University of California, Santa Barbara held its first ever talent show, UCSB’s Got Talent, in the Hub on Wednesday, April 30. The event was put on by the Associated Students Office of the Internal Vice President and AS Program Board.
Hosted by Ernesto Pina and Mic Dahl and judged by Angela Lau, Melvin Singh, Brandon Pineira, and Alex Hubert, UCSB’s Got Talent went off with very few hitches. The show ran smoothly and progressed steadily.
“The event did a great job at showcasing things we would not normally see at most exhibits on campus,” said Singh, third-year political science major. “For instance, Michael Lam, the first-prize winner, showed his extraordinary opera vocals on the same stage where Ryan Yamamoto shared his spoken word on the meaning of masculinity. I loved how eclectic the whole event was.”
There were 11 acts set to perform, but Yancellor Chang was unable to attend, dropping the talent count down to 10. The acts were surf-rock band Sun Daes, singer Alex Fong, spoken word performer Ryan Yamamoto, guitarist-singer duo Rod and Dalia, opera singer Michael Lam, singers and guitarists Benjie and the Hooligans, singer Emmy Cribb, comedian Ian Davis, singer Roya Salehi, and a cappella group Naked Voices.
Although most of the acts consisted of singers and musicians, the talent varied, providing a little something for everyone in attendance. The audience wasn’t too large, but there was still a good number of students in attendance to enjoy the show.
“I liked it because it was intimate. The atmosphere made it a really nice experience,” said Danny Reyes, a first-year communication major who attended the show. “I thought it was really cool. It really did have a lot of talented acts.”
The audience was very interactive the whole night, clapping along to songs, answering questions posed by comedian Davis, and indulging in banter with performers during individual act set-up.
“UCSB really does have a ton of talent,” said Emmy Cribb, a first-year pre-economics major who sang “Hallelujah” for the talent show. “It was great to be part of the first UCSB’s Got Talent, and I hope there are many more to come.”
Ryan Yamamoto, a fourth-year sociology major, won third place in the competition. Yamamoto performed a spoken word piece about questioning gender roles.
“I thought for its first run through it was pretty cool,” Yamamoto said. “The word talent nowadays has been misconstrued to only include bands and singers. It’s all a product of novelty.”
In the end, three performers took home prizes from the evening’s talent show. Following Yamamoto’s win, Benjie and the Hooligans (made up of Kylie Butler, Sam McCrea, and Ben Falstein) came in second place, and opera singer Michael Lam won the title of first.
“I thought all the talent was really great, and it was cool they took the chance to show us,” said audience member Effie Sklavenitis, a first-year global studies major. “I had a great time with my great friends.”