupidly decide to sing Maroon 5’s “This Love.” This was a terrible decision. 8:26 p.m. – Why are awkward freshmen still congregating outside? Meanwhile, I’m interviewing Aniebiet Ekpa ’11, who says she was attracted to the karaoke night because “My friends and I have beautiful voices.” I can vouch for that—Ekpa, Sheya Jabouin ’11, Amber Quinones ’11 have just performed an attitude-filled rendition of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.” 8:32 p.m. – Five people are through the threshold! Cookie trays still untouched. 8:38 p.m. – Four more people show up. Attendance now stands at nine non-board members. 8:41 p.m. – Five Lowers show up, followed by a veritable flood of four people. 8:43 p.m. – Inspired by the spike in attendance, Colleen Flanagan ’10 reminds the room to “Come sign up, because we need people [to perform].” In response, Julian Danziger ’11 raises the roof as Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” begins to play. 8:46 p.m. – An actual audience begins to form. 8:48 p.m. – Jen Oesterling ’10 and Steven Lee-Kramer ’09 show off their vocal ranges with a performance of Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” which aptly showcases Lee-Kramer’s impressive falsetto. 8:51 p.m. – A crowd blocks the door, so I can no longer count the number of freshmen milling outside. 8:52 p.m. – Charlie Walters ’10 is up on stage singing Vitamin C’s “Graduation” with Quinones. 8:55 p.m. – The lights inexplicably are dimmed. 9:00 p.m. – Things are looking up? 9:07 p.m., I was unable to elicit a response from Cindy Efinger about the inspiration for karaoke night or what her other replacement plans for the winter carnival were. Despite this setback, my nine o’clock hunch was right—things did look up. By the end of the night, a fully-formed crowd had packed into Underwood, most of the freshmen had entered the room, cookies were consumed and the crowd had engaged in a united effort to sing R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Well, as R. Kelly taught us, if you just believe it, there’s nothing to it. The Student Activities Board overcame last-minute changes and a lack of publicity, persevered throughout a discouraging forty minutes, and proved that an event really isn’t over until the student body sings—in unison.