Avril Lavigne blared over the Chapel’s speakers as MC Callen Morris sprang up the stairs and stood before the Belmont Hill crowd to thunderous applause. His introduction of the judges – Mr. Leonardis, Mr. DiResta, and Mrs. Bobo – preceded the first act of the Monday morning matinee: a fantastic performance of Santana’s Smooth by the Senior Rock Band, featuring Harrison Rohrer, Gabe Schmittlein, Juan Carlos Fernandez del Castillo, Tommy Ruggles, Greg Katz, and Matt Armstrong. The song featured strong guitar and keyboard solos from Katz and Fernandez del Castillo, respectively, as well as stunning vocals from Rohrer, the group’s frontman.
The next act was as unexpected as it was entertaining; Will Galligan, Christian Dolan, Steven DeVellis, and Brendan Pulsifer suited up in their Belmont Hill basketball gear for a rousing rendition of Get’cha Head in the Game of High School Musical Fame. The edgy performance culminated with the senior quartet tossing a variety of candies to an enthralled audience; the performance itself was heralded by the judges as “mind-boggling”, while Judge Leo, as DeVellis’ wrestling coach of recent years, reckoned that “[he] should’ve played basketball instead”.
The third act featured an artistic and passionate lip-sync of America’s [Most Hated] Band, Nickelback’s, Rockstar. In the eye of the storm were Charlie Danziger, Chris Wilkins, and Matt Armstrong; Wilkins and Armstrong were not shy about getting in the faces of audience members, and Wilkins blew the audience away with his skills on the shaker. The third group of the day also became the second to launch various candies into the crowd, perhaps to enhance audience appeal. Judge DiResta stated that he had previously forgotten why he hated Nickelback, but that he “now remembers exactly why”.
The fourth act, the A Cafellas, delivered a touching rendition of Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash led by DJ Demetri, whose wonderful vocals were backed by a powerful collaboration of voices, echoing throughout the chapel in harmony. In what may have been the senior a cappella group’s last performance, they managed to touch the audience in what one judge controversially referred to as “a return to the actual talent”.
Following this inspirational a cappella performance, MC Callen Morris did not return to the stage; rather, Brendan Pulsifer and Griffin Gustafsson assumed the MC role, introducing the fifth and penultimate act: rap battles between MC Morris himself and student body president David Perdoni. Morris and his entourage (Ricky Cronin, Ben Lebowitz, and Nico Valette) stood tall in the face of Perdoni and his men (Jack Pare and Johnny Hincks), ultimately triumphing decisively in a debate featuring the virtue of Tom Hanks, the condition of the milk at Belmont Hill, and the critical endangerment of the American Porcupine.
The final act of the morning featured Chip Daley and Chad Meyers, with the former performing the famous dancing scene from Napoleon Dynamite. Not only did Chip look the part, decked out in a “Vote for Pedro” shirt and wire-rimmed glasses, but he almost certainly became the mask, remaining truly in character for the entirety of a slightly uncomfortable performance with no shortage of pelvic thrusting.
As the morning began to wind down, Brendan Pulsifer assumed the responsibility of thanking all the individuals that were imperative in the foundation and execution of the senior talent show. Meanwhile, MC Callen Morris Heely’d off into the sunset, capping off the second annual senior talent show, one that will certainly evoke fond memories for years to come.