On March 21 and 22, NSU celebrated student talent on campus with its sixth annual “NSUs Got Talent” show, featuring dances, vocal acts and other eclectic performances. After Thursday’s semi-finals and Friday’s finals, the a capella group Riff Tides emerged victorious, winning the competiton and a $1,000 prize.
The event was hosted and planned by the Students Events and Activities Board and was set to take place outdoors, near Gold Circle Lake, both days. But due to rainy weather on March 22, the show was brought in doors for the final round. According to SEA Board, about 200 people — mostly students — came out to watch the semi-finals, and even more people packed into the UC pit to see the final acts.
During the semi-finals, 17 student groups competed for five spots to move on to the final round. However, a tie between two groups led to six teams going to the final round.
Just like on the TV show “Americas Got Talent”, a foreboding red neon “X” was positioned on the “NSU’s Got Talent” stage. If the judges did not like a performance, they would hit the “X” and the performers would have to immediately stop.
The judges, all staff, were Devin Danicel, area coordinator for Founders, Farquhar, and Vettel residence halls and the Cultural Living Center; Carol Galladian, assistant director of orientation and commuter involvement; and Mike Prociuk, assistant director of intramural sports.
After each performance, the judges gave critiques, often using humor to ease performers’ anxieties and keep the audience pumped.
Also keeping the vibe of the show positive and shark-spirited were the two emcees, Adrien Glezil, senior legal studies and criminal justice double major, and Sebastian Acosta-Nijamkin, second-year graduate student in athletic administration and Radio X’s station manager. The duo made jokes and read tweets from the audience in between acts. Some audience members tweeted the hashtag #nsutalents, with good luck messages for the performances.
Lindsey Goldstein, junior education major and vice president of traditions for SEA Board, was the event’s organizer and stage manager.
She said, “The show is run by students, and showcasing NSU talent gives students the chance to express what they do best and come out to have fun supporting each other.”
Stephanie Haskell, graduate assistant for student programs, said, about the Thursday semifinals, “At first there were only like 10 or 12 people in the audience, so we got a little scared. But later on, we ran out of seats. There were people lined up on the grass, and people standing on the sides to watch the show. So we are really pleased with the student support of all the groups on campus.”
Fraternities and sororities on campus created their own eclectic performances. Beta Theta Phi entered five acts, of which four were cut short by the judges. Delta Phi Epsilon DPhiE entered a act entitled “Signing Sharks”, in which they did American sign language to songs.
Stephanie Jankie, freshman biology major and Delta Phi Epsilon member, signed part of “The Lion King”’s “Hakuna Matata” and said that it was so much fun.
Her sorority sister Stephanie Rogers said, “We have learned a lot along the way. Not many people know how to sign who are not deaf, so we now know more words and phrases.”
Multicultural groups on campus also brought unique flavors to the show. The new Indian dance team, Maasti, led by co-captains and freshman biology majors, Annie Mohanan and Stacy Illikal, did a Bollywood number to a medley of Indian film songs.
Mohanan, said after the semifinals, “We are incredibly proud of our performance and so grateful for the positive feedback we have received. We can’t wait for our next performance here at NSU.”
Janelle Alvarez, sophomore biology major and dancer in Rotaract Club’s World Dance act said, after her team made it to the finals on Thursday, “I’m super excited to move forward tomorrow. It’s really, really, really, been a great experience. We put a lot of hard work into our dance and this is one of my favorite memories.”
After the Thursday semifinals, the six teams announced to advance to the final round were the Sharkettes, Urban Renaissance, The Riff Tides, Signing Sharks, Rotaract World Dance and Lambda Theta Pi’s piano, vocal and dance act.
In the finals, the female acapella group, The Riff Tides, won first place and $1,000 for their organization. The female dance team, The Sharkettes, came in second, winning $500. And Rotaract Club took third place and $250.
Jannise Castillo, Riff Tides’s beat boxer said, “I’m ecstatic! We worked so hard and we all put so much effort into this and to see it come to life is such a payoff. We all have made such a strong bond through this.”
Castillo also said that she’s thankful for prize money, as the club plans to use it well.
She said, “We didn’t have any money before. So the first thing I think we need are club t-shirts. Being able to have something for our club is really nice,” she said.
Urban Renaissance member Stacey Gaspard, a senior double majoring in communication studies and theater, said, “We didn’t win, but it was great experience. Every competition you enter, you won’t win. But one day, we’ll shine … We just started this semester and next year, we are just going to keep getting better and we’ll have more time to collaborate with others too.”
After her time as a judge, Galladian said, “I am truly impressed with the level of talent among our students and I think it shows the countless hours they practiced to really put together a really well-rounded show.”