WAC Talent Show

A crowd gathered in Spratt 101 on February 16 to support Western students as they braved the stage for the annual talent show, Western’s Got Talent hosted by the Western Activities Council (WAC).

Westerns Got Talent is an opportunity for students to showcase their individual talents that they are most passionate about. Western freshman Dante Owens was one student who decided to perform an individual rap piece.

“I’ve always loved music. It’s a passion of mine, I’ve been doing it since I was five,” said Owens. “I actually wrote this about two days before my audition.”

According to WAC President Natalie Miller, there is always a variety of skills that people bring to the auditions. In past years students have played the drums, sang, danced, acted and beatboxed. However, this year’s show was not as diverse as previous years, by showcasing eight vocalists and one dancer.

Before the show officially started contestants could be seen sitting anxiously, waiting or talking with members of the crowd that were there to support them. Freshman Nah’Ryan Reed-Crawford says that it was her family and friends who encouraged her to take the step to participate in this year’s talent show.

“Last semester I didn’t do it [audition]. I beat myself up a bit, but they [family and friends] said ‘oh-my gosh you sound good, no really you did’ so it gave me courage,” said Reed-Crawford. “I’m hoping to win, but I’m really just happy to sing in front of a lot of people.”

Host Maiya Jackson got the talent show started by introducing the judges, Isaiah Collier, Dana Heldenbrand and Ivory Cohens. Jackson then invited the contestants out one-by-one to perform their talents. To break up the acts, the crowd was engaged to participate in music name games to win small prizes.

Once all the acts were complete the judges left the room to make decisions for the top three acts. While the judges were in deliberation, a Western fine arts student was brought on stage to do a live art piece. Upon their return, Jackson invited all contestants on stage for the announcement of first, second and third place.

Nah’Ryan Reed-Crawford came in third place with her a cappella song “Church Bells.” Then Dianah Hidzir was announced as runner up with her song “Rise Up” which was also sung a cappella. Lastly, the big winner of $200 was Sophomore Denae McDougle, who won with her interactive performance of the “25 Song Melody,” which was a mash up of 25 songs by various artists.

McDougle’s performance started with her giving instructions to the audience on how to be a pop start and concluded with her showing the audience how most songs are sung using the same variation of chords on the guitar.

“I wanted to do something different and thought this would get the crowd involved,” said McDougle. “This was a lot of fun and there was a lot of talented people who came out. I was not expecting to win, and even if I didn’t win I still would have had fun and love the experience of it.”

Western’s Got Talent is not only an entertainment opportunity for students to attend, but it serves as a chance for students to get more involved. Former Griffon Mystic and freshman student Tatum Thomson says that this journey is one that other students should participate in.

“It’s a way to make new friends, really get out there and know other people besides your roommate. It’s nice to know so many people now. It’s really cool,” said Thomson.

The 2017 contestants feel that this experience has been nothing but exciting and fun. They all urge other students to get out and audition for Westerns Got Talent in upcoming years.

“Don’t let any one else stop you. Other contestants know how nerve wracking it is and they’ll support you. It’s a fun friendly atmosphere” said McDougle.

Contestants Dianah Hidzir, Nay’Ryan Reed-Crawford and Brianna Dice pose for a photo as they wait to perform at the 2017 Westerns Got Talent show. There were a total of 9 contestants that performed at the show.
Westerns Got Talent contestant Dianah Hidzir performs “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Hidzir was a junior during the 2016–2017 school semester.
Freshman Tatum Thomson tap dances to “Shut Up and Dance” at the 2017 Westerns Got Talent show. Thomson has been dancing since she was 2 years old.
Rachel King performs at the 2017 Westerns Got Talent show in Spratt 101 on February 16, 2017. King was a freshman during the 2016–2017 school year.
Western student Denae McDougle plays the guitar and sings a “25 Song Melody” at the 2017 Westerns Got Talent show. McDougle won $200 as first prize winner at the talent show.
Hannah Thurnau performs at Westerns Got Talent in Spratt 101 on February 16, 2017. Thurnau was a freshman during the 2016–2017 school year.
Brianna Dice belts out “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys at Westerns Got Talent on February 16th, 2017. Dice was a freshman during the 2016–2017 school year.
Students Dianah Hidzir and Nah’Ryan Reed-Crawford during the announcement of winners at the Westerns Got Talent show. Hidzir won second place and Reed-Crawford won third place at the talent show.
Westerns Got Talent contestants Denae McDougle, Dianah Hidzir, Dante Owens and Nah’Ryan Reed-Crawford gather to talk after the performances. McDougle, Hidzir, Owens, Reed-Crawford were 4 out of 9 contenders for the talent show in 2017.
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