The Group Off Stays "Lit"
Spoken word, backflips, and parodies—what do all of these things have in common? The answer is Andrew’s University second annual talent show for groups, entitled The Group-Off. On Saturday, April 8, Andrews students gathered in the Howard Performing Arts Center for The Group-Off. This year’s theme was “It’s Lit,” and, according to the audience, it was.
Zipporah Agee (freshman, biotechnology) said, “I think The Group-Off is so popular because you have a chance to show off so many diverse forms of entertainment. And the crowd games are crazy fun.”
The hosts of The Group-Off split the audience into four teams to compete against one another. In between acts, the hosts would bring audience members up from each team to participate in games such as the Lyrics Game, Hot Potato and the Movement Competition. These games never ceased to hype up the crowd.
Five groups performed, each one presenting original acts. The winning group, The Tea Party, performed a spoken word piece regarding their thoughts on cultural appropriation.
“When Serge told me to do a poem for the group-off, I immediately went to Anna Gayle, (freshman, psychology) and Antone Huggins, (freshman, pre-physical therapy). This was right after I watched Get Out,” said performer Sharyl Cubero (freshman, biology, pre-medicine). “That movie was so important to me and I felt like it was a great topic. When I told them, they both thought it was something we had to do.”
Sylvia Romilus (senior, wellness) performed a mash-up of various pop songs with her group.
“Serge Gideon, (senior, english) was trying to find people to perform at The Group-Off and he talked to Dana Swann (senior, animal science) and suggested that she and I should do something with The Cheetah Girls,” Romilus said. “So we took that and used it to audition. It was actually pretty hard trying to find songs to go along with that because we wanted to do a mash-up. Nicole Reid (senior, computer science) sang one little phrase of the ending of a song and everything just clicked because we found another song that went right with what we were trying to do.”
Another crowd favorite from the event was Maison de Repos, a group of students including Adriana Gomez (senior, speech pathology & audiology), Shaly Torres (junior, psychology), Hannah Choi (senior, Spanish studies) and Ivana Gomez (junior, Spanish studies), who did a parody of Macklemore's “Thrift Shop” while dressed as old ladies.
“I'd have to say that my favorite act was the ‘Thrift Shop’ parody with those four girls. That was amazing. Fitting in all of those original lyrics, they had a nice flow, and the beat-boxing was awesome. Plus, the whole concept was just hilarious,” Agee said.
Romilus shared a few words of advice for those who might have reservations to the entering talent competitions.
“There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition and it was nice to see a variety of talents showcased from the pieces that everyone created,” Romilus said. “I never did anything like this before and it was my last semester so I decided I might as well go out doing something fun. We didn't really care too much about placing, because I had so much fun doing it! We all enjoyed seeing that our hard work ended up being very successful!”
Cubero said, “I know that people might get a lot of criticism from performing at The Group Off, but that shouldn't stop them. Do it to have fun. Don't let others stop you from sharing something you have to say or do.”
Agee, for one, is interested in performing in the event.
“I would love to do The Group Off with some friends, probably like a comedy sketch or some stand up.”
While the audience definitely enjoyed The Group Off, the performers said they got just as much out of the event.
“Performing at the group was a privilege and a really great experience,” Cubero said. “I'm so thankful AU gives us the opportunity to express ourselves.”