Salisbury University showcased some of its most talented students on March 1 in the SU’s Got Talent competition.
The event, hosted by the Student Organization for Activity Planning, was SU's version of "America’s Got Talent." It was held in the Holloway Hall Auditorium, and over 200 people attended the show.
SU senior and SOAP President Diana Rapine hoped to bring some excitement to campus while also including members of the community.
“My goal was to provide entertainment to students and have a decent attendance. [It was also to] give an opportunity for students to showcase their talents," Rapine said.
In order to compete in the talent show, students had to audition. Rapine stated that around 25 acts auditioned, but only 12 were accepted into the grand performance.
“You had to complete an audition with a ten-minute time slot, and they notified by email whether or not you had been accepted,” SU freshman and show participant Melanie Staszewski stated.
Audience members were treated to a variety of talent, including singing, guitar playing, piano playing, songwriting and comedy.
“I really liked the one performer [Chareese Vandyke] who wrote her own song, it was really unique. She also had really good vocals and played the keyboard,” SU freshman Stephanie Hof said.
The show was hosted by YouTuber Jon Raymond Fisher, who used both comedy and music to entertain the audience. Fisher engaged the audience by playing song mashups for everyone to sing along to in between acts, and by playing song parodies about college, the gym and more.
“I really enjoyed the host. I thought he was really funny … He really got the audience involved," Hof said. "People were dancing and singing along, and it was just overall a really great time."
The talented participants included Paige Stevenson, Gwanyoung Park, Pau Suang, The Silent One, Anthony Calamoneri, Chareese Vandyke, Ellie Kessler, Abigail Hoffman, Matt Ryan, Haley Winans, AJ Draper, Nathan Weir, Melanie Staszewski and John Thompson.
Though all of the performers were amazing, a winner had to be chosen. The three judges, employees of SU's Center For Student Involvement and Leadership, Tricia Smith, Stefanie Kasven and Susie West first chose the top three contestants. Audience members were then able to vote through their phones to select the winner.
Third place went to Ellie Kessler, a freshman at Salisbury University. Kessler’s mesmerizing voice stunned the audience.
Second place went to Anthony Calamoneri, who is a junior at SU. Like Kessler, he shocked the audience with his voice. He played a few different songs, including songs by Ed Sheeran.
First place was awarded to John Thompson and Melanie Staszewski, two SU freshmen who performed a duet together. They performed the song “Shallow," orginally sung by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and received a standing ovation.
Staszewski was thrilled to have the opportunity to perform and looks forward to being able to do it once again.
“It was a great experience, and I hope I can do something like that again. It was just fun coming together and performing on stage for all my friends and my family,” Staszewski said.
By LAURA AMRHEIN
Featured photo: Laura Amrhein image.