By Kai Vieira da Rosa
The results are in, Jennifer Contreras is Whatcom’s most talented! On May 5, 2017 Contreras performed “Toxic” by Britney Spears and took home first place and a prize worth $500.
Five performances took place that night in the Heiner Theater on the Whatcom Community College campus.
Vanessa Pescasio, Xiaoyi Zhang, Jennifer Contreras, Adey Yang, and Christian Shirey competed for the title.
Jill Hough, Mei Luu, and Heidi Farani judged the performances, providing feedback after each act.
Vanessa Pescasio was first to compete. Pescasio performed “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton.
Judges were sure to point out flaws, as well as give positive feedback.
“I didn’t see a lot of growth from last time. In the audition you really owned the song and I didn’t see that here,” Farani said. “You have a lot ahead of you, you have an amazing voice and that is something you can’t learn.”
Xiaoyi Zhang next performed “Dream it Possible” by Huawei.
“You have a beautiful voice and you just nailed that song,” Hough said “Bringing more stage presence would help, you didn’t look like you loved the song, but you sure sounded like you did.”
Jennifer Contreras performed “Toxic” by Britney Spears and “La Bamba.” Contreras had the audience clapping and singing along.
“You had the audience with you,” Luu said.
The song “La Bamba” made for a special Cinco de Mayo addition.
“Thanks for the shout out to Cinco de Mayo.” Hough said.
Adey Yang performed an original finger guitar song. This type of playing featured high and low chords with fast playing.
Adey’s confidence was apparent, without a sweat, he had the crowed moving during his performance.
“You have good showmanship,” Luu said. “You just looked so focused.”
Christian Shirey was the last to perform. Shirey chose to sing “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi.
Shirey captivated the audience with a performance that included props to stand on as well as a smoke machine.
“The big moments you owned,” Hough said. “At the beginning it was a little out of tune.”
Western Washington University’s Glee Club and Viking Jazz group provided performances while competitors got ready.
The atmosphere of the audience was welcoming, everyone was supportive.
The goal of this competition was to give credit to students outside of the classroom.
Elisa Bong, part of the Programming and Diversity Board, put on the event.
“I want to give appreciation to those students who have talent in other areas other than academics.” Bong said.
Overall, the show lasted over two hours, but people wanted more from the students. “I hope next year that more students will audition for Whatcom’s Got Talent so we can prove that Whatcom truly does have talent,” Luu said.