Archbishop Murphy High School’s Gong Show goes virtual

  • Written by Nathan Whalen
  • Published in Local
Annika Erickson’s performance of the operatic song “Glitter and Be Gay” from the musical Candide won third place in Archbishop Murphy High School’s Virtual Gong Show. Erickson is a senior at the Everett school. Photo: Archbishop Murphy High School YouTube Annika Erickson’s performance of the operatic song “Glitter and Be Gay” from the musical Candide won third place in Archbishop Murphy High School’s Virtual Gong Show. Erickson is a senior at the Everett school. Photo: Archbishop Murphy High School YouTube

EVERETTDespite COVID-19 closures, the show did go on for students at Archbishop Murphy High School.

Students at the Everett school organized a virtual talent show to take the place of their usual in-school Gong Show competition (where a gong is used as comic relief during goofy acts or bad jokes by the emcee). Classmates created videos of their talents and posted them on a special YouTube channel in April.

“In times of anxiety, it’s entertainers that bring us all together and give us hope,” said senior Rachel Williams, a member of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Woodinville. She sang “Today,” by Randy Sparks, in front of her bedroom window.

“It’s a great reminder for us [that] there is great beauty around us right now,” Williams said of her song selection.

The show was a community-builder for the school, explained Carrie Wright, head of the school’s fine arts department. Eighteen groups or individuals participated, posting everything from singing and dancing, to dog tricks, to a student summiting Mount Baker. Each member of Archbishop Murphy’s honor choir, the Choral-Aires, participated as a class project, and a group of alumni who work at the school, who call themselves the Backstreet Cats, lip-synched “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys.

Sophomore Mikey Wright’s a cappella, triple-screen performance of “Beautiful Girl/Stand by Me” was named the winner in Archbishop Murphy High School’s Virtual Gong Show on April 22. Photo: Archbishop Murphy High School YouTube

Classmates and parents voted on the entries via online ballot, choosing sophomore Mikey Wright’s a cappella, triple-screen performance of “Beautiful Girl/Stand by Me” as the winner.

“It was fun to pass the time during quarantine,” Wright said of his contribution to the competition. Winners were announced April 22.

Second place went to sophomore Eric Yarnot for his skit “Cabin Boy!”  while senior Annika Erickson won third place for her performance of the operatic song “Glitter and Be Gay” from the musical Candide.

Erickson, who is planning to study musical theater at Indiana’s Ball State University this fall, said it required several takes over 45 minutes before she was satisfied with the result.

“I was sweating by the end of each take,” Erickson said.

With special spring music performances canceled because of the coronavirus closures, “it was really interesting and really cool we got to do this,” she said.

Watch all the entries in Archbishop Murphy High School’s Virtual Gong Show.