Students Show Off Their Vocals and Spoken Words
By: Kenny Velez and Victoria Ifatusin
The seventh annual CSI’s Got Talent recently showcased talent from the student population. The finale of this event was held on April 17 in the Williamson Theater in the Center for the Arts.
With the help of the President’s Cabinet, the Office of the Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services, the Office of Student Life, the Center for the Arts and Media Services department, the event was able to take place.
The event was also funded by WSIA-FM, Student Government and the Campus Activities Board who supported the show with funding from the Student Activity Fee.
The hosts, Sal Vulcano, a member of the cast of the show “Impractical Jokers,” and Jay Miller, a Staten Island comedian and former producer of “Impractical Jokers,” introduced themselves and set up the show for the rest of the night. This is their seventh year hosting CSI’s Got Talent.
The first performance of the night was Chris With AK.
Chris With AK is a duo made up of two college students, Kyle Henry and Christopher Gonzalez. Both have had passion for music at an early age, persuading them to learn instruments.
They performed a medley of pop songs, with Kyle playing the saxophone and Christopher playing the guitar.
Among the songs they staged were “Thinking About You” by Frank Ocean, “Passionfruit” by Drake and “All of Me” by John Legend.
After Chris With AK was Fatou Thiam, performing a spoken word piece about domestic abuse and traditional marriages. Thiam has had experience with her acting career, as she has performed in plays such as Beyond Spectrum in college.
Next to go was Avery Adams, a Childhood Education and Psychology freshman, who sang a song called “Change”.
Tony Aye, a Finance and Data Analytics junior has the “dream of performing on stage in front of hundreds of people.” He performed a magic trick involving cards that required two volunteers from the audience.
After the magician was Sophia Sparncroft. She grew up in a family of musicians, encouraging her to sing “That Old Black Magic” while playing the cello at the event.
Ramzi Wolf, a senior, displayed some of his unique dance moves. Wolf the only performer to return from the previous year.
He danced to a remix of “Singing in the Rain.”
Seventh was Shanice Rodriguez, performing her rendition of “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith. She happens to be a music major as well.
Another singer, Jacqueline Paige, went next, singing “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. Similar to other performers, she’s has had an interest for music “ever since [she] could talk.”
Next was Guangcheng Xing, who at once performed in a Chinese TV show similar to American Idol. He sang an original song dedicated to his wife and child called “I Say I Am Loving You” on the piano.
Tenth was Reginald Bray performing a spoken word poem called “Influence.” Bray was popular with the audience, as they roared with approval before and after he performed.
Eleventh, Dominique Mendez who sang “Don’t You Remember?”, as this contributes to her singing career.
Lori Miho went last and sang “This is a Man’s World,” who has a similar interest of music like many of the other contestants since she was young.
The top five contestants chosen were Avery Adams, Shanice Rodriguez, Jacqueline Paige, Reginald Bray, and Dominique Mendez. Avery went first, and sang a song called “Waiting For Life.”
Rodriguez sang a cover of Pink’s “What About Us”, followed by Paige singing “Gravity.”
Reginald Bray performed another spoken word poem, this time on the theme of alcoholism. This act resulted in a loud ovation from the audience.
Dominique Mendez was the last to go, singing “And I Am Telling You.” receiving an even larger ovation herself.
The judges then met in private to discuss the acts and who would win the competition. While that happened, the hosts displayed their talents for the second time that night.
Jay Miller launched socks into the crowd with a slingshot, while Sal Vulcano painted a portrait of a nude man who had already appeared earlier that night. The painting turned out to be a sign that said “Alan Hoffner Sucks”.
Alan Hoffner is one of the judges of CSI’s Got Talent, and he was the butt of several jokes throughout the night. But it was all love as Sal handed the professor the sign.
The judges came to a decision on the top three. All the performers were called back to the stage, holding hands as the walked to face the audience.
Then, the top three winners were called to the front of the stage in reverse order. Jacqueline Paige, the third place finisher was called first.
Then, the second place finisher, Dominique Mendez, was called to the front. The winner of the Seventh Annual CSI’s Got Talent was called to the front: Reginald Bray.
The audience erupted as Bray was presented his check for winning.
After the event, the first-place winner was asked about his history with spoken words.
The political science and philosophy senior has had a burning desire with spoken words since he was a young child.
“I started writing at a young age,” Bray said. “Yet I didn’t start performing till about two years ago.”
He also said that performance of the poetry helps him to “perfect” it, along with writing the words down.
Being that this is his first award, he decides on continuing act of spoken word poetry.
“Seeing how I inspired the audience, I see myself pursuing it, especially considering how much fun I had,” he said.