Western's Got Talent 2019

Western's Got Talent 2019

Taniya Sheikh

With this being the second year that Western’s Got Talent being hosted at Western, we wanted to see if Western really had some exceptional talent.

This year, Friends of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) hosted the talent show at the Mustang Lounge. As registrations started at 6 pm, the Lounge was filled with a good mix of family, friends, students and local members. The panel of judges were professors from different faculties of Western: Dr. Derek McLachlin from the Department of Biochemistry, Nigmendra Narain from the Department of Political Science and Robert Colquhoun from Ivey. This panel also had Western’s own celebrity, Rick McGhie who performs on Rick’s Wednesdays at the Spoke.

The show started with an opening video that included highlights from all the auditions that had taken place before the show. There was no wasting time as the first contender had already made her way up to perform.

Wanderer (Rene) was the first act who performed a song by the Lumieners and played her guitar as well. She had just signed her first album recording in LA and will be a Spotify artist in the near future. Her personality had soon filled the room with warmth as her voice was soft and had chills running down my spine. With song ended with a loud roar from the crowd and the judges' panel was impressed. Rick said it was his favourite song and Prof.Colquhoun said that her raspy voice added to the whole aura of the song and that he was looking forward to downloading her songs from Spotify.

The next performance was a cute but surprising dance performance by Nathan Parian. His dance piece was dedicated to teaching the audience about Love and his performance included tips on things to call your potential partner but nothing cheesy like Honey, Darling or Baby. This started a choreography to the song Baby by Justin Bieber, Wet the Bed by Chris Brown and Sicko Mode. The dance ended with a promise to teach the audience on Swiping left or Right on Tinder. The judges commended his control over his moves, energy and humour that kept the audience engaged.

The next performance made everyone wish they could pull off an overall like Talal. This first-year FIMS student performed a piece that was composed by both his brother and him and his presence on stage was very confident as he asked the audience members to sing along with him. He played his guitar and sang a combination of songs that transitioned from one to another very smoothly. The judges said that the switching between songs was very impressive and his aesthetic was very different but also very classy.

I had begun to think things couldn’t get any better than this but Mike was one of the contestants to prove me wrong. He is a guitar and Piano player who wanted to shake things a little bit. As he couldn’t decide what to play for the show he wanted to get the audience members involved. Mike and his assistant placed 30 cards on the floor with various different artists names and wanted the judges and audience to choose artists and would play their most popular songs. He played songs of 12 artists in a short period of time. The judges appreciated his efforts in being innovative and brave to take on the challenge but also sympathized with the difficulty of looping and encouraged him to keep on trying.

With the performances getting better with each one, Hershawn Arora was on stage to make the nerves calm and fill the audience with laughter instead. His set involved personal anecdotes about his time in London as a student, recent changed, John Cena and being a brown boy who wants to be a rapper. All the judges were complimenting his style and his presence of owning the space and being comfortable while continuously keeping the audience engaged and Rick McGhie requested him for more Brampton jokes.

This ended the first half of the show and before intermission, a video on MSF was played, after which a local orthopedic trauma surgeon who volunteered with MSF came on stage to share his experience with the organization.

After the short intermission break, Rick Mcghie performed his 3 favourite songs along with the audience to prepare them for the performances to come.

The percussion Guitar player who made everyone wonder if a guitar could actually make all those sounds was Sinan, an 18-year-old self-taught musician. The guitar player had an abrupt start as he made no attempts to acknowledge the audience or give an introduction of himself but his performance made up for its lack. He made various different sounds using the wooden material of the guitar as well as just the strings on it. This was one of  Rick McGhie’s favourite performance of the night. The judges were astonished by the talent but suggested a few things to build his connection with the audience.

This performance made you feel like you were at a concert because the performance was all-encompassing. Del performed his self written and composed song called Waterfall which is also available online on all streaming platforms. It was impressive to see him fully immersed in his performance with a big smile. One of the judges said Del reminded him of Chance the Rapper and looked forward to his upcoming work.

The next performance was a little comical, dramatic and energy packed as Dose of Culture took over the stage. The dance team with 6 members performed to the various different song which were a fusion of Indian, Caribbean and African music. The combination of hip hop, Bollywood and Indian classical left the audience wanting more. The judges loved the beat and wanted everyone to be a little bit more enthusiastic.

The last performance of the night was a duet by Rowan and Martin who performed Toxic with a little bit of a twist. They chose the piece because of its a very popular song but wanted to change it up with soft ranging melodies. The 2 singers were charming as they shared adoring chemistry on stage. The judges thought their voices went together very well and made them a great duo.

Overall, the show was packed with laughter and joy as most of the acts brought something new to the table each time. Towards the end of the show, audience members were asked to go online and vote for their favourite act and Dose of Culture were this year’s Western’s Got Talent team to win $500.