NCDC semifinals bring the heat amidst cold weather

Danielle Schultz—Staff Writer 

The sudden drop in November temperatures ushered Dordt and Northwestern students alike into the B.J. Haan Auditorium Saturday Night for the 2018-2019 NCDC Semifinals, where six groups from both Dordt and Northwestern would compete to move on to the NCDC Finals.  

Students were greeted by colorful strobe lights, lighted balloons and loud music as they entered the chapel. A variety of instruments stood waiting on the otherwise empty stage in anticipation for the live music, and neon purple and teal lights backlit the NCDC letters. To complete the look, more small lights hung from the ceiling above the stage, along with a spinning, silver disco ball.  

“These light bulbs and decorations make me excited,” Dordt exchange student Yuji Seo said. 

The judges’ chairs at the front of the chapel sat empty as Northwestern students seamlessly mixed with Dordt students in the pews. Apart from some people sporting red or gold gear for their respective schools, it was impossible to distinguish the students from one another.    

The dull roar of the crowd quieted as the introduction video started, starring emcees Blake Herrema and Ben Tiemersma as they tried to come up with good ideas on how to make a grand entrance. Herrema and Tiemersma had been asked by Derek Buteyn to host NCDC, and since they had contemplated co-hosting in the past, it had been an easy decision for them.  

“Regarding the show, everything went by in a blur. The crowd had a ton of energy and most of our questions came off better than we were hoping,” Herrema said. 

Dordt freshman Noah Deist kicked the night off with a live-looping of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” which he believed would set him apart from the other contestants in a way different from singing. 

“I just picked a song I knew a lot of people would know and that I could jam to,” Deist said. 

After each performance, the two judges gave their opinions, with a few critiques here and there, but not nearly as many as last year’s judges gave.  

“The judging left some to be desired,” Dordt sophomore Brianna Schueller said. “There was very little critique of anything.” 

As the night continued, notable Northwestern acts included Eda Celina’s heartfelt worship song that effortlessly interwove both Spanish and English lyrics, the Red Hot Chilean Peppers’ jam, and Peter Hollinger’s own original song that dealt with body image. 

“I loved the variety of musical genres that were there,” said Dordt junior Julius Mwale. 

Dordt senior Becca Groninga grabbed the audience’s attention when she dropped some truth as Rezin in an original rap she had been working on since before freshmen year.  

“I was inspired to write this song while thinking about how Christians are stuck between two worlds,” Groninga said. “We want to be happy and live comfortably in the world, but we are also called to be different.” 

Other Dordt favorites were Mad and Big’s soulful rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Father” and Ella and Ellie’s captivating performance. The band that won the biggest audience approval, though, seemed to be Dordt’s Gopher Broke with their rock n’ roll performance. 

The last Dordt act to take the stage for the night was senior Ray Badudu singing Coldplay’s “Fix You.” While he missed his band that had won the NCDC Finals last year, Black and Yellow, he also admitted that it was nice to sing acoustically for a change. 

“I decided to do it for sentimental value,” Badudu said. “I lead worship often, but I don’t get to perform much. So I thought that this would be a sweet addition to my senior year of ‘lasts.’” 

Overall, the NCDC Semifinals were a success, with little to no technical difficulties, a variety of music and a program that lasted less than three hours. Voting closed Wednesday at midnight. Be sure to come to the NCDC Finals at Northwestern on November 17 to find out the winner for this year’s contest.

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