It’s a battle to top of the pops in race for CUSU president

The candidates have escalated the competition to music videos. Who’s got their finger on the pop cultural pulse?

Catherine Lally Follow Catherine Lally on Twitter & Jess Ma Follow Jess Ma on Twitter

After this, whatever's next?Bella Peng, edited by Catherine Lally, with graphics from 3333873 and ElisaRiva on Pixabay

This year’s CUSU presidential race sees candidates winning hearts and minds with their renditions of pop hits – talk about soft power.

Edward Parker Humphreys channelled diva support by rolling out the intro to ‘thank u, next’, while Shadab Ahmed serenaded us with an access-themed version of Niall Horan’s ‘Slow Hands’.

There may have been no actual singing in Parker Humphreys’ offering, but the beautifully-executed remake of the Mean Girls-inspired ‘thank u, next’ intro – if it were set in a CUSU campaign team (“I heard if you record him snoring and play it backwards, it says ‘better student engagement’”) – was enough to enthrall even the mildest Ariana enthusiast. Also present was Parker Humphreys’ trademark red, white and blue coat: strategic branding if we’ve ever seen it.

Edward Parker Humphreys

Not to be outdone, however, Ahmed took on Parker Humphreys’ extensive video production team with something else: raw vocal talent. A riff on Niall Horan’s ‘Slow Hands’ (see “Skills sharing, campaign forming, I’m a pro” and “Access for all, that’s how I roll”), Ahmed serenaded potential voters with some dulcet tones. Some were left wondering why his impressive vocals have never made it to the ADC stage, or an appearance at CUSU Council. Democracy never sounded so good!

SAFE HANDS – SHADABShadab for CUSU President

With voting opening up tomorrow, and plenty of campaigning to go, the campaigns will undoubtedly have a few tricks up their sleeves. And hopefully the lyric wordplay can only go up from here for the two presidential hopefuls.

Don’t forget to fill out Varsity’s anonymous presidential poll, and let us know if it’s love, patience, or pain for Parker Humphreys and Ahmed.