On Friday March 24, UNCG featured its “UNCG’s got talent” event competition, hosted by Kevin Yee in the EUC auditorium.
Yee – a comedian and musician – announced the performers as they came on stage and sang several, quite funny, songs at the beginning of the show, in-between the first and second half of the show and at the end while the judges were tallying the scores to see who won first, second and third place.
The first of the ten acts was two songs by R.A.W celebrating their faith, with eight students singing and another providing backing piano. They were well-tuned, with no single voice standing out – a good thing in a performance like theirs, where the goal is to have a well-blended tone – and the piano, a fixture of many of the night’s performances, playing was string as well. Sadly, however, the act failed to place.
The second act was Joshua Alley who, along with Emily Russ, performed a truncated version of Op. 36 of Franz Kromer’s Concerto in E-flat major. Alley, whose nervousness was obvious from where I sat, three rows from the front, played the classical clarinet and Russ played a piano accompaniment. Although Alley’s confidence – and therefore the already-high quality of his playing – increased over the course of his set, it wasn’t enough to get him to place.
The third act of the night was from Bluejay, who performed a heartfelt rendition of “Half-time” by Amy Winehouse. Unfortunately, she failed to place.
Mercedes Stephens and Joshua Ridley were next after them, and they performed their original piece, entitled: “Control.” Mercedes sang and Joshua played piano, their combined song utterly enticing, even though, as Ridley explained when the competitors gathered on stage to see who won, Mercedes was under the weather. The duo too, didn’t place.
Alyssa Wilson was the first performer to get a trophy. She translated a pop song – the name of which eludes me – into American Sign Language, or ASL. This was certainly one of the more impressive performances of the night, as the tempo of the song meant that there was certainly hours upon hours of practice put into it. She earned third place for this performance, which she titled, “Singing with My Hands.”
Danae Smart was one of two acts to win first place, and she sang “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe and played the accompanying piano. The result was a powerful, masterful mixing of the two talents that deserved the first place spot.
Atigre Farmer then performed a spoken word piece about femininity that failed to place. The piece discussed the hypocrisy of the way the female body is treated, and while it did not place, it was powerful and heartfelt, nonetheless.
The next performer was Jacob Nun, who beatboxed in a display which tied for gold. Perhaps the oddest performance, though it was certainly given a run for its money by the act that followed, it started with Nun, head hung down, making his way to the stage. After exchanging some banter with Kevin Yee and asking if the crowd was ready to see what he was going to do, Nun launched into a 45-second spree, mixing the sounds of bass, snare and crash cymbals together, much to the pleasure of the crowd. Nun then spent the next few minutes of the set explaining how to make such sounds with your mouth, and ended with another performance.
DJ d20 was the penultimate performer of the evening. This performance, more than any other, garnered a reaction from the crowd, with multiple audience members dancing. The judges were also impressed with his skill, and awarded him second place.
Kimberly Ann Sundloff was the final performance of the night, and she did a rendition of the 2012 hit song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons on the acoustic guitar. Foregoing the electric amp plug on her guitar in favor of simply putting another microphone in front of the body of the instrument, her slowed-down version of the song, while lacking in the electronic elements of the original, was impressive. However, she sadly failed to place.
The night ended with the customary awards ceremony, with Alyssa Wilson taking third, DJ d20 taking second and Jacob Nun and Danae Smart tying for first.