By John Michael Uba
With flashing strobe lights and spotlights, free finger food and a large crowd in a packed room, Associated Students, Inc. BEAT hosted its annual CPP’s Got Talent Wednesday night at the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major.
It’s like “‘America’s Got Talent’ or ‘The X Factor,’ but on a $250 budget,” said the host, Marco Martinez.
Most importantly, there was the group of students ranging from dancers, singers and instrumentalists performing under the spotlight in hopes of winning the competition.
CPP’s Got Talent is a highlight of school events, and this year was no different.
It provided pure entertainment for the audience and a distraction from the work and stress present in the midst of spring quarter.
“I think it was a great event. It was really fun to see all the talent that our fellow peers have,” said second-year urban and regional planning student Nathalie Carrillo, an attendee of the event.
She added, “You don’t really get to experience that when you’re in classes with them, but this is a great way to get people out and to get us to interact with one another, and that is what we really need here.”
Minutes prior to the two-and-a-half hour talent show, the crowd was treated to a short montage video of all the contestants selected from the auditions which publicized their talent feats last April.
Martinez showcased his own talent of throwing puns out to the audience about the contestants’ acts, as well as impromptu performances throughout the event.
Eric Knorr was the first act, showcasing his ability as one of the multi-instrumentalists of the show. He performed an original song with simultaneous singing, guitar playing and whistling that the judges admired.
Cristelle Villamena performed a form of Polynesian dancing that Hawaiian culture is known for.
Daniel Shin showcased another singing guitar act with a cover that the audience and judges enjoyed as his amazing guitar skills unfolded.
Marley Wilson was one of two rappers of the event, showcasing a strong stage presence alongside the bass-pumping music.
Robert Yedidsion, a pianist, played his own original song that presented quick flourishes on the keys, polyrhythms and a crescendo ending.
Michelle Waugh was the last of the singer-guitarist acts, performing a cover of Vance Joy’s “Riptide” with strong vocals and guitar-playing skills, which was noted by the judges.
After all nine acts did their thing, the crowd was treated to two special performance acts.
The first one was from a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, “CJ,” performing a vocal cover of Drake’s “One Dance.”
The second came from hospitality student William Hua, who showed off his dance moves.
The event concluded with a brief ticket raffle with winners taking home ASI BEAT goods.
The first-place winner was singer and guitarist Shin.
“Well, I’m surprised I guess,” said the second-year hospitality student. “I mean there were so many talented people; I was just happy that I could perform with them and just do music with them. I wasn’t expecting to win or anything.”
Shin was awarded a Nikon COOLPIX L340 camera.
The second-place winner was pianist and sixth-year biotechnology student Yedidsion, who was awarded a $25 Amazon gift card, CPP sweatshirt and CPP hat.
“I’m very happy that I won, I had a lot of fun doing it,” said Yedidsion. “Originally, I just did it for the fun of it and to just share my music with Cal Poly to leave my mark on the school before I leave.”
The third-place winner was rapper and first-year computer science student Wilson who said, “Honestly, I’m just kinda happy that I’m placed; like I just did for fun and what not, but you know since I’m placed I was just like, ‘Oh, okay I got a little something,’ you know.”
Wilson was awarded a $10 Bronco Bucks gift card and BEAT swag, which included a BEAT sweatshirt, BEAT tumbler and accessories.
“I love CPP’s Got Talent, I’ve been lucky to come to every single one since 2011,” said Susan Ashe, director of Student Conduct & Integrity. “They invited me back to judge; every year the talent gets better and better, and I love the diversity of the acts this year.”
CPP’s Got Talent will happen again next school year, where more students will get the chance to showcase their hidden talents.
John Michael Uba / The Poly Post
Daniel Shin wins first place.
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