By Ashley Hinkley, Staff Writer
Recently, within a noisy and crowded Lincoln Auditorium, 13 performances competed against one another in hopes of winning the 2016 “Beaverz Got Talent” show, hosted by the Campus Residence Council (CRC). The acts included singing, dancing, juggling, comedy, and a dramatic reading helping to provide a wide variety of talents presented by the 20 students that participated in the event.
Kris Kelley, UMF senior and event coordinator for CRC and chair of the Spring Fling committee was at the forefront of planning this event. “It’s been one of the biggest spring fling events since CRC took it over,” said Kelley. “We picked it up four years ago and I’ve run it for the past three.” When Kelley first ran the show, he was surprised by such a large crowd, but now he’s come to expect it when he sees the line of audience members stretch out the doors of Roberts Hall.
Prior to the talent show, with the help of his small committee and volunteering CRC members, Kelley prepared lights, sound, order of performances, and selection of the judges. “We handpicked the judges based on who the student body would know well,” said Kelley. “We wanted to have a wide variety of interests represented amongst the judges, so that the winner would be greatly appreciated by all.” This year’s judges included: Housing Director Tim Anderson, Psychology professor Rhonda Jamison, and UMF junior Minarva Craig.
Cassandra Cutts, UMF sophomore, and Kelley, were the co-hosts of the show who brought humor and fun to the audience throughout the night. Despite technical difficulties, the duo kept the crowd entertained as they played off some small mishaps and continued to crack jokes during the show.
The majority of the acts presented that night consisted of singing and the song choices included everything from “Grease” to “Frozen”. Aside from the musical performances, there was also a comedy act performed by an engaged couple and a dramatic reading of “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” performed by Kayla Girardin. There wasn’t a single performance that didn’t earn an uproar of clapping and cheering from the audience. The wide variety of talents made it hard for the judges’ panel to narrow it down to one winner.
After deliberation, the audience sat at the edges of their seats in anticipation of the revealing of the winner. Josiah Adams, a UMF senior and English major, walked away with the cash prize of $150 after a juggling performance. Adams has participated in the talent show for the past four years and chose to commemorate his final performance with a crowd selfie. “I won freshman and sophomore year, but placed third last year,” said Adams. “And winning feels awesome, especially in my senior year.”
The second place prize of $100 was for Collin Regan, who sang “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, a crowd favorite that received a standing ovation. Third place went to “The Wildcats”, a trio that performed “Breaking Free” from High School Musical. This musical group consisted of Chris Coleman on guitar with Jaycee Jenckes in a basketball uniform and Zack Lavoie wearing a long, flowing skirt.
Being yet another widely attended show, “Beaverz Got Talent” came to a close and the audience poured out of Lincoln Auditorium chatting about all that they had just seen. Within minutes, the room fell quiet awaiting next year’s talent show.