Ferris High School senior Will Clements had no reason to expect anything but an unceremonious end to his school experience without a prom. Instead, he got to distance and dance with a date in front of The Jonas Brothers, Chance the Rapper and Billie Eilish, all thanks to John Krasinski of television hit The Office.
On Friday night, Clements and high school seniors across the country assembled for a virtual prom livestream organized by Krasinski and highlighted by its musical guests.
“It was great. I don’t think a lot of people get to say that John Krasinski was their prom DJ and that Chance the Rapper and the Jonas Brothers came and performed,” said Clements.
As fans of The Office, the Clements family remained avid viewers of Krasinki’s quarantine YouTube show “Some Good News,” where word of the digital dance started to spread.
The day before the livestream was scheduled to air, Clements got an online reminder and made some hasty arrangements to not let the chance go to waste – especially when it meant asking out longtime friend Ellie Brueggemeier.
“It was put together pretty quick. I saw the post and asked her out at the end of the night. The next day, we went to the online prom.”
Both the families of Clements and Brueggemeier came together (albeit six feet apart) to celebrate the occasion. It even warranted the opening of the barn that lies on the Clements’ property.
“We opened up all of the doors of the barn because it was a nice night,” said Beth Clements, Will’s mother. “It was really, really cool.”
Together, the two seniors got to dance to live renditions of The Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” and Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” joined by her brother Finneas on bass. After the fanfare and photos, the unexpected significance of the event dawned on the young Clements.
“It was something special that I wasn’t exactly expecting. I just thought it was going to be a fun, little hang-out, I didn’t realize how much it actually meant,” Clements said. “I’m not a huge fan of dances, but prom was something that I was bummed that I was going to miss because I only get one of them. It meant a lot. A lot more than I expected.”
For the mother of a son who’s senior year has been defined by the loss of major events, the livestream meant almost as much.
“We thought maybe he would just ask her and then they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, so it was just a great opportunity,” she said. “This is our year of all of the final things. Out of all the things that the kids had to miss, it was at least one thing we could check off that they got to participate in.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.