Dreams sparkled on the VU’s Got Talent stage

Noel Lee, staff photographer

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“Honestly, I just wanna showcase my talent.”

Without the rejecting buzzer button, mean comments or any teasing laughs, VU’s Got Talent 2019 fanned students’ fire to showcase their talents in the Red Skelton Performing Art Center on Mar. 29.

The show was started off by a remix of the evolution of 2000’s songs and which brought life to the theatre. There were approximately 100 people in the audiences that came to watch the show. As the remix played, Jake Clark, broadcasting, Vincennes, the first performer and the third runner up of the competition, changed his dancing styles to match the music. Some audience members followed the music beat and danced in their seats as well. Later on, singing, rapping, playing piano and guitar, magic tricks and other talents were displayed on stage one after the other. Each star gave it their all and the performances shined in the audience’s’ eyes, generating waves of joyful applause.

Susie Jackson, chair of music department and one of the five judges of the competition, commented after the show, “I think all of the students were amazing, we got a lot of variety. Everybody got lit talents.”

This was the first time Jackson judged VU’s Got Talent. She added, “It was hard to judge because they all have some unique strings,” but she said she enjoyed the show and praised the competitors on their creativity.

This year’s rewards granted $500, $300 and $150 Visa gift card for the first, second and third place winners, respectively. To earn these prizes, participants needed to meet the criteria for the competition as well as the five judges’ approval. Judges were members of the faculty, staff and a student judge, who was a new addition.

Ultimately, Ardell Cunningham, audio recording major, Evansville, who performed a hip-hop dance, won the champion; Bruce Joel Cain, physical therapy, Indianapolis, performed vocals and piano and won the second place and Clark presented different dancing styles with his own remix and won the third place.

The three winners were delighted and satisfied to be in the show. Both Cain and Clark thought that they could have performed better and Clark said he would give his $150 gift card to the rapper whom he thought deserved it. The first place winner, Cunningham, was proud of what he had performed and of his inner passion toward dancing.

“I feel like I did good, I mean it’s about energy. I feel like I gave that to receive the prize,” he explained.

Cunningham had never taken any dancing classes before, but because of his dedication toward dancing he practises dancing in his off time and performs in front of others to accumulate performing experiences. While VU’s Got Talent was his second time being on stage, he assured himself and had brought the efforts he paid daily on the stage.

“As long as I know that I have done 90% [of what] I am capable of, I am happy with myself. The proof is in the pudding,” Cunningham noted.

Later on, he added, “Actually [everyone just] wants to see other’s talents[…] It doesn’t matter who is there, I am always going to [perform]. Just give a shot, at the end of the day you’re always gonna be proud of yourself no matter what. Because, [what you did] is doing for yourself.”

Similarly, Cain and Clark also encouraged peers to be not to afraid and give everything  a try. Clark, at the end of the interview, concluded that no one should be afraid of dancing even when not knowing how to dance. Even if there is challenge, like not being used to the stage lighting, don’t feel fear.

Associate Dean of Students, Dr. Richard Walker, who attended both the tryouts that were held four days before the performance and the official show, stated that “[I] see everyone really come in and put out their best. It was awesome!”

VU’s Got talent not only showcases one’s talents and encouraged everyone to have fun on the campus, but also helped further on one contestant’s dream.

Cunningham shared that he would like to become either a producer or audio engineer. But the major goal was inspire people to make beats, change people’s moods and inspire others. Cain finished the interview by saying, “Check me on Soundcloud, and about a couple years later hear my name; I am Joel, I am a rapper.”

Finally, Dr. Walker hoped there would be more students come to see the talents and support their dreams next year.

“It just gonna be an hour and 20 mins of time to show [students’] spirit. They’re brave enough to get up there and play whatever the talent is. Whatever degree, it’s up to everyone to judge themselves. It’s just have a good time and enjoy the talent.”