On Saturday, May 18, a beloved Baylor tradition was held once again on Court A as students gathered to watch peers perform in the Red and Gray Talent and International Lampoon Show, more colloquially known as R.A.G.T.A.I.L.S.
Created as an opportunity for a diverse group of students to showcase their many musical talents, this year's line-up included an inspiring group of freshmen who performed early on in the night, promising talent for R.A.G.T.A.I.L.S. to come. Ezra Miller '22 opened the show with some Green Day and Tom Petty while accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar. Kara Anne Smith and Ibi Esho sang another acoustic set. It was an inspiring moment to see such strong freshman representation. Another standout duo was Erin Kanavos and Priya Bhushan, whose rendition of Taylor Swift’s “White Horse” and “Beautiful” by Bazzi were noticeably crowd favorites.
A frequenter of the Baylor stage, Jonyca Jiao '19 utilized her powerful vocals for a number of songs. She first sang a duet “Shallow” with Jacky Li '19, which was not the first appearance of that song, nor the only song from the hit movie “A Star is Born.” Jiao then brought out Barry Yang '21 to accompany her on the violin as she moved another Lady Gaga hit. Yang demonstrated his talent at the instrument, showing the full range of musical talent that can be seen at R.A.G.T.A.I.L.S. She had Klaus Li '21 come out to rap the Nicki Minaj verse on her energetically choreographed rendition of “Bang Bang.” Jiao finished on a sentimental note, as it was her last performance at Baylor, with a powerhouse rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
The show’s mood mellowed out some after Jiao’s performance, with more acoustic performances. Performers like Grace Bostock ‘20 and Zach Taylor '20 sang songs from a range of genres, emphasizing the diversity in students who perform at Ragtails. Charlie Hooks ‘20 and Seth Johnson ‘20 sang a beautiful duet of Gloria by the Lumineers. Johnson was one of the hosts, along with Sam Lustig ‘20, who became more increasingly disheveled as the night went on. The hosts added a good bit of fun to the show. There was a “comic relief” song mid-show performed by Johnson, Baird Thoni ‘19 and Alex Robinson ‘19, and Lustig and Johnson told jokes between sets with surprising chemistry.
Emma Bayer pulled girls up on stage for her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” getting the audience more energetic midway through what was shaping up to be a very long show. Emma Sofia Griffin ‘21, Kate Padilla ‘19 and Peyton Randolph ‘19 were three first-time performers. Padilla said about performing “R.A.G.T.A.I.L.S. was something I never thought I would do in all my years at Baylor. Last minute I decided to sign up with two of my friends who had also never performed in R.A.G.T.A.I.L.S., and it was nerve wracking, but so rewarding.
The long night finished with the Chillbillies, who performed their take on “Take On Me” by a-Ha and “Our Song” by Taylor Swift. They were an audience favorite, and everyone cheered for Skylar Brown ‘20 (vocals), Dillan Desai ‘19 (piano/violin), Charlie Hooks ‘20 (vocals/guitar), Alex Robinson ‘19 (bass), and Zach Taylor ‘19 (vocals/banjo). They were an energetic end to the show, and a sweet one, as it was the band’s last performance together.
Overall, the night was a success with many students displaying considerable talent. The audience danced and sang along, the majority sticking it out till the end. Ethan Bixler ‘20 said “I thought everyone did a good job. I ate some nuggets and had a good time.”