Friday’s Purple Reign Homecoming Talent Show kicked off Homecoming Weekend by featuring 11 acts in Kresge Recital Hall. Students auditioned and of the 11 acts chosen to perform, prizes were given out to the top three. The judges were seniors Jordon Stoune, Sarah Kurian and Clayton Besong, with Joyce Omondi hosting the show.
The first act of the night was sophomore Monica Prince, who performed a spoken word poem based on an awkward double date and fictionalized as her poem. Her poem incited giggles from the audience as she described her tryst with a toilet as though a lover in a restaurant restroom.
After Prince was freshman Madison Bates, who sung an original song called “Love Avenge Me,” while playing acoustic guitar. Bates played the upbeat song with a sweet-sounding voice.
Freshman Autumn McGarr, a member of the Knox College Choir who has played the piano since she was five, performed “Asleep” by The Smiths, singing plaintive lyrics to a dreamy piano melody.
Senior Ryan Maniscalo played an original song called “Impulse” on acoustic guitar. He began with a fast melody by plucking the strings as he held a guitar pick in his mouth. He then changed styles after taking out the pick and used it to strum.
The next act was a skit, which was a combination of acting, comedy, guitar-playing, rapping and singing. It started with sophomore Alex Lindgren offstage yelling, “Princess, hear me sing!” The princess laughed and the king, played by sophomore Brann Gallagher appeared and sent him away. While in jail, a wizard, played by sophomore Alex Ziech, visited the minstrel and told him to drink a potion. After drinking it, he met a “rock guru,” Ziech, who he played an acoustic guitar duet with and head banged.
Next he met a “rap guru,” Gallagher, whose rap mentioned “the Prairie Fire” and “the Gizmo.” After the rap guru, Lindgren sang while playing “I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie on guitar, which prompted at least one member of the audience to sing along. The wizard yelled “wake up,” as it was all a dream and the scene ended in a school setting with the princess as a girl and the musician as a boy who met and said “hi” to each other.
Freshman Bea Halbach from France played “Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins on acoustic guitar.
Jay Khawaja, a freshman from Pakistan who started playing guitar six years ago, played an original composition and said it was a journey that the audience was all a part of. During his performance, he tapped on the wood of his guitar and even played the strings as a percussive instrument—while he strummed, rhythmic booms emitted as well.
As the tempo quickened and Khawaja tapped his foot faster to keep the beat, he beat boxed over what sounded like a pounding bass line, then hummed and sang. After ending his performance by singing a few lines from the Black Eyed Peas song “Boom Boom Pow,” Khawaja received a standing ovation from the audience.
Kristelle Smith, a sophomore from Dubai, sang “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera with a booming voice resounding across much of Kresge.
Freshman Trey Bailey rapped his own twist of “Show Me What You Got” by Jay-Z and encouraged the audience to clap and wave their hands. At the end of his performance, he threw dollar bills up in the air toward the audience.
Sophomore Sam Brownson played an original song called “Mademoiselle” on acoustic guitar. It featured fast strumming, with an eventual crescendo that had the audience clapping to the beat.
The last act of the night was a band of sophomores Joe Kozlowicz on bass, Kevin Box on guitar, Dave Brankin on piano, and Oliver Horton, who tap-danced in place of percussion. During the song’s break, the band members literally took a break by sitting down and reading copies of The Knox Student while Horton danced a tap solo.
After minutes of deliberation, the judges awarded a certificate to the third place winner Sam Brownson, a certificate to the second place winner Jay Khawaja, and the grand prize of $50 to the last act of the night featuring Kozlowicz, Box, Brankin and Horton.