The Greatest Showman lip sync battle for literacy

Reading Time: 3 minutes

UVUSA, United Way and other UVU volunteers held a lip sync battle for literacy March 14 in the UVU grand ballroom. Focusing less on theme and more on awareness and charity, this event’s main goal was to raise money for children’s book and teachers all across Utah. This is the third year this event has been put on and the first with cash prizes.

“It turned out, honestly, much better than I thought it would be,” said Josh Otterson, the event organizer.

From starting 20 minutes late, to having no physical information on United Way, it was a little disorganized and unprofessional. Otterson and the volunteers did the best they could with some performers backing out a few days before as well, but they made a total of $336.50.

“We had a bigger goal, but we are grateful for what we were able to raise for United Way,” Otterson said.

According to,“$1 donated to Project Read results in about a $3 return to the county.”

Project Read is the section of United Way that aims to improve literacy in students and children and is where the proceeds will go.

The winners of the lip sync battle, a four-woman group called Except for Us, received a $75 cash reward and UVU apparel. Though not truly dazzling with their performance, the outfits, coordination and routine were a true ode to the late Disney star persona Hannah Montana with “Nobody’s Perfect.” The people’s choice was a four-man group called the Testostertones winning $25 each and apparel with their break dance and pop flair choice “Kiss You” by One Direction.

“We really enjoyed it; we did it last year, and I was like we gotta be two-time champs,” said Ellie Robinson, a winner from the Lip sync battle this year and 2017.

The five groups mainly did dance routines. All were impressive but rather uninspiring. With most groups missing ques or starting to early, this looked more like a very low budget music video.

#gettingmarried was one of those performances with only one of the two actually lip syncing. Their dance routine made up for it with flawless timing and fluid movement. One could see the effort put in and love and care this couple had for each other.

When first entering this event, one would think the theme was based on the movie The Greatest Showman, but only two of the five groups sung anything from it. The groups that stuck to it were  The Circus with their song choice “The Greatest Show” and #gettingmarried’s performance of  “Rewrite the Stars”.

“I thought it was fantastic and all the performers put their hard work in. It really showed,” kinesiology major Sarah Buckley said.

After every performance Mr. and Miss UVU, Parker Olson and Natalie Jaco, would give information on how literacy can benefit children. This made up somewhat for the lack of physical information. Some of the info given referred to the lack of books in children’s home could drop them two years behind their reading level.

“One in five third graders in Utah are not reading at grade level, which is pretty sad,” said Olson.