Written by: Shao Yu Jin
Edited by: Gerald Lim
Very rarely do you wear a rather nice shirt and expensive jeans and find yourself thinking, God I look stupid and out of place. Formal Hall Dinner II was such an occasion. When you slap the word “Animations” across the dining hall, full-body paint, outrageous hairdos and funny overalls become the norm, and folks who hadn’t bothered to find a costume feel they didn’t belong.
The writer stumbled into the JCRC room at 6.30pm, looking to discuss some serious CCA business. As the door was nudged open, some faces looked in the door’s direction with much curiosity. But those weren’t the faces of our beloved JCRC. Two were red, two were purple, some yellow, some green, and one who used to be Mr President was now a clown that promised to give children endless nightmares. I explained to Inside Out’s emotions that I was looking for the finance director. Who wasn’t there. Instead what came out was a crimson creature with fiery orange hair. I dared not speak of the Office of Financial Matters and CCA budgeting to His Angriness, so I left the clown and the emotions be, retreated to a corner sofa, and started people watching.
What came next was a swarm of green. A gang of four or five made their entrance in the hallway, sporting bandanas of red, blue, purple and orange. And behold, their mostly green bodies were enwrapped by cardboard, with hand-drawn pecs, abs and nipples on one side, and an attempt at turtle shells on the other. If it wasn’t the TMNTs! The Twenty-something Moneyless Ninja Turtles. Leonardo was apparently our photographer of the night.
As No Face, Mario, the Suicide Squad, another Suicide Squad, Ash sans Pikachu, some more Ninja Turtles, and some Jack-o’-lanterns arrived, the event was finally set to start.
The animated theme seeped through the entire evening. Not just the costume and the elaborate makeup, but also the decorations, the photo booth, the comics on the white board, and most notably, the menu. Normally, we would consume the food like popcorn at a movie while watching whatever is happening on stage without giving it any more thought. On this night, the food had finally gotten our attention, by having cute, cuddly, famous names of beloved childhood characters. Fitting, with an air of noir. Thanks to the creative, twisted minds of a certain Mr Louis and Ms Shalom. Squidward wasn’t in any way far-fetched, but I never thought I’d hear anyone say “I want more Nemo” or “Donald Duck isn’t crispy at all” across the table. Or that I’d be putting Ponyo Ponyo in my mouth. Regardless of what names the food took, though, the deliciousness of Nemo and Co. did give us a shining ray of hope that one day, regular hall dinner could also be like this.
Amidst the dinner table conversations, KE Band and KEnsemble came with some Disney-heavy performances, interlaced with Justin Bieber, because why not. Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight was especially memorable, as Olaf’s wonderful vocals and Edgarton’s beautiful harmony instantly took us back to the days of youth and naïveté.
Though slightly not in tune with the night’s theme, the highlight was still undoubtedly the pageant. We were to witness the abdication of the old and the crowning of the new Hall Queen and King. Quite why this supposedly glamorous event took place in dining hall on a Monday night I shall not ponder, but the contestants, now with dazzling makeup and shining outfits and nigh unrecognisable, more than make up for the mundanity of the locale. Each pair devised unique ways to best showcase their many talents, and, more importantly, their fabulous faces. Some chose the traditional way of singing, with Hayden’s All of Me capturing the heart of just about every girl at my table, much to the guys’ displeasure; some went with a lip sync battle, which wasn’t going to disappoint; and there was the duo of Jimmy and Xin Tong, who blew us away dancing to PSY’s new track Daddy. To no one’s surprise, the dancing duo were now our new King and Queen, possibly the most hip-hop royalty the hall has ever seen.
The evening concluded to the usual photo-taking session, no surprises there. However, many, many things that took place and the face paint that was used tonight were definitely a sight to remember.