2021 Talent Show: “On Air” is a Hit!


Kailey Albus, Editor-in-Chief

Emcees Cole Joseph and Pierce Docherty were off to a rough start, according to their sole audience member Mr. Corey Holmer.

After rising like molasses from the orchestra pit, the partnership received a menacing thumbs down from the smug Talent Show “overlord.” As a viewer, I couldn’t help but pity the boys; they had just explained how they wanted to emcee for three years, and, of course, the year they get the chance to is the year without a packed house in the RMA to cheer them on.

“I mean, who wouldn’t want to host the one year we have no live audience?” Docherty asked the empty rows of seats.

“This feels like a terrible, terrible demotion,” replied Joseph.

Judging by the footage of their emcee “interview,” it seems as if Joseph, Docherty, and Holmer all still share a little unspoken tension regarding the positions. Regardless, the duo’s spiteful enthusiasm did what they tend to do best: give the viewers an inch without giving them a mile. Though I was intrigued, I had no idea what to expect next given the show’s newly reimagined digital platform.

And, quite frankly, it impressed me at every turn.

The Pit Band played a variety of transitional tunes (my favorite being “Lancaster Nights” by Charlie Burg)

From the videography perspective, the LFHS tech crew and New Media team excelled. I imagine collaborating with another department during a time of limited engagement is just as rough as it sounds; nevertheless, the sets were dressed, the sounds were mixed, and the cuts were jumped all in a surprisingly professional manner.

Many of the New Media skits, a consistent fan-favorite aspect of the Talent Show, maintained a respect for COVID mitigation guidelines, keeping families like mine simultaneously comforted and entertained. Mr. Steve Douglass’ department never fails to outdo themselves in crafting their masterful videos. We watched a subtitled love story through the lens of a town hall meeting. We dove into the horoscopes of LFHS, realizing exactly why Mr. and Mrs. Clegg are so good together. We even saw an advertisement for Lake Forest’s newest car dealership run by two loud, oddly familiar scum bags.

The show, a two-and-a-half hour livestream, incited a feeling of nostalgia within me, as most of the acts were bands I remembered from last year’s show. Despite the compromising set up—especially for the singers—the groups maintained their mojo and kept the spirit of Talent Show alive. 

Verdant opened with a vibrant take on Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” The band of six sophomores seems to have found their sound in lead singer Jack Taylor, who sang alongside bassist Adler Herrman in last year’s rendition of  “Don’t Let Me Down.” Taylor’s groovy vocals, accompanied by the adorable light-up cactus on his keyboard, kicked off the night with a bang.

Junior Elizabeth Miczuga showed us all how “life goes on” with her joyful tap dancing set to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. The first of many performances taking place outside of the RMA, Miczuga lucked out with her location; the HRC perfectly suited the happy, homey vibe of her routine.

Sophomore Jack Taylor singing Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious”.

Freshly faced FIVE reinvented The Grind with their performance of Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me.” With such a small group, the venue gave each singer an opportunity to shine in their own way. I didn’t think you could make out visible smiles from underneath a mask, but FIVE proved me wrong.

Pit band, led by musical director Ryan McFadden, performed throughout the stream—no longer with the intent to stall lengthy set changes. While I couldn’t immediately recognize much from this year’s repertoire, I was stoked to see some instrumental diversity: Sarah Mack, Koen Brown, and Margaret Jemian all livened up the set with their tiny but mighty brass section.

Senior supernova Sylvia Kollasch took to her keyboard for a fourth and final time. With a voice smooth as butter, Kollasch performed “Serendipity,” a new original with a stunning, driving melody.

Taylor swapped his keyboard for a piano and joined Amelia Myers in the Senior Star for “I’m Through With Love.” Dawning an elegant dress and timeless strand of pearls, Myers expertly added her own embellishments to Marilyn Monroe’s classic anti-love song.

Ironically, “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” followed, and the group of four had me swaying on my sofa. This performance took place in what I would deem the “hidden gem” of filming locations: the basement level of the RMA. Props to tech for this one; using the metal vents behind the musicians to reflect the fluorescent lighting was a gorgeous choice. 

F.L.A.M.E took the RMA stage twice on Saturday night starting with their rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “I Don’t Want to Know.” Frankly, I don’t want to know why Fiona Carroll hasn’t featured on more of their performances; her voice not only resembles Stevie Nicks’ but carries an unmatched sound that even years of training cannot achieve.

Underclassmen involvement always grabs my attention in productions like this, but this year’s younger talent especially had me smiling. Aidan Watts took a classical approach to a Bach piece on violin, and the adorable Sophie Loiacano wowed me with her dance to “Botch-a-Me”. Both unique additions to this year’s cast, these freshmen thoroughly impressed me with their willingness to steal the spotlight.

EIC Peter Elliott showcased his excellent field reporting skills in profiling Glenn Monroe, the “sole proprietor and founder of Instagram Captions Inc.” in The Elliott Brothers’ latest sketch comedy video. Glenn, who bears a striking resemblance to staff writer Will Elliott, surprised us all with his ability to crank out award-winning captions at lightning speed.

A duo notably separate from the New Media team, The Elliott Brothers auditioned for this year’s show like any other act. Their independence from the department allowed them a featured spot in the opening video as well as a chance to show off some dancing in the finale performance. Although their moves were horrific, I would certainly be upset if I didn’t get to witness them.

The LFHS Dance Team performing “Always Remember Us This Way”

After a brief intermission, Jazz Band opened the second act with both “Embraceable You” and “Dat Dere”. One of two groups located in the commons, I wonder if those spacious acoustics contributed to the beauty of their performance. 

Talent Show Director Lucy Rubinstein joined her sister and Demiromantic’s lead singer Sydney in “Distance” by Emily King. The musical duo introduced me to one of my new favorite artists with their performance—all of the songs in King’s discography are absolute bops.

Ignore everything that I previously said about the RMA basement: my favorite location choice of the night was having the Drum Line play in the library.

Absolutely hilarious. Well done, tech crew, you outdid yourselves with that one. 

Elizabeth Lyon and Katherine Li tackled opera for the last time, and they did it ever so eloquently in the Senior Star. Mozart’s “Sehnsucht nach dem Fruhling” sits quite nicely in Lyon’s vocal register, and I can guarantee you that’s a sentence I’ve never written before. 

Perhaps my favorite performance of the evening was given by the newly reinvented Looking for Jane. Performing in the absence of alum Martha Clifford, the band underwent a change in both appearance and style; nevertheless, Kay Clifford remains an absolute powerhouse of a vocalist. Though I never would have taken her for a Chris Stapelton fan, “Cold” was hauntingly beautiful in a way that completely tops last year’s cover of Tori Kelly’s “Language.”

The LFHS Dance Team, fresh off a 1st place win at sectionals, presented a skillful routine to Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way.” The second group to perform in the commons, the team looked stunning in their burgundy leotards as they left across the open space. 

Who hurt Janel Sharman? In the wake of the “Driver’s License” drama, her original anti-love song “Part of Me” had me believing that the young talent was #TeamOlivia the whole time. Surrounded by fairy lights and the warm fireplace of the HRC, Sharman amazed me with her musicality and charm.

Demiromantic, who covered The Strokes’ “Last Nite” in 2020, rocked the library with “Sports” by Beach Bunny. These girls’ performances, along with their individual fashion choices, never fail to dazzle me. If anyone was wondering, Sheila Falls’ top was from Urban Outfitters—I only know that because I added it to my cart after their performance.

Seniors Yana Savitsky and Cole Joseph filming an emcee skit in Market Square.

Among all of Joseph and Docherty’s emcee bits, their ambitious parody of Billy Eichner’s Billy on the Street was certainly the most side-splitting. The hazmat suits, sunglasses, and surgical masks really complimented the hectic nature of the bit, leaving us not only asking ourselves “what the hell are they wearing?” but pondering more abstract queries like “why is Iowa?”

In their second performance, F.L.A.M.E tackled Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy”. Casey Hippel danced to the beat with ease—and tape on the sides of his mask. Apparently, the band’s lead singer was “going so hard, his mask kept falling below his nose” according to an undisclosed source.

Pit Band led a touching rendition of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” for the show’s finale. Though the musicians were right on par, the most heartwarming moment of the night was the montage set to the “nah nah nah”s; committee members, tech crew, New Media, and directors alike all joined together in singing the feel-good melody.

And finally, what would be an LFHS Talent Show without confetti? Joseph and Docherty were lucky enough to launch the cannons this year, but unfortunately for the tech crew, they had to stick around and sweep it up. 

My only grievance with this show? Cut the tech crew a break!

They, along with the rest of the Talent Show team, deserve one now more than ever.

Liked what you heard? Listen again!