Sam’s jams their way to the golden guitar
Students filled Coray Gym on Saturday, Feb. 11, for Air Jam, Wheaton’s annual lip-sync competition. Although the 8:00 show was less crowded, students began lining up as early as 8:30 to buy tickets for the 10:00 performance in hopes of getting a good seat.
College Union (CU) hosted the event and opened the show with a mashup of songs including “Lip Gloss,” “What Makes You Beautiful,” and “Breaking Free,” culminating in “La La Land”’s “Another Day of Sun,” when all the performers came into the aisles to reenact the opening scene of the movie.
CU’s Abbey Fuster, PR manager, and Jake Krogh, event coordinator, hosted the event, cracking jokes and playfully teasing participants between acts. Sketches included an appearance by Fuster’s mother posing as “Future Abbey” and a slideshow of the theatrical facial expressions of Jenny Ruda, a Deke coordinator who has participated in Air Jam multiple times.
According to Fuster, although she and Krogh brainstormed ideas before the event, much of what they said was improvised. “We really didn’t have anything written out — we both came up with the idea of bringing out my mom and asked her to come on stage just 2 minutes before the first show,” she said. Although this was partially due to their adaptability, Fuster also said that they didn’t want to put too much emphasis on the hosts because the night was really about the participants.
Krogh agreed, saying that “the night is really all about the acts; they’re the ones who put in the hard work to make the show amazing, so hosting Air Jam felt more like getting to celebrate them.”
The winning act was a dance by Sam’s Cafe employees, a mashup of “My House,” “Work,” “Buy You a Drink,” “Starving,” “Teach Me How to Dougie” and “Love on Top.” The dance displayed a typical work day at Sam’s, including the pre-chapel coffee rush and long afternoon ice cream lines. The performance also included a surprise appearance at the end by Bon Appétit’s Lead Retail Supervisor, Andrew Boston, who came on to reprimand the employees for dancing, then joined in for the final song, “Love on Top.”
“It was a lot of fun being onstage, and I was amazed at how excited everyone got,” Boston said. “I’m really proud of my crew and all the work they put into making it happen. They put on a great show!”
Other acts included the Diakonoi, or “Dekes,” Wheaton’s Swing Club, several groups of RAs, the 2017 Orientation Committee, Phonathon and some independent groups, including a large group of senior girls — a long standing Air Jam tradition.
“It felt like a dream,” said junior Sarah Carlson, a Sam’s barista. “Until we performed at the 8 o’clock show, I didn’t know if we were actually going to have a shot at winning. Once I heard that crowd, though, I knew we had come up with something memorable, and that the 10 o’clock show was going to be absolutely insane.”