By Choyang Ponsar,
The latest installment of the annual DHS Factor was held on Friday, Nov. 19, showcasing a variety of talented Davis High students to a nearly full house at the Brunelle Theater.
Seniors Arzoo Manandhar and Matteo Sorrentino were the MCs of the night, introducing each act and giving small anecdotes about the next performers before they entered the stage.
Douglas Wright, who teaches art history and ceramics, and Caroline Brooks, who teaches English, were the designated judges. Between acts, Wright would occasionally stand up from his seat and throw candy into the crowd, garnering a loud cheer from the audience.
To kick off the night, seniors Rebecca Chang and Jeanne Kim, along with Chang’s two younger brothers, played “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift. Chang played the electric guitar and Jeanne Kim played the acoustic guitar.
Sisters Sammie and Gigi Griffiths sang “Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying” by Sammie Carpenter. Wright said after their performance that they sang with a great deal of honesty while joking that he had “a better chance of performing heart surgery than singing like that.”
Juniors Ethan Tran and Rachel Trauner followed. The MCs joked before their performance that Tran’s goal was to defy all stereotypes and panhandle on the streets of Chicago. Tran accompanied Trauner’s performance of “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera with a self-composed arrangement.
Next came senior Angelique Ballard– who, according to the MCs,is rumored to related to Beyonce– performing “Alone” by Hollyn. Ballard had an impressive stage presence, strutting across the stage.
To liven the performance, junior Yuliya Monastyska threw Ballard a red baseball cap halfway through the act. Ballard put the on cap and began to rap.
Juniors Lauren Giovannetti and Savannah Whitehead then mellowed out the crowd with their rendition of the folk rock song “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks. Wright complimented the pair, saying that if he was their father and he had heard them sing, he would never have a dry eye. Later, they would receive a second place finish.
The audience also cheered on the funk band “Bassline of Functionality” and clapped to the chorus of Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” which was performed by sophomore Aily O’Hara.
The fan favorite group “All the Colors of the Rainbow,” performed a rendition of the 2010 Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith song “Never Say Never.” They sang in turns whilst reading lyrics from their phones, riling up the crowd.
Junior Alyssa Singh was the sole dancer of the night. She performed a dizzying routine packed with pirouettes to “Got It” by Marian Hill. Tina Zheng simultaneously played the piano and sang to a mashup of Taylor Swift’s “Innocence” and “Wildest Dreams.”
The real showstopper of DHS factor was first-place finisher and Missouri State YoYo Champion sophomore Robin Stricklin. The crowd went wild watching Stricklin’s unexpected YoYo routine and he was given an enthusiastic standing ovation immediately after the end of his act.
Afterwards, another band performed — Chelsea Drug Store. The band formed just three weeks before DHS Factor and was made up of members juniors Bernardo Verdiguel, Mattias Apse, Sam Amezcua and Eva Apse. They played “Someday” by the band The Strokes.
The last official act of the night was seniors Tucker Fisk and Liam Condon. They entered the stage with style; they were wearing reflective sunglasses with a fedora and a newsboy hat, respectively. Their rendition of “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers, with their Ukuleles helped calm the atmosphere of the crowd, making a smooth transition into intermission.
There were some surprise performances after intermission (when students were allowed to vote for the winners) from the alumni band The Five Thirty and last year’s DHS Factor first-place winner junior Abhi Vemulapati, who performed John Legend’s “You and I” while students created an ocean of phone lights, waving them side-to-side as he sang.
At the end, all acts were lined up on stage for a final round of applause. A single bouquet of flowers was given to the Stricklin, the first place winner.