The Winners of Our Fifth Annual Review Contest for High Schoolers

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The Winners of Our Fifth Annual Review Contest for High Schoolers

Her powerhouse pipes were on full display with the title track of her album, “Cuz I Love You.” She held nothing back, and her voice was just as powerful, if not more so than on her studio tracks, and while she belted perfect high notes, she danced. And it wasn’t merely a little toe tapping along to the beat; she danced. Accompanied by her crew, The Big Girls, they rocked the stage, jumping, clapping, and twerking in perfect unison. None of the women onstage that night, including Lizzo herself, were society’s picture of a dancer or performer. They were full-figured, wearing high-cut metallic leotards, with close-cropped hair or swinging dreadlocks, and almost all of them were black. Therein lies the power of Lizzo’s music; it is a place for people of all colors, creeds, and backgrounds to come together and celebrate self-acceptance and positivity.

The crowd, of all ages and races, unequivocally reflected these ideas, and their energy nearly exceeded that of the performers. The cheering was deafening — even louder than the music — yet respectful at the same time. The audience hushed immediately when The Big Girls carried several tiny puppies (with cotton-stuffed ears) onstage to promote a local animal rescue, then screamed in excitement when Lizzo whipped out her flute to play a quick interlude and lead-in to her hit “Juice.”

Although the show was sweet, it was never syrupy. The bombastic hits and slow-rolling ballads were underscored with the knowledge that what was happening onstage was truly unique. It was a celebration of empowerment and self-acceptance by often-marginalized people: the taking back of power stripped away long ago. That night, Lizzo was the preacher at a church of joy and self-love. The central commandment: “If you can love my fat black ass, you can love your goddamn self.”

“Garfield Eats — You Shouldn’t” by Ruby Spaloss

Garfield — a beloved childhood character; Garfield Eats — an abomination. “Garfield Eats” is a Garfield-themed restaurant obsessed with perfecting their marketing strategy, and clearly nothing else. With a haunting slogan like, “Love me, feed me, don’t leave me,” I often wonder how they managed to find a phrase so efficient at turning away customers before they even walk through the doors.

The awkward, cringe-inducing titles don’t end there, though. “The Garfachino,” one of their main menu items, is watery and bright orange, and looks about as artificial as spray cheese. The flavor was so boring and bland, it almost made me wish it was spray cheese. Their meals are arguably worse, titled “KIDult” meals for the millennials who have yet to accept that they are not quirky teenagers.

These meals include the “Garnivore” pizza and the famous lasagna. The “Garnivore” pizzas are shaped like faceless Garfield heads that would give any child nightmares. The crust seems two inches thick and was so dry, I felt like I was taking a bite of a cracker with a little sauce sparingly thrown on top. The pizza sauce is also neon orange, despite one of Garfield Eats’ many marketing strategies being proudly boasting the restaurant’s “healthy” and “all natural” ingredients.

And of course, the famous lasagna that Garfield is known for; Garfield Eat’s lasagna tastes exactly how you would expect fast food lasagna to taste: disgraceful. It tastes obviously nuked in a novelty box that is clearly the only attraction to the restaurant in the first place. The flimsy cardboard box features one comic strip to keep you entertained throughout your entire meal. You may think one comic strip isn’t enough to last you the whole time, but it only takes ten seconds to realize the food is not worth eating.