Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground: Dartmouth's Own Shipoopi!

by Reese Ramponi and Jay Webster | 11/17/11 11:00pm

Step aside, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner '83 Dartmouth has found its newest celebrity contingent.

Each week, hundreds of fans cheer loudly, overcome with glee. Colorfully clad college students sing in absolute perfect harmony. Three celebrated, equally qualified musicians oversee a thrilling, fierce competition, ramping up to select the deserving victor among 16 ensembles. And all Dartmouth students, alumni, faculty, staff and enthusiasts have finally found the one thing to rally around. No, it's not Occupy Dartmouth. Something from the Big Green has swept national TV, reminding us all that a cappella isn't just for freshmen anymore.

The group has been noted for its teamwork and equal exposure throughout its time on the show. Matt '12 has taken more solos than others, but almost certainly of the group's collective volition. In one soul-stirring, shocking instance during the group's medley of Queen and whatever other hits have recently been featured on "Glee," Matt quite literally dropped to his knees as he wailed on a high B for 25 seconds. The many shrieking pre-tween girls in the audience begged for more Matt, absolutely losing it, all the while knowing that the group's successes mirror such other important global and historical wins as the European Revolutions of 1848.

"I just want to marry Matt is that really so wrong?" one female audience member, who asked to remain anonymous due to the severity of her psychosis, said in an interview with The Mirror. "He could literally do anything and I would probably tweet about it. I even made a Facebook page for him, but his lawyers asked me to take it down. Bummer."

Throughout the season, the group has donned a number of quirky, spontaneous, colorful and fun costumes, including spot-on allusions to the Wild West, an homage to the streets of New York City and what appeared to be dinner jackets embroidered with gold lame and possibly toddlers' bibs.

In one daring yet necessary maneuver, Clint '13 performed an impeccably timed high kick, bringing the group's overall high kick tally to nine.

Clint is a member of The Dartmouth Mirror Staff.

After each performance, the three judges offer relevant and specific feedback and commentary on the group's performances.

"I really liked that part when you sang!" remarked one judge whose musical style resembles that of virtually any female singer-songwriter with emotions.

"The part when you danced was also spectacular. You're all just so cute!" the bubbly and over-enthused judge said, popping an Adderall and hitting on various members of the group.

Other judges regularly offered similarly helpful commentary over the past few weeks.

"Yo dudes, you were using harmonies, you were dressed in costumes literally just the best," one said, relying on years of musical experience to formulate his musical critique. "You are definitely, 100 percent, no doubt in my mind, an cappella group."

In a tragic twist, however, group member John '10 sadly departed from the show early, not fully understanding where his priorities should lie as he went off to graduate school to study linguistics.

"Wait, which one is John again?" musical director Ric '12 asked upon learning of his departure.

On the home front, Dartmouth students echo the audience's fervor. Many students wish they could just be Matt, but others simply idolize him.

The singers were unable to attend a cappella auditions this Fall due to their time on the singing competition, which created an interesting dynamic for other Dartmouth groups.

"Auditions were very interesting this year, since our group isn't on national TV and all," Lucas '13, a member of a co-ed group, said regarding new member recruitment. "But we're definitely not mad! We're super happy for them! We love the diverse membership of our babies!"

Last week's episode finished as the fourth most-watched show on American television in its specific timeslot, according to a nationally respected television survey. The show was barely beaten out by such greats as Fox's "Terra Nova," but luckily it edged out The CW's smash hit "Hart of Dixie." The Dartmouth singers attracted four million viewers, just barely trailing the similarly themed "Dancing with the Stars," which was viewed by a paltry 18 million viewers, according to the survey.

Additionally, some of the group's live television tunes surpassed number 120 on the top downloaded hits on iTunes, beating out the classic country jam "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" by Jake Owen, the celebrated clean version of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" and recently released "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio.

Much to the disappointment of the group's new singers, who are all members of the Class of 2015, only members who participated over the summer would be eligible to participate in the live finale in December. Many new members interviewed by The Mirror regarded their exclusion as "a shame," as the new members provide tremendous variety in their looks, racial compositions, heights and regions of origin.

Will the group which is rivaled in significance only by Dartmouth's hilarious and equivalently facetimey Cat Night Players make it to the finals? Only time will tell. Whether or not they'll be going is one of the best-kept campus secrets!

"I can't wait to see whether or not they're in the live final episodes in December," Emily '12 said. "It's going to be an absolute shock no one has said anything regarding the group's successes. The guys are so tight-lipped, almost as tight as their perfect harmonies, or as tight as Clint's pants."