By: Sophia Aigner
Music, language and dance are only some of the ingredients that meld together East Greenwich High School’s International Idol. When peering closer, the annual endeavor becomes a celebration of talent and an ode to culture itself. After a year without the show’s production in 2017, the language classes have twice reunited since to bring on some of the most coordinated and superb performances our High School has witnessed. This year, International Idol was certainly an enjoyment; from pool parties to gladiator fights (and even a few technical difficulties!), the show had it all.
The show’s opening brought the first unexpected surprise; as the lights dimmed throughout the auditorium, host Wyatt DePriest echoed over the intercom, giving his best imitation of an airplane pilot. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your international flight. Remember to keep your feet away from the aisles, and please, no flash photography,” he rang out. Of course, the audience found it difficult to not to let out a laugh. Creatively fitting for International Idol, DePriest, as well as his fellow hosts, Petranea Smith and Emma Tedeschi continued to fill the show’s introduction with more travel and airplane humor. Throughout the night, the three seniors captured the audience with games, jokes, poise, and enthusiasm, and they even joined in on a few performances themselves.
Whether it was Latin, French or Spanish, each performance of International Idol left the audience wanting more. Madame Verone’s French students, the reigning champs of last year’s competition, did not disappoint. A myriad of Verone’s classes performed throughout the evening, but my favorite was French 5’s take on “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” With the help of clever props and excellent choreography, Verone’s class brilliantly poked fun at the realities of failed romance. Not to mention that Madame Verone and junior, Josh Peterutti’s lead performances enveloped the audience in laughter.
The audience applauded just as loudly for Spanish 4’s “Vente Pa’ca.” Right from the beginning, everyone was captured by Mason Minghella’s boybandish dance moves and Hawaiian outfit. In my opinion, the pinnacle of the entire performance was Señorita O’day’s surprise appearance. O’day strutted to the microphone with junior, Skylar Sullivan, and blew the audience away with her incredible voice. “I was shocked to see Señorita up there. She’s very sophisticated in class, so it was amazing to see another side of her,” commented an anonymous audience member. “Everyone loved her.”
Of course, the Latin Department also shined with its original translation of “Sweet Victory” (Dulcis Victoria). For many students, the familiar Spongebob tune brought them back to their childhood days. As Mr. Revkin’s Latin 4 class took to the stage, students Molly Morvillo, Josh Land, Anna Gertsecov and others elevated the excitement as they drew their gladiator swords. For the remainder of the performance, a “glorious” battle ensued—students dropped like flies, one by one. Lo and behold, emerging from the curtains, Mr. Revkin—toga, laurel wreath and all—finished off the battle once and for all. “Et tu, Brute?” he yelled, shaking his fist through the air (I’m sure Shakespeare fans appreciated that one!). With that, the lights faded to black and the audience gazed with amazement.
As the night came to a close, everyone huddled with their classes. Were they nervous? Excited? Surprised? Well, perhaps it’s possible that all were true. As the audience clung to their seats, the judges, Mr. Eagan, Mr. Martasian, Mrs. Reback, Mrs. Steever, and Mrs. Cassanova all murmured about the performances. What were they saying? Believe me, everyone wanted to know. Finally, in the midst conversations and whispers, Wyatt DePriest held the winning card in his hand. “And the winner of this year’s international idol is…La Maldita Costumbre!” In reality, DePriest couldn’t even get the entire words out before Señora Ponterelli’s AP Spanish class rejoiced in a frenzy. Despite the loss for the rest of the contestants, everyone gave a hand to the winning class.
“La Maldita Costumbre” was certainly deserving of the title award. From the advanced chachas to the massive class size, choreographer, Sabrina Neimark is more than entitled to all the praise. In a conversation about the matter, Neimark commented, “it was so rewarding to hear that we had gotten first place, especially since we all worked so hard to put this dance together.” She closed off the interview with these wise thoughts: “Everyone puts in hard work to try and learn about their language and its respective culture, so international idol is a great opportunity for that to be celebrated. International idol is an important celebration of not only culture, but also our school’s hard work!”
With all said and done, 2019’s international idol was definitely my favorite yet. Although historically, the show was shorter than it was in previous years, the minimalism made it all the more full. With all the creative bouts of humor, dance and song, the night paid wonderful homage to the beauty of language and the hard work of the school’s administration. I can hardly wait to see what next year brings so another song as catchy as “El Chico del Apartemente 512” can get stuck in my head!