Students shine in talent show

As the events for family weekend were underway, expectations were high for the annual talent show, a favorite among family and students alike.

The audience waited as the lights dimmed, and we were introduced to our Masters of Ceremony. Senior Drew Duffy and junior Andrew Layden were known for the evening as princes on a quest for talent throughout the kingdom of “J’bu.”

After a brief introduction, the show began. A group calling themselves Panic Bear, made up of four men performed Safetysuit’s “Believe.” The performance showcased the groups musical ability, and carried an element of shock and awe.

Following Panic Bear was senior London Smith, simultaneously advertising his video blog and surprising us with an eye-popping popper routine. Smith can dance; he moved as if he had no bones. The act had a slow start, but he slowly drew in the audience with his mind-bending moves.

What could beat a popping video blogger? Perhaps a breakdancing Russian? Next up was an act entitled, “We Are Here Because You Are Good to Us,” a rapping act starring freshman Stanley Brown and juniors Musa Clark and Misha Kolemasov. The boys delivered a bumping beat with a beautiful message, that God is the one who enables our continued existence.

In a radical change of direction, a band with a folky feel, made up of senior AJ Miller and freshmen Caleb Ellicott and Laura Roller took the stage. Playing a composition of Ellicott’s, called “My King’s Stable,” this act was a reminder of how greatly God loves us. Ellicott and Miller sang with definite passion and good harmony to the instrumental styling of Roller.

Up next, Senior Samuel Cornejo demonstrated his skills. He began by beat boxing, giving the distinct impression that he had swallowed a drum set. Following this, he sang Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are ,” accompanied by recordings of himself beat boxing the drums, bass, piano and harmony.

The last act before the intermission was worth the wait. A group calling themselves 1921 entered, resplendent in black and red. The group was comprised of senior Jasmine Chavez, sophomore Mikael Seamans, freshman Ashley Camarillo, freshman Garrette Wiley, freshman Daniel Musgrave and sophomore Annabel Stavey. This group sang Adele’s “Someone Like You,” possibly better than Adele herself. The groups’ voices melded as one in gorgeous harmony.

The show returned after the intermission with the 1994 Synchronized Swimming World Championships. The lovely ladies absolutely captivated us with their black light magic and incredible underwater moves, not to mention their stunning flexibility. With brilliant prop work, the swimmers had us rolling in our pews.

On a slightly more serious note, freshmen Josh McAlister and Landon Miles recaptured our attention with a medley of lovely, familiar tunes. McAlister’s voice presented his songs to the audience as if presenting them with jars of captured memories, and the piano and guitar work, gained confidence and strength later in the duration of the act.

Afterward was a large group of musicians performing “Gypsy King,” a cacophonous number written by senior Adam Howard, who calls himself the Duke of Norfolk. The Duke of Norfolk and his loyal band carried the day when it came to a performance that was enjoyable to watch, giving their audience the urge to get up and dance.

Then Stanley (Static) Brown took back the stage for a solo number, called “Lord Set Me Free.” Backed by Hebrew vocals on an autotuner, Brown rapped his soul to a beat wreathed in humility. His message was honest and clear: there is nothing a man can do without God.

Following Brown was a decided change of pace. Jared DeFriese of Panic Bear retook the stage with fellow sophomore Allison Harper, singing a sweet little song rather reminiscent of chapel worship. They crooned a simple harmony while the fantastic light crew created a sunrise behind them, reminding us all of summer love songs.

Last, but by no means least, iRobot set before their audience the coolest dance number since Thriller. Their moves were stunning set to a techno-pop mix that whacked the audience over the collective head with visual perfection. The audience was begging for more as this too-short phenomenon left the stage.

After two shows, the votes were in. Participants were split between Talent and Variety performers, with three awards in each category.

In the Talent category: Third place was Summer Love Song. Second place was 1921. First place was awarded to Gypsy King.

In the Variety category: Third place went to We Are Here Because You Are Good to Us. Second place was Samuel Cornejo. First place was awarded to the 1994 Synchronized Swimming World Championships.