BroPoc wins the game at Mock Rock 2014
Junior Brad Winsbury as Luigi and Sam Becker-Miyadai as Mario jump for joy with Zach Arnold during the BroPoc performance. BroPoc won first place at Mock Rock with their video game-themed dance. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES
Amid the sea of Disney characters, exotic destinations and pop culture references galore, Mario Bros.-themed BroPoc rose above the rest to win the road trip-themed Mock Rock 2014. The team previously clinched the competition in 2011, the year after its formation.
Junior communication studies major Julie Ploehn and sophomore human biology major Aaron Barrett, BroPoc’s team leaders, said they have been rehearsing since February but spawned the idea in September.
“I was at the [Los Angeles] County Fair with a friend seeing a Demi Lovato concert, and I kept hearing the ringing noises, and I turned to her and said, ‘Wouldn’t a Mario theme be so fun for a Mock Rock?’” Ploehn said.
Ironically, Ploehn has never played a Mario Bros. game. Barrett coached her through the act’s creation, explaining Nintendo references along the way.
GAME TIME FOR BROPOC
BroPoc’s performance was divided up into various scenes featuring Nintendo characters Mario and Luigi moving their way through levels like a video game. One memorable moment was a nod to Mario Kart in which two dancers raced around the stage in cardboard cars to the song “Greased Lightnin’” from the 1978 movie “Grease.”
Cameron Henry, junior political science major and a member of the winning team, said he felt like months of hard work just paid off.
“It was totally worth all the long nights staying up until 2 a.m. dancing in a parking lot,” he said.
Third-placer Imagineers’ skit was almost entirely devoted to Disney movies. Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse and Hercules all made appearances, in addition to a group dance number featuring the giant claw from “Toy Story.”
Second place went to it’s chill., a group paying double homage to “Frozen” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Olympic snowboarder Shaun White was parodied, as well as Mr. Tumnus and all four “Frozen” leads.
Other competitors included Men of Honor in a spoof of “Anchorman,” featuring a showdown between the fictional Channel 7 news team and the staff of the satirircal Biola news website, the Bells. Also performing was TooPoc with an around-the-world theme and various ethnic songs, as well as SOS and the caper of the missing “Jesus Saves” sign.
Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES
The six teams — down from last year’s eight — performed in front of four judges. The panel included alumna Julia Bates, professor Matthew Weathers, director of spiritual formation Chad Miller, and Campus Safety chief John Ojeisekhoba. The event was hosted by business major Devon Maslyn and cinema and media arts major Jordan McKinney.
The two emcees even put on a short Mock Rock skit of their own, a musical tribute to the 1990s. Hits like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” were choreographed in stereotypical ‘90s wear. In a particularly riveting moment, Maslyn lifted McKinney into the air à la “Dirty Dancing,” earning them both a standing ovation.
Students waited in line for hours to get prime seating for Mock Rock. Campus Safety allowed students to camp out overnight this year, whereas last year they were asked to leave.
Trevor Glenn, a junior international business major, arrived at 11:30 p.m. Thursday night and slept in front of the door overnight. He brought a sleeping bag and played Nertz with friends to pass the time.
“It’s been really fun, we just laid out our stuff, hung out and talked,” he said.
Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES
FEWER ATTENDEES, MORE SEATS
Associated Students social events coordinator Amanda Clarke oversaw the production of Mock Rock with a staff of five students, 15 AS coordinators, senators and executive board members.
“I feel great, it went really well. The students enjoyed it, the lighting was phenomenal this year, the acts brought it, the competition was great, and the judges were awesome,” Clarke said.
This is the first year the competition has included feedback from the judges, according to Clarke.
“We wanted to choose people who were well-known on campus and have them interact with the hosts. I think it went really well, it added a lot to the show,” she said.
In the past, Chase Gymnasium has been crowded to standing room only. But this year saw many empty rows.
“Last year, it was so packed, maybe people decided not come,” Clarke said. “It made the environment more comfortable.”