Fifteen minutes after the winners’ names had been read, crowds of students danced excitedly on the stage of the Commonwealth Auditorium. Even though the Showtime Talent Show had ended, the party was still going strong, reflecting the enthusiastic atmosphere characteristic of the entire night.
Friday night, College of William and Mary’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi presented its first talent show in 15 years. The show featured eight acts that ran the gamut from dancers to singers to rappers to a ukulele player, with performers competing to win a $500 prize.
“This has been about a month-long project,” Terrell Wells ’12, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and one of the hosts of the show said. “When the fraternity was here in the ’90s, this was one of their yearly projects. So when they told us about it, we wanted to bring it back.”
All of the acts, which featured musical talents such as singing, dancing and music producing, were given a score by a judging panel, which was comprised of two faculty members at the College, one recent alumna and one current student. The performers with the highest scores were awarded first, second and third places, with the first place winner receiving the $500 prize.
The winner of the Showtime Talent Show was a co-ed dance group called Savage, who traveled from Elizabeth City State University to perform at the College. The group danced to a mash-up of hip-hop songs, with almost every member under the spotlight at some point in the performance.
“A lot of practice, a lot of arguing, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the performance,” Michelle Anderson, a member of Savage and a junior at Elizabeth City State University said, explaining that the group has been practicing for this performance for about three weeks.
She added that the group’s focus was what allowed them to succeed.
“To be completely honest, when we first got here, we were worried about the competition,” Anderson said. “But we just realized that we need to focus on ourselves and not worry about the competition so we could put on the best performance possible. And I think that really showed when we brought it to the stage.”
She explained that Savage was invited to compete after some of the talent show’s organizers saw videos of the group performing. Wells said the acts were chosen from a variety of sources.
“We used social media, Twitter and Facebook,” he explained. “And then we also went to a local Williamsburg talent show to find some talent. And then the last thing we did was put it in Student Happenings.”
The show’s format was based on that of the music television show “Showtime at the Apollo” — the audience was encouraged to scream and applaud for the contestants they liked and even to cheer and be loud during the performances themselves. The Showtime Talent Show relied on audience participation; at one point there was an audience-wide dance break between acts, and there was plenty of dancing in the aisles and on stage before, during and even after the show.
“I liked how laid back [the show] was and how much they made the audience a part of it,” Mallory Tucker ’15, an audience member, said.
Wells emphasized how pleased he was with the way the event came together.
“I think it went really well,” he said. “We were actually surprised by the turnout.”
Cienna Wesley ’12, who performed a medley of Beyonce songs and came in second place in the competition, agreed that the show was a success.
“It went well,” she said. “It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it and there were a lot of good acts.”
Tucker said that although she mostly came to the event to support her roommate, who sang and played the ukulele, she found the show as a whole to be very positive and entertaining.
“I didn’t know much about it coming in, but I thought it was fun because it was a style of music and performance I wouldn’t get to see otherwise,” Tucker said. “I like any event with a lot of people supporting everyone.”